Serie A

Serie A Top Five, Round 18: First Serie A hat-trick for Ronaldo

He is joined in the rankings by team-mate Miralem Pjanic, while Josip Ilicic was magnificent for Atalanta.

 
9:00am on Tuesday 7th January 2020
By
Martin Macdonald
Cristiano Ronaldo
F (C), W (L) - Juventus - 34 yrs
MAN OF THE MATCH
90'
10
Jan 6, 2020

Cristiano Ronaldo finally claimed his first hat-trick in Italian football as he scored three in Juventus' comfortable 4-0 win over Cagliari. He was at his devastating best on Monday afternoon, taking advantage of an awful pass from the defender to pounce on possession on the edge of the box before dancing around the keeper to smash home. The second was much more simple as he confidently dispatched a penalty into the bottom right corner. To earn his hat-trick, he received a pass to feet to the left of the box from Douglas Costa before taking one touch to set himself up before lashing a left-footed strike into the bottom left corner.

Josip Iličić
S, AM (C) - Atalanta - 31 yrs
MAN OF THE MATCH
84'
9.6
Jan 6, 2020

Josip Ilicic has been one of the best players in Serie A this season, and his form continued into 2020 as he helped Atalanta to a 5-0 drubbing of Parma, with him contributing two of the goals. As far as two-goal hauls go in the one game you will be struggling to find a better pair than this. For his first, he holds his position at the back post to receive a lofted cross from Robin Gosens before catching the ball out of the air with a perfect, skewered volley into the top left corner, His second wasn't shabby either, as he cleverly dribbled into the penalty area for a feigned shot to send the defender the wrong way, which allowed to pass int the corner.

Andrea Belotti
S (C) - Torino - 26 yrs
MAN OF THE MATCH
90'
9.2
Jan 5, 2020

Torino got their year off to a flyer on Sunday with a cracking 2-0 away victory versus Roma, with Andrea Belotti proving the differences between the sides with a goal scored in either half. The first came in first-half injury time after he latched on to a through pass from Tomas Rincon. From there, he faced down the Roma defence before lashing a spectacular left-footed strike high into the top left corner, catching goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu out at the front post. With the Giallorossi searching for an equaliser, the Italy international then took the game beyond them with his second goal, which was struck from the penalty spot. He was a handful all game for Roma, winning half his duels, the majority of his aerial duels, as well as making four ball recoveries.

Emil Audero
GK - Sampdoria - 22 yrs
MAN OF THE MATCH
90'
9.2
Jan 6, 2020

No matter the result between Sampdoria and Milan, the overshadowing narrative would always be the return to Italian football of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who recently signed a short-term deal with the Rossoneri. However, on the pitch Milan were abject again and although Emil Audero impressively made stops, they were ones you would expect him too for the most part. The best aspect of his game was quickly he got up from saves to either claw back possession or be positioned well for another block.

Miralem Pjanić
M, DM (C) - Juventus - 29 yrs
90'
8.8
Jan 6, 2020

No assists or no goals for Miralem Pjanic this week but his more creative play came in deeper areas, as he completed 117 passes to team-mates which was, by some distance, the largest tally of anyone in this round of Serie A fixtures. These passes also contributed to have him having more touches of the ball overall in the league. He truly dominated this game in central areas, winning 8/11 duels and the majority of his tackles, while also making an impressive nine ball recoveries.

HONOURABLE MENTION

While Belotti will take most of the headlines from the Roma game, Torino keeper Salvatore Sirigu (8.7) was instrumental in the clean sheet gained, making seven saves to rush out the Giallorossi.

ROUND TO FORGET

Giuseppe Pezzella (4.6) was fairly hapless for Parma as they were overran by Torino. He made just one tackle the entire game, lost all of his duels, and gave away possession no less than 15 times.

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