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HT: Ronaldo breaks down Parma

Cristiano Ronaldo’s deflected strike – his seventh Serie A game in a row on target – has given Juventus the half-time lead over Parma, with two forced substitutions already.

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Inter drew 1-1 at Lecce this afternoon, so Juve had the chance to go four points clear at the top of the table. Rodrigo Bentancur was still suspended, with Merih Demiral, Giorgio Chiellini, Mattia De Sciglio and Sami Khedira injured. Cristiano Ronaldo missed the midweek Coppa Italia win over Udinese with sinusitis, but returned to partner Paulo Dybala. Parma had the chance to go into sixth place, but Gervinho, Alberto Grassi and Yann Karamoh didn’t make the trip.

This was a special game for Dejan Kulusevski, who signed for Juventus this month from Atalanta, but remains on loan at Parma for the rest of the season.

Juve were forced into an early change, as Alex Sandro went off with an injury to make way for Danilo, shifting Juan Cuadrado over to left-back.

Ronaldo tested Luigi Sepe with a fierce shot at the near post, then nodded over from the resulting corner.

Roberto Inglese was unlucky, as he fell heavily on to his back after a mid-air collision with Matthijs de Ligt and had to be practically carried off the pitch.

While Andreas Cornelius was preparing to come on, Juventus opened the scoring. Ronaldo had been trying this move all night, cut inside from the left and shoot with the right foot, but this time it took a big deflection off Matteo Darmian to wrong-foot Sepe at the near post. This represented the seventh consecutive Serie A game on target for CR7.

It should’ve been 2-0 in first half stoppages, but Aaron Ramsey only clipped the upright from 12 yards after a good Ronaldo run.

Juventus 1-0 Parma (Half-Time)

Ronaldo 43 (J)

Juventus:Szczesny; Cuadrado, Bonucci, De Ligt, Alex Sandro (Danilo 21); Rabiot, Pjanic, Matuidi; Ramsey; Dybala, Ronaldo

Parma:Sepe; Darmian, Iacoponi, Bruno Alves, Gagliolo; Scozzarella, Hernani, Kurtic; Kucka, Inglese (Cornelius 44), Kulusevski

Ref:Di Bello

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