Juve move third thanks to CR7's brace

Serie A

Juventus moved up to third in the Serie A standings after cruising to a 3-0 victory over Crotone, with Cristiano Ronaldo netting a brace on Monday evening.

Bianconeri manager Andrea Pirlo made three changes from their loss against Porto in the UEFA Champions League, as goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon got a rare start alongside Merih Demiral and Aaron Ramsey.

The hosts were creating good chances in the early stages, as Ronaldo had a wonderful chance on the half-hour mark after a cross by Federico Chiesa but he missed the target from close range.

Ramsey rattled the bar with a header from Chiesa's cross seven minutes before the break for Juventus but a moment later, Ronaldo finally broke the deadlock for Pirlo's men with a header from the edge of the box after a cross by Alex Sandro.

Ronaldo doubled the lead for Bianconeri on the brink of half-time with another header on the edge of the six-yard box after a cross by Ramsey to complete his brace.

With the game was opening up in the early exchanges of the second stanza, Weston McKennie killed off any hopes of a Crotone comeback, as he made it 3-0 for the Old Lady in the 66th minute with a blasting strike inside the box from a corner situation.

Alvaro Morata had a chance to add a fourth goal for Juventus in the last 13 minutes from a rebound inside the six-yard box but he guided his shot wide while Ronaldo was desperate to complete his hat-trick with a free-kick in the last two minutes that sailed over the bar.

In the end, the Old Lady settled for a 3-0 win that took up up third on the log, eight points behind league leaders Inter Milan with a gam in hand.

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