No dream debut goal for Cristiano Ronaldo in Juventus' season-opening win

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Ronaldo couldn't get the dream debut goal.

Cristiano Ronaldo made his long-awaited debut for Juventus on Saturday night in a thrilling 3-2 win for the Serie A champions.

Astonishingly, the Portuguese star was not one of the scorers, though he produced a decent display nonetheless. His presence lifted Juve in his first competitive outing since his shock summer transfer from Real Madrid, and he looked like the perfect spearhead for his side’s fearsome attacking trio of the Portuguese, Paulo Dybala and Douglas Costa.

Here’s a closer look at his performance.

KEY STATS

Goals – 0

Assists – 0

Shots – 8

Shots on target – 4

Passing Accuracy – 90%

Key Passes – 2

Dribbles – 0

30-SECOND REPORT

Ronaldo missed an early chance, driving forward and shooting wide in a position where he so often scores, and that was a summary of his night in front of goal as he saw most of his efforts either saved or blocked by a valiant Chievo rearguard. However, the 33-year-old was a menace whenever he drifted onto the wings.

He was also involved in the game’s biggest talking point, a Mario Mandzukic goal that was overturned by VAR for a Ronaldo handball.

GOT RIGHT

Crossing – After Mandzukic came on, Ronaldo took up a familiar left-wing berth and showed off an underrated aspect of his game. His delivery from that flank was constantly threatening, as he fizzed in three or four brilliant crosses.

Link-up play

Ronaldo’s instant understanding with Costa and Dybala was encouraging to see, especially knowing that their interplay can only improve. His running gave the duo the time and space to create chances, and he was quick to find them with crisp passes as well.

GOT WRONG

Finishing – Ronaldo had a rare off night in front of goal, as he lost his duel with Chievo goalkeeper Stefano Sorrentino. He will feel he should have scored, as he sent one header straight at Sorrentino and put an early chance wide.

Equally, the keeper can take credit for denying Ronaldo his dream debut goal, pulling off one stunning save and making a couple of others to keep the striker out. Ronaldo will have to wait for his first goal in the famous black and white.

It was that sort of night for Ronaldo in front of goal.

It was that sort of night for Ronaldo in front of goal.

VERDICT

Other than a goal, Ronaldo gave everything he could to this game, showing the threat he can still pose as a winger and always looking a threat.

He looked instantly at ease with his new teammates, and even despite the lack of a goal, he showed enough to suggest he’s ready to take Italy by storm, just as he’s done everywhere else he’s played.

RATING – 7/10

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Cristiano Ronaldo makes the starting line up for his Juventus debut

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Juventus' new No7: Cristiano Ronaldo.

It’s the game Juventus fans have been waiting for.

Not only is it the first competitive game for the Old Lady and the opening fixture of the Serie A, but it also marks the official debut of their £99.2 million summer signing, Cristiano Ronaldo.

The Portuguese has been named in the starting XI away to Chievo Verona.

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Brazil great Pele wishes Cristiano Ronaldo luck ahead of his Juventus

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Brazil great Pele has wished good luck to Cristiano Ronaldo ahead of his Juventus debut against Chievo on Saturday evening.

Ronaldo made the switch to the Serie A champions after nine record-breaking years with Real Madrid in a deal worth £99.2 million during the summer transfer window.

The Portugal international is set to start for the Old Lady at the Stadio Marc’Antonio Bentegodi, where Massimiliano Allegri’s side will start their assault on an eighth successive league title.

Pele, who spent 18 years at Santos in Brazil before finishing his career at New York Cosmos, took to Twitter to recall on the time he rejected Juventus during his playing days.

The 77-year-old’s tweet, accompanied with a picture of himself playing for Santos, read: “Good luck, Cristiano, for your first game with @juventusfc. In ’61, Fiat’s owner offered to buy me but these are the only stripes for Pele!”

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