Cristiano Ronaldo Scores Juventus' 5000th Serie A Goal, Bianconeri Beat Torino

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistDecember 15, 2018

Juventus' Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo (R) celebrates with Juventus' Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini after opening the scoring with a penalty kick during the Italian Serie A football match Torino vs Juventus on December 15, 2018 at the Olympic stadium in Turin. (Photo by Marco BERTORELLO / AFP)        (Photo credit should read MARCO BERTORELLO/AFP/Getty Images)
MARCO BERTORELLO/Getty Images

Juventus added another win to their Serie A tally with a 1-0 victory over local rivals Torino in the Derby della Mole on Saturday. Cristiano Ronaldo converted a penalty for the only goal of the match, netting the Old Lady's 5000th goal in Serie A.

Torino gave their rivals a tough battle but came undone when Simone Zaza all but gifted his former club a penalty with a poor backpass. Substitute goalkeeper Salvador Ichazo brought down Mario Mandzukic, and Ronaldo didn't fail from the spot.

As shared by OptaPaolo, Ronaldo's goal was a historic one for Juventus:

The Bianconeri are still unbeaten after 16 Serie A matches, steaming toward an eighth consecutive title.

                 

Ronaldo's Lackluster Showings Highlight Need for Rest

Juventus struggled immensely against their local rivals, and Ronaldo wasn't the only issue for the Bianconeri, but it's impossible to ignore that he had another poor outing.

After struggling against Young Boys in midweek, the 33-year-old again looked off the pace for large stretches of the match.

He fired a volley right at Salvatore Sirigu in the first half, and his most memorable contribution was a free-kick that went out for a throw-in. Miralem Pjanic, one of the top free-kick takers on the world, really should be taking the bulk of the set pieces.

He did get on the score sheet after the break, converting a penalty and setting a Juventus milestone:

Ronaldo's tremendous physical shape is no secret, but the former Real Madrid man is playing far too many minutes for Juventus. Manager Massimiliano Allegri has to pace him better.

He's already made it clear that he plans to do so in the coming weeks:

That rest has to go beyond skipping the occasional match, however. Ronaldo was brought in to deliver the Champions League, and he should be spending much more time on the bench now, ensuring he's at his best later this season.

Juventus' lead in Serie A is already substantial. Youngster Moise Kean could use the increase in playing time to aid in his development, and the Bianconeri can afford to rest Ronaldo more often in 2019.

   

Perin Must Get More Run in Goal

On the other side of the spectrum, goalkeeper Mattia Perin should see an increase in minutes. Bought from Genoa in the summer, the 26-year-old has started just three Serie A matches so far, keeping a clean sheet in all of them.

Wojciech Szczesny is the top choice for Juventus and the Pole has mostly been excellent, but Allegri has made a habit of rotating his goalkeepers in the last few seasons and should do the same in 2018-19.

It's clear he has confidence in Perin―he wouldn't have given him the start in the crucial derby otherwise―and the athletic stopper did nothing to damage that faith. He made several excellent saves, including a crucial stop on Andrea Belotti.

Szczesny has the edge in experience, but Perin has the potential to surpass the former Arsenal man and even push Gianluigi Donnarumma for the top spot with the national team.

Juventus should reward his fine form and patience with more opportunities in the coming weeks.

              

What's Next?

Juventus host Roma on Saturday, while Torino visit Sassuolo.

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