The Old Lady were made to work hard by their opponent, but a pair of goals from the Portuguese star ensured the champions claimed an ‘important’ win
Cristiano Ronaldo acknowledged the importance of Juventus winning against Parma after seeing Serie A title rivals Inter draw at Lecce earlier on Sunday.
Ronaldo scored both goals in a 2-1 home win for the Bianconeri, who moved four points clear of Inter after Antonio Conte’s men were held 1-1 earlier in the day.
Talismanic forward Ronaldo was in typically inspirational form, but he valued the victory above his personal heroics.
“The important thing was to win tonight,” the striker told Sky Sport Italia. “Lazio won, Inter drew, and we could not afford not to take advantage of this important opportunity.
“It was a difficult game, because Parma are an excellent team who caused us some difficulties.
“I’m happy to have helped the team with two goals, but the important thing is always the three points at the end.
“They created more chances in the second half – we were nervous at the end – but we managed to get a key result.”
Juve had the best chance in the early stages with Alex Sandro heading just over from an early corner, but the left-back had to be replaced by Danilo after 21 minutes as the away side struggled to get into their stride.
Ronaldo worked room for a shot on the right-hand side of the area, drawing a good save from Luigi Sepe that prompted another corner from which the Juve number seven wastefully missed the target.
The former Real Madrid superstar continued to provide the Bianconeri’s chief threat and forged the breakthrough two minutes before half-time, cutting inside from the left to shoot hard and low, his effort taking a deflection that wrongfooted Sepe and nestled in the net.
Aaron Ramsey drilled agonisingly wide before the break, while only a superb one-handed Sepe stop denied Danilo from 20 yards following the restart.
It was a Parma substitute who scored the next goal, however, Andreas Cornelius – on for Roberto Inglese moments after the opener – rising above Ronaldo from a right-wing corner to nod in a towering header.
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But Ronaldo’s response was ruthless, meeting Paulo Dybala’s cutback with a clinical first-time finish just three minutes later to clinch the points.
He might have completed his hat-trick in the closing minutes, but Sepe blocked a strike from the right before a header from the consequent corner looped over, and a curled strike from the left drifted wide.
Juve face Napoli away in their next Serie A match but must first take on Roma in another tricky fixture in the Coppa Italia quarter-finals.