Clubs, Cristiano Ronaldo, Italian Serie A, Juventus, Story

Cristiano Ronaldo scored with a powerful first-time strike to help guide Juventus past Udinese at the Stadio Friuli.

Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri believes his side played “one of our best matches” of the season as they secured a 2-0 win at Udinese on Saturday.

Rodrigo Bentancur and Cristiano Ronaldo scored as the Bianconeri opened a nine-point lead in Serie A ahead of second-placed Napoli’s game on Sunday.

Ronaldo returned after his suspension for the Champions League game in midweek to score in his first game since police in Las Vegas announced this week they were reopening a rape case from 2009 following a woman’s complaint.

He celebrated his goal in his usual leaping fashion but was not available for comment after the game.

Allegri after the game reiterated his statement from Friday that Ronaldo is “serene” on the pitch but otherwise wouldn’t otherwise speculate on the state of the star player’s mind amid the rape accusation.

“Ronaldo had a good game,” Allegri said. “He’s been training serenely and tonight he scored an extraordinary goal.”

Asked how Ronaldo is dealing with the fallout from the allegation, which has also seen multiple sponsors express concern, Allegri stuck to what he could see from Ronaldo while he’s playing and training.

“Off the pitch, I don’t know, because I don’t live with him at home,” Allegri said. “I see him on the pitch and he’s serene. He trains, he plays and he scores goals — that’s the most important thing.”

On the game itself, Allegri was delighted with his team’s performance. 

“From a technical point of view, this was one of our best matches, creating a lot and giving away very little,” Allegri said.

“It’s the first time this season we have gone two matches without conceding a goal and that’s positive. Today, we passed the ball around very well [and] faster.”

Juventus are still unbeaten in all competitions this season, and Allegri applauded his team for avoiding complacency in a “risky fixture” away from home.

“We worked hard to ensure we got off to a strong start this season. It was a difficult game, I think we played perhaps our best of the season, allowing Udinese practically nothing,” Allegri told Sky Sport Italia.

“It could’ve been at risky fixture, but we showed great maturity and determination. The lads know what we are working on, at times we have been a little complacent after taking the lead, but we didn’t do that today.”

Information from The Associated Press and Reuters was used in this report.

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