Cristiano Ronaldo scored again as Serie A leaders Juventus came from behind to beat struggling Empoli and maintain their unbeaten start to the season on Saturday, reports Reuters.
Ronaldo scored twice, the first a penalty and the second a booming long-range shot, to give Juventus a 2-1 win at Empoli after their lowly Serie A opponents took a shock first-half lead.
The £99m summer signing then scored a sensational 25-yard effort into the top corner to win the game.
Empoli, who have not won since the opening day, went ahead when Francesco Caputo fired home from 16 yards.
Promoted Empoli, with one win all season and 18th in the 20-team table, stunned the visitors with a Francesco Caputo goal — the first time Juve had trailed at halftime this season.
But the champions turned the match around after the break as Ronaldo took his league tally to seven and left his side top with 28 points out of a possible 30, seven clear of second-placed Napoli who play on Sunday.
Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri described Ronaldo’s winner, which dipped wickedly past goalkeeper Ivan Provedel, as “a moment of magic from an extraordinary player.
Juve defender Giorgio Chiellini, who was named in the starting lineup, suffered a problem in the warm-up and was replaced by Daniele Rugani.
Empoli played some enterprising football which belied their lowly position and took a shock lead in the 28th minute.
Afriyie Acquah ran half the length of the pitch and his pass was deflected by Juve’s Rodrigo Bentancur into the path of Caputo, who curled his shot past Wojciech Szczesny.
Miralem Pjanic fired against the post as Juventus came roaring back in the second half and it was no surprise when they equalised in the 54th minute.
Empoli’s Ismael Bennacer lost possession to Paulo Dybala in the box, both went to ground, the referee awarded a penalty amid protests and Ronaldo fired a low spot kick past Provedel.
Sixteen minutes later, the Portuguese forward collected a pass outside the area and fired a dipping, swerving shot past the Empoli keeper from 25 metres.
Allegri admitted that, Ronaldo’s goal apart, it was not the most eye-catching of displays from his team, who have won 12 and drawn one of their 13 matches this season in all competitions.
Empoli coach Aurelio Andreazzoli declined to comment on the penalty after his team again failed to get the reward their approach deserved.
Juve had a penalty when Ismael Bennacer shoved over Juve captain Paulo Dybala, with Ronaldo converting.
Empoli – last season’s Serie B champions – played well, but Juve’s quality and grit showed as they pulled off a third comeback win of the Serie A season.
They are now seven points clear at the top after nine wins and one draw in 10 games, although most other teams still have to play their league games this weekend.
Juventus have been champions for the past seven years – now, with 28 points from 10 games, this their joint best start to a Serie A season, along with 2012-13.
Ronaldo has now scored seven goals in 12 games for the club, including four in his last three Serie A matches.
Cristiano Ronaldo from Juventus is in action against Empoli at Stadio Carlo Castellani, Empoli on Saturday.