Just when it looked as though Juventus would suffer its first loss of the young Serie A season on Sunday against rival Roma, Cristiano Ronaldo came to the rescue.
Twice Juve fell behind in Italy’s capital, and both times the Portuguese superstar pulled his team back on even terms — the second after Adrien Rabiot had been sent off, reducing Juve to 10 men — to salvage a 2-2 tie in the final match of Week 2.
Ronaldo’s first goal came from the penalty spot after Lorenzo Pellegrini blocked his attempted shot with an extended arm. The second, however, was a thing of beauty, as the 35-year-old appeared to hang in the air to guide Danilo’s cross past Roma keeper Antonio Mirante and into the bottom corner with the side of his head.
The strike was reminiscent of one he scored against Sampdoria last year. After that goal, it was determined that Ronaldo had leapt more than eight feet off the ground.
Both of Roma’s goals were scored by central midfielder Jordan Veretout. Veretout’s 31st-minute opener also came from the penalty spot; it was Rabiot handled the ball that time, resulting in his first of his two yellow cards.
American Weston McKennie started his second straight game for Juve since moving on loan from German club Schalke last month. With his team down 2-1 at the time, McKennie — who was a little slow to react on Veretout’s second goal — was substituted from the match by manager Andrea Pirlo around the hour mark.
Juventus, which is looking for its 10th straight Italian title this campaign, now sits fourth in the 20-team table. It takes on league-leading Napoli in Turin next Sunday.
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