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Cristiano Ronaldo Scores as Juventus Beat Roma 3-1 in Coppa Italia Quarter-Final

Gill Clark@@gillclarkyFeatured Columnist IIJanuary 22, 2020

Juventus' Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after opening the scoring during the Italian Cup (Coppa Italia) round of 8 football match Juventus vs AS Roma on January 22, 2020 at the Juventus stadium in Turin. (Photo by Marco BERTORELLO / AFP) (Photo by MARCO BERTORELLO/AFP via Getty Images)
MARCO BERTORELLO/Getty Images

Cristiano Ronaldo continued his fine goalscoring form as Juventus cruised past Roma 3-1 in the quarter-finals of the Coppa Italia on Wednesday.

The Portugal international fired the hosts in front on 26 minutes, while Rodrigo Bentancur squeezed home the hosts' second seven minutes before half-time.

Juventus added a third before the break when Leonardo Bonucci stooped to head Douglas Costa's cross past goalkeeper Pau Lopez.

Roma pulled one back at the start of the second half but it proved to be only a consolation for the visitors.

Cengiz Under curled a shot from outside the penalty area that hit the underside of the crossbar, bounced down and went in after hitting goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon.

Maurizio Sarri made several changes to his team, bringing in Buffon, Daniele Rugani, Bentancur and Douglas Costa. Roma were without a host of players due to injury and started with Nikola Kalinic in attack in place of the suspended Edin Dzeko:

Goal shared the two teams:

Goal @goal

Cristiano Ronaldo is fit to start for Juventus 💪 Nikola Kalinic replaces the suspended Edin Dzeko for Roma 🔄 Here are the teams for tonight's Coppa Italia quarter-final 👇 https://t.co/405kMumTm9

Roma started the game confidently and managed to push Juventus back, but they were undone when Ronaldo broke the deadlock.

Gonzalo Higuain played the ball out to Ronaldo on the left, and he sprinted towards goal before rifling a shot across goalkeeper Pau Lopez and into the far corner:

B/R Football @brfootball

7 goals in 4 games in 2020. Ronaldo goes up a level when the season starts to heat up 🔥 https://t.co/fME41NzVAe

Juventus improved after the goal and added two more before half-time. The second arrived from the lively Bentancur after good work from Costa. The Uruguayan was played into the penalty area by Costa, went past Gianluca Mancini and scuffed a finish that sneaked just inside the post.

Italian football writer Adam Digby praised Bentancur for his performance:

Adam Digby @Adz77

Bentancur deserves that goal, he’s been superb tonight, probably Juve’s best player in the first half. Looked like he enjoyed it too! #JuveRoma

Costa then forced Lopez into a save with a stinging shot after Bryan Cristante had gifted the Brazilian the ball, and Sarri's side looked a threat every time they attacked.

Bonucci added a third in stoppage time at the end of the first half. Costa floated a cross towards the back post for the centre-back to direct a firm header past Lopez.

Italian football writer Carlo Garganese was not too impressed with the defending on show:

Carlo Garganese @carlogarganese

Florenzi’s defending on Ronaldo’ goal again illustrates a big concern for Italy for Euro 2020. Florenzi is not a RB, Di Lorenzo is having a nightmare atm, De Sciglio is always injured. The left back options are not much better. The only full back I like is Spinazzola #JUVROM

The second half started in lively fashion with chances at both ends. Roma ought to have pulled one back but saw Lorenzo Pellegrini denied by Buffon, while Kalinic hit the post on the follow-up.

Juventus then raced down the other end of the pitch, with Ronaldo crossing for Higuain to direct a header on to the crossbar.

Roma came back at Juventus again and finally scored after a great effort from Under. The forward's curling shot beat Buffon but hit the crossbar, bounced down and went in off the goalkeeper.

The chances continued to flow in an entertaining second half. Buffon denied Alessandro Florenzi with a fine save, while Lopez had to be alert to block an effort from Higuain after a good cross from Juan Cuadrado. 

Ronaldo came close to a second on 83 minutes with a shot that flew inches wide of the post, and Buffon was needed again in stoppage time to deny Aleksandar Kolarov with a brilliant diving save.

  

What's Next?

Both teams return to Serie A action on Sunday. Juventus are at Napoli, while Roma face a derby clash with Lazio at the Stadio Olimpico.

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