Juventus 3-1 Roma: Ronaldo on target in Coppa Italia victory
Juventus beat Roma 3-1 in their Coppa Italia quarter-final after goals from Cristiano Ronaldo, Rodrigo Bentancur and Leonardo Bonucci.
Portugal forward Ronaldo opened the scoring at Allianz Stadium with his seventh goal in four matches for Juve in 2020.
Rodrigo Bentancur and Leonardo Bonucci then found the net to give the Bianconeri a three-goal advantage at half-time.
Roma pulled one back when Cengiz Under’s effort from the edge of the box hit the crossbar and rebounded into the net off veteran goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, but Juve comfortably advanced and will face Milan or Torino – who meet on January 28 – in the last four.
Juventus head coach Maurizio Sarri picked a strong starting line-up for the quarter-final clash and after a low-key start his side increased the tempo to seize control.
The 13-time Coppa Italia winners took the lead in the 26th minute with a goal that owed much to Ronaldo’s ability to finish from a tight angle.
Ronaldo escaped his marker on the left before cutting inside and guiding a low shot across goal past Roma keeper Pau Lopez.
Juventus added a second on the counter attack 12 minutes later when Bentancur, surrounded by six Roma players, squeezed an effort into the bottom-left corner from 12 yards.
Roma’s defence were culpable for Juve’s third on the stroke of half-time as the unmarked Bonucci calmly headed in at the back post after being picked out by Douglas Costa’s cross.
Gonzalo Higuain hit the woodwork in the 48th minute and Paulo Fonseca’s side reduced the deficit two minutes later. Under’s shot from just outside the box struck the underside of the bar and went in off Buffon’s hand.
However, Juventus stood firm in the closing stages to pick up a fifth straight victory in all competitions.
15 – After his goal in #CoppaItalia, #CristianoRonaldo has found the net in 15 of the 17 competitions played with Clubs (only exceptions are Community Shield and UEFA Cup). Assortment.#JuventusRoma pic.twitter.com/NIMrGmYwlv
— OptaPaolo (@OptaPaolo) January 22, 2020
What does it mean? Juve continue treble challenge
Juve’s streak of four consecutive Coppa Italia titles was ended in a 3-0 loss at the quarter-final stage last season by eventual runners-up Atalanta.
Against Roma there was a clear determination to secure a semi-final spot this time around and ensure their treble dreams remain on course.
Ronaldo remains relentless
A cup tie on a chilly Wednesday in Turin – you could forgive Ronaldo for taking it easy. Not a bit of it. The five-time Ballon d’Or winner turns 35 in February but remains as hungry as ever. His celebration after scoring was raw and passionate as he played the full 90 minutes.
One to forget for sloppy Smalling
It was not a game to remember for the on-loan Manchester United centre-back. Smalling failed to marshal a slipshod Roma defence and his positioning was poor in goals scored by Bentancur and Bonucci.