CR7 & Pjanic guide Juve to victory

Serie A

Juventus maintained their unbeaten record in Serie A this season following a 2-0 win over SPAL at home, with Cristiano Ronaldo scoring his return.

Ronaldo, who missed the midweek win over Brescia returned to partner Paulo Dybala up top, with Blaise Matuidi and Juan Cuadrado drafted into the fullback roles.

SPAL made life difficult for their more illustrious in the opening minutes, but the Italian champions slowly penetrated through the area with a couple of balls into the area.

Etrit Berisha proved difficult to bridge towards the break, as the Albanian pulled off two guilt-edge blocks from attempts by Dybala and Aaron Ramsey.

Berisha was finally beaten though when Miralem Pjanic’s powerful first-time effort from a Sami Khedira layoff on the brink of halftime proved too strong to handle.

Juve didn’t relent following the restart, as SPAL surged for a breakthrough but was undone by sloppy ball retention and all round attacking play.

Khedira looked to get on the score-sheet after providing the opener, but the German’s header couldn’t get the better of Berisha ten minutes from the break.

That was to be the last bit of action for the 2014 World Cup winner, as he made way for compatriot Emre Can following the 61st minute mark.

Juve kept probing for a second, but Dybala, Pjanic nor Ronaldo profited despite getting clear cut openings.

Ronaldo atoned though after 78 minutes when he headed in from the far side after getting on to a cross-field delivery.

That put the sting out of the contest as the record-breaking Italian champions picked up the maximum points.