Juventus in 7th heaven with Ron's 'best' show

TURIN • Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri has hailed Cristiano Ronaldo's display in the 3-1 Serie A win over Napoli on Saturday as his "best" performance yet since joining from Real Madrid.

The victory clinched in a top-of-the-table clash also extended Juve's perfect start to the season with seven wins out of seven, and Ronaldo was involved in all three of his team's goals despite not scoring.

"Cristiano Ronaldo? He did very well today and he created many clear-cut chances for us," Allegri told Sky Sport Italia.

"I think that this was his best game yet for us. He is enjoying himself. He has integrated very well. His precision in the passing moves is exceptional."

Following the Portuguese forward's €100 million (S$159 million) summer move from the Spanish giants, he has scored only three goals in two of the seven league games so far. The impact of his three assists in this game, though, was undeniable.

Dries Mertens gave Napoli an early lead before Ronaldo provided a pinpoint cross for Mario Mandzukic to head in the equaliser and then set up an easy second for the Croat when his shot hit the post.

Ronaldo's goal-bound header also provided the third Juve goal for Leonardo Bonucci, after Napoli had left-back Mario Rui sent off for a petulant kick at Paulo Dybala.

Juventus are aiming for an eighth Serie A title in a row and their impressive start has put the team well on track to achieve that feat.

However, Allegri was also quick to dismiss suggestions that his side would breeze past opponents, saying: "After this, we still have to play Inter, Milan, Roma and Fiorentina.

"We've got a six-point advantage (over Napoli), but it's a very long season. Also, Serie A is always tough."

For his Napoli counterpart Carlo Ancelotti, it is back to the drawing board.

"We played well for the first 20 minutes, then our opponents took control of the game," said the 59-year-old. "We need to continue improving. We will be competitive right until the end."

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 01, 2018, with the headline 'Juventus in 7th heaven with Ron's 'best' show'. Print Edition | Subscribe