Returning Ronaldo Seals 4-1 Juventus Win Over Spezia

In Serie A round 6, the newly promoted Spezia played hosts for a struggling Juventus side which was about to welcome back Cristiano Ronaldo into its ranks. The Portuguese superstar was unsurprisingly decisive, as his second half introduction quickly turned the tide in favor of the reigning champions, as the match ended in a comfortable 4-1 win for the visitors. 

Vincenzo Italiano’s side started with M’Bala Nzola in attack, flanked by Diego Farias and Daniele Verde, with Milan loanee Tommaso Pobega in midfield. On the other hand, Andrea Pirlo once again maintained his starting attacking duo Alvaro Morata and Paulo Dybala, with Juan Cuadrado and Federico Chiesa on the wings. Young American Weston McKennie made his return to the starting line-up in midfield alongside Rodrigo Bentancur and Arthur. 

The first real chance of the match came in the 11th minute, as McKennie and Cuadrado linked up well with one another, before the latter found Dybala. The Argentine star dribbled his way to the edge of the box but his shot was a little wide off target, and it turned out that he was standing in an offside position anyway. 

Five minutes later, Juventus were able to open the score, as Danilo freed-up McKennie who found himself one-on-one with the Spezia goalkeeper Ivan Provedel. The former Schalke man unselfishly offered Morata with the easiest of goals and for once the Spaniard’s goal stood despite some VAR involvement. 

The Bianconeri had several chances to double their lead, as Chiesa’s shot went wide after some neat teamwork, and then two counter-attacks started by Paulo Dybala were wasted. In the first, Chiesa tried to feed McKennie who made a run all the way towards goal, but Provedel reached the ball first. In the second Juventus counter-attack, Danilo freed up Chiesa, but the former Fiorentina man’s shot couldn’t pass the traffic inside the Spezia penalty box. 

Despite the lack of dangerous opportunities, Spezia managed to level the score, as a good team move found Pobega on the edge of the box and the Milan youngster unleashed a shot that was deflected by Merih Demiral and went past Gianluigi Buffon. 

Juventus tried to restore their lead before half time when Morata received the ball in the middle of the pitch and ran all the way to the Spezia box, but his pass to Mckennie was brilliantly intercepted by Julian Chabot, as the first half ended with a goal for each side. 

After a slow start to the second, the introduction of Cristiano Ronaldo in the 56th minute in place of Dybala made all the difference, as few minutes later, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner was fed by Morata, and was left inexplicably unmarked by the Spezia defenders – who perhaps didn’t hear the news of his latest negative PCR test – and easily rounded the goalkeeper before giving Juventus a 2-1 lead. 

The Aquilotti almost equalized once again, when their Captain Claudio Terzi rose to meet a corner kick and sent a great header towards Buffon’s left bottom corner, but the Italy legend made an incredible reaction save on it. Diego Farias reacted well on the rebound, but a clear offside position denied him a goal. 

Few minutes later, Chiesa’s brilliant cross found substitute Adrien Rabiot, and the Frenchman had all the time and space to control the ball, and then dribbled past the Spezia defense before laying his shot in the near bottom corner and securing the three long awaited points for Juventus. 

But the reigning champions weren’t done just yet, as Federico Chiesa created his second goal of the night when his quick run to the box forced the defense to commit a foul, which allowed Ronaldo to score from the spot-kick with a cheeky Panenka shot. 

Juventus were finally able to release some of the pressure that lays on Andrea Pirlo’s shoulders as the club looks ready to start a more positive run, led of course by their returning megastar. 


November 1, 2020 – Serie A 2020-2021 Round 6

SCORERS: 14′ Morata (J), 32′ Pobega (S), 59′ Cristiano Ronaldo (J), 67′ Rabiot (J), 76′ Cristiano Ronaldo (J, pen.)

SPEZIA (4-3-3): Provedel; Ferrer, Chabot (74′ Dell’Orco), Terzi (88′ st Ismajli), Bastoni; Bartolomei, Ricci, Pobega (74′ st Estevez); Verde (46′ Agudelo), Nzola, Farias (73′ Gyasi) (Krapikas, Rafael, Mora, Agoume, Deiola, Vignali, Piccoli) Coach: Italiano
JUVENTUS (4-2-3-1): Buffon; Danilio, Bonucci (77′ Frabotta), Demiral; Cuadrado, Bentancur (62′ Rabiot), Arthur, McKennie (62′ Ramsey), Chiesa; Morata (77′ Kulusevski), Dybala (56′ Cristiano Ronaldo) (Szczesny, Pinsoglio, Bernardeschi, Portanova) Coach: Pirlo

REFEREE: Mr. Abisso from Palermo
NOTES: Yellow Cards: Chabot, Bartolomei, Estevez (S), Rabiot (J); Extra Time: 1st Half 2′, 2nd Half 3′