Cristiano Ronaldo’s double inspired Juventus to a 3-1 victory over Udinese on Sunday afternoon, as a blistering first-half performance earned the hosts all three points at the Allianz Stadium.

Ronaldo put Juventus ahead on just nine minutes with a right-footed shot from the edge of the box, after Maurizio Sarri’s side made an impressive and high-tempo start to the game.

Leonardo Bonucci’s long pass picked out Paulo Dybala’s run behind the Udinese back five and his chested control saw the ball land at Ronaldo’s feet – what followed was an exquisite finish with the outside of the boot.

The Portuguese helped himself to a second as half time approached, making an excellent run in behind that was picked out by Gonzalo Higuain. As Ronaldo span behind Udinese’s defence, his strike partner slotted a perfectly-weighted ball into the box and I Bianconeri were 2-0 ahead.

Any realistic hopes of a Udinese comeback were quashed in first-half stoppage time, as Bonucci headed home from a corner – flicked on by his centre half partner Merih Demiral.

Udinese were much improved at the start of the second period and Gianluigi Buffon demonstrated he still has the ability and hunger for Serie A football, producing two fine stops from Kevin Lasagna before the 55th minute.

Juve, on the other hand, were a far less attractive proposition and had to rely on the 41-year-old to deny both Lasagna and Seko Fofana as the game progressed. Ignacio Pussetto’s stoppage time consolation to make it 3-1 summed up Juve’s casual second-half defending, as they switched off for a simple cross into box.

The win puts Juve back on top in Serie A, though Inter can reclaim that first place spot with victory against Fiorentina on Sunday evening.


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