Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo has marked his recovery from COVID-19 by scoring two goals upon his return in helping the Serie A giants defeat the newly promoted Spezia by 4-1 on Sunday.
Ronaldo missed a total of five games after he tested positive having coronavirus in mid-October before he tested negative and his return hugely paid off for Juventus as he scored in the 59th-minute and in the 76th-minute to seal the victory.
“I went back to doing what I like: playing football,” Ronaldo told reporters. “Cristiano is back, that’s what counts.”
“We had a good game, we should have been more clinical in the first half and finished off the match sooner,” Juventus coach Andrea Pirlo said.
“Then we did well when we came back out in the second half, with the desire to win the match, and Cristiano gave us a hand.”
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Juventus moved third, with four points below early leader AC Milan, which won 2-1 at Udinese thanks to a late winner from Zlatan Ibrahimović. Surprisingly, Sassuolo moved to within two points of Milan with a 2-0 victory over Napoli.
Morata had a goal ruled out for offside shortly after and Spezia drew level when Tommaso Pobega’s effort was deflected in.
Ronaldo entered the game tied at 1-1 replacing Paulo Dybala early in the second half, and had an immediate impact when he ran onto Morata’s through-ball, rounded the goalkeeper and scored into an empty net.
Alvaro Morata scored in the 14th minute for Juventus. Tommaso Pobega scored for Spezia in the 32nd minute.
Fellow substitute Adrien Rabiot extended Juve’s lead and the Bianconeri were awarded a penalty when Paolo Bartolomei tripped up Federico Chiesa.
Ronaldo had the last goal for the game with a penalty kick. Chiesa was brought down in the box by Spezia midfielder Paolo Bartolomei to set up Ronaldo’s attempt.
The Serie A giants are bound to face Ferencvaros on its Champions League fixture on Wednesday in Budapest, Hungary.