Rome (AFP)

Cristiano Ronaldo, target of criticism this week in Italy after the elimination of Juventus Turin in the Champions League, replied with three goals in half an hour against Cagliari (3-1), Sunday during the 27th day of Serie A .

With its star, Juventus (3rd) will defend to the end the title of Italian champion that it has held continuously since 2012, even if the delay remains imposing (ten points) with the leader, Inter Milan, victorious. of Torino (2-1).

In the last Italian stadium where he had never managed to score, CR7 did everything to the Sardinians in the first half: overpowered header from a corner (10th), penalty obtained and transformed (25th), crossed strike from the left with force (32nd).

The revenge and overmotivated Portuguese could however also have left the field with only one goal on the clock: author of a dangerous gesture, foot forward on the Sardinian goalkeeper Alessio Cragno, hit in the chin, he only received a yellow but came very close to direct red (14th).

With 23 goals (in 23 league games played), Ronaldo consolidates his first place in the scorers classification ahead of Belgian striker of Inter Milan Romelu Lukaku (19 goals).

Cagliari took advantage of a drop in Turin in the second half to be more dangerous and logically reduce the score by Giovanni Simeone (61st).

This "hat trick" is Ronaldo's third with the Bianconeri, whom he joined in 2018, after that against Cagliari, already in the league in January 2020 and that against Atlético Madrid in the Champions League in 2019.

Before the match, Juve's sporting director Fabio Paratici responded to rumors of CR7's departure desires after the new European disillusionment of the week.

"It's a privilege to have him with us, we keep him, he is part of the future" of Juve, he assured Sky Sport.

© 2021 AFP