Cristiano Ronaldo to undo European misery, starting a late Juventus title push against Cagliari

Following Bianconeri's shock Champions League exit, Ronaldo will aim to get the Turin outfit's league form back on track by beating Cagliari on Saturday

As another blow was dealt to their disillusioning season so far, Juventus failed to advance past the Champions League quarter-finals for a third consecutive season as the troubling times in Turin continued.

Despite pitching in with four crucial goals to secure his side's advancement from the group stage, Cristiano Ronaldo was unable to make the difference in either leg of their round of 16 clash with the champions of his home country, Porto.

With the two teams seeing out a 3-3 draw in normal time, proceedings advanced to extra-time where a thunderous free-kick from Ronaldo's compatriot, Sergio Oliveira sealed an emphatic away-goal victory for the 10 men of Porto.

In a week where Juventus club chairman, Andrea Agnelli pushed his proposed new format for the Champions League to include more clubs from Europe's top leagues, a cruel act of poetic justice saw Bianconeri eliminated by a Primeira Liga team, as Andrea Pirlo's perilous managerial campaign hit another bump in the road.

In a crucial fortnight for Ronaldo and his team, a much-anticipated Coppa Italia final clash with high-flying Atalanta awaits them as they look to complete a clean sweep of Italy's domestic cup competitions. Before this however, they must focus on reviving their league form.

Awaiting them next is a trip to Sardinia for a must-win game against relegation-threatened Cagliari at the Sardegna Arena as they continue to pursue the giants of the Italian capital, Inter and AC Milan at the summit of the Serie A.

Leonardo Simplici's side sit 17th in the league after a disappointing campaign thus far, just two points clear adrift of Torino having played two games more than Il Toro. As the danger zone continues to loom, a drastic turnaround is needed for the club to secure survival.

Ronaldo inspired a 2-0 victory against Cagliari in this season's reverse fixture in Turin, can he drag his side out of the gutter once more?

Let's take a look at some statistics from the fixture.

Tip of the fixture

With 20 league goals already this season - two ahead of free-scoring Romelu Lukaku in second - Ronaldo will be hungry to extend his tally further as Juventus aim to turn around a tricky season.

Paddy Power are offering odds of 3/1 for Ronaldo to score first and Juventus to win.

(Odds correct at time of writing, subject to change).

Stat attack

CR7 has a 75% win record against Rossoblu, winning three of his four games against them, with his only defeat coming in a 2-0 away fixture in Sardinia in the 2019/20 Serie A fixture.

With five goals and two assists against Simplici's side, the Portuguese talisman averages 1.75 goal contributions, with his game to goal rate averaging out at an impressive 1.25.

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In the two games Ronaldo has scored in while facing Cagliari, he has netted more than one goal on both occasions, notching a hat-trick last season and a brace between the previous encounter earlier in this campaign - more on those later.

Bianconeri have scored nine goals and conceded just three when Ronaldo has been on the pitch - Andrea Pirlo will be hoping for a continuation of this feat on Sunday.

Currently Juve hold 45 wins, 30 draws and just 15 losses against Cagliari since the first encounter between the two sides in September, 1964.

Ronaldo has never won a game at the Sardegna Arena, can he break this record and inspire a much-needed win for Juventus?

We've taken a look at his two best performances against them.

Memorable matches

Juventus 4-0 Cagliari

Serie A

January 6, 2020

In a near-perfect performance from Juve's illustrious number-seven, Ronaldo was involved in all four goals - scoring a second-half hat-trick and assisting Gonzalo Higuain to single-handedly thrash Cagliari in Turin.

The reigning champions started the first half strongly but despite all their efforts they weren't able to break the deadlock. Once Ronaldo capitalised on a Ragnar Klavan error to put the hosts ahead however, the floodgates opened.

Having doubled the lead from the penalty spot after Paolo Dybala was hacked down following a mazy run into the Cagliari box, the prolific Portuguese forward created two goals in as many minutes as the game headed towards its closing stages.

Switching from scorer to provider, Ronaldo raced into the Cagliari half to play an inch-perfect pass to Higuain, who cut in incisively to strike a low drilled shot into the bottom-right corner.

Just 60 seconds later and he'd completed his second hat-trick for the club and his first in Serie A, firing home a Douglas Costa pass with his weaker left foot, as his adoring team-mates and fans saluted another untouchable performance.

Juventus 2-0 Cagliari

Serie A

November 21, 2020

A quickfire first-half brace from Ronaldo propelled Juventus from eighth to within a point of league leaders, AC Milan following a routine victory in Turin.

CR7 opened the scoring with an unsavable finessed strike from his favoured right foot, leaving Cragno in no-man's land as he danced into the Cagliari box.

Just two minutes later and he'd doubled his tally for the evening and Juve's lead with a well-placed volley from an acute angle, after Rossoblu failed to deal with a dangerous inswinging corner.

After inspiring a fourth win of the season, Ronaldo extended Juventus' unbeaten Serie A run to eight consecutive games.

READ MORE: A detailed look at Jamie Vardy's record against Sheffield United

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