Ronaldo rescues a point as Juve slip at home to Sassuolo

Sassuolo's forward Jeremie Boga from Ivory Coast, top, fights for the ball with Juventus' Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo, center. (AFP)
Updated 01 December 2019

Ronaldo rescues a point as Juve slip at home to Sassuolo

  • We didn’t use our heads, laments Juventus boss Maurizio Sarri after the 2-2 draw

MILAN: Cristiano Ronaldo rescued a 2-2 draw for Juventus at home against Sassuolo on Sunday but the result left the way open for Inter Milan to take top spot in Serie A.

“We didn’t use our heads,” lamented Juventus boss Maurizio Sarri.

Leonardo Bonucci had scored early for the eight-time reigning Serie A champions but Jeremie Boga and Francesco Caputo hit back for Sassuolo before Ronaldo’s point-saving intervention from the spot in Turin.

Juventus have a two-point lead on top of Serie A but were overtaken by Inter Milan, who beat struggling SPAL  2-1, later on Sunday.

Sassuolo, in 12th, claimed their first-ever point at Juventus, and held Sarri’s unbeaten champions to their third draw of the season.

“We got into trouble on our own, we didn’t use our heads in the first half, as the goals conceded show,” said Sarri.

“Every time we lost the ball we left ourselves open. We had a first half without application and little energy from the character point of view.

“But we were coming off two games in which we used up a lot of energy against Atalanta and Atletico Madrid.

“The reaction came at the end and we could even have won it.”

Ronaldo started up front, having missed last weekend’s league game with a slight knee problem, as Paulo Dybala, who scored in their Champions League win over Atletico Madrid, started on the bench.

Eighteen-year-old Stefano Turati made an impressive debut in the Sassuolo goal, and pulled off a string of fine saves, denying Ronaldo, Gonzalo Higuain and Dybala late.

But Juventus counterpart Gianluigi Buffon had a nightmare. The 41-year-old, making just his fifth start this season, was at fault in Caputo’s goal just after the break.

Bonucci got Juventus off the mark with a long-range effort on 20 minutes.

Three minutes later Boga pounced on a Caputo cross and sent it past an out-rushing Buffon from an angle.

Caputo added a second following a mix-up between Juan Cuadrado and Matthijs De Ligt in the Juventus defense, with Buffon then fumbling the effort into the back of the net.

Turati got down low to deny Higuain after getting his hand to send a Ronaldo free kick over the bar. Ronaldo’s penalty pulled the hosts level on 68 minutes after Filippo Romagna fouled substitute Dybala.

It was the Portuguese star’s fifth Serie A goal this season.

“Ronaldo has regained stamina, the next step will be to recover brilliance, but the road is right,” insisted Sarri.

Sassuolo coach Roberto De Zerbi hailed “an important point” for his team.

“You need courage when playing here, otherwise you’re dead before kick-off,” said De Zerbi.

He also heaped praise on Turati for his solid performance.

“The lad is crazy completely. Yesterday I called him in the hotel and told him to enjoy it, that if he didn’t sleep it was normal, but not to have too many expectations, too much anxiety.”

Later, Inter host SPAL with third-placed Lazio at home against Udinese and city rivals Roma at Verona.


Tunisia’s Jabeur becomes first Arab woman to reach Slam quarters

Updated 26 January 2020

Tunisia’s Jabeur becomes first Arab woman to reach Slam quarters

  • Jabeur, the highest-ranked Arab woman in history, is the first Tunisian woman to win a main-draw match at the Australian Open

MELBOURNE: Unseeded Tunisian Ons Jabeur sent Chinese hope Wang Qiang crashing out of the Australian Open on Sunday to become the first Arab woman to reach a Grand Slam quarter-final.
Wang stunned Serena Williams in the third round but the 27th seed ran out of steam against the powerful Jabeur, who fought back from a break down in the first set to win 7-6 (7/4), 6-1.
Jabeur, the highest-ranked Arab woman in history — she reached a career-high 51 last year — is the first Tunisian woman to win a main-draw match at the Australian Open.
“I’m really shaking right now, it’s unbelievable, I can’t describe how I feel,” said the 25-year-old, who will play America’s Sofia Kenin in the last eight.
“Last time Kenin won against me so maybe it’ll be my revenge,” added Jabeur, who lost to Kenin last year in Hobart and retired against her in Mallorca.