Cristiano Ronaldo was relieved after scoring his first Juventus goal from a free-kick in Saturday’s 4-1 win over Torino.
The Portuguese icon takes most of his side’s free-kicks when he’s available to play, but Ronaldo had failed on 42 attempts before picking out Salvatore Sirigu’s top corner in the Derby della Mole.
“I needed to score from a free-kick to get my confidence back,” Ronaldo said post-match, according to Reuters.
Juventus head coach Maurizio Sarri was surprised to learn how much the free-kick drought was bothering his star player. Ronaldo developed a reputation for his potency from dead-ball situations at Manchester United and Real Madrid, but he was struggling to hit the target since his transfer to Juventus in July 2018.
“I honestly didn’t think it was (a problem) but at the end of the match, he came to me and said ‘finally,'” Sarri said.
Torino’s Andrea Belotti netted a penalty moments before the interval to half Juventus’ advantage, but Sarri’s team was undeterred. Ronaldo’s curling effort and a Koffi Djidji own goal secured a comfortable victory that plumped up Juve’s cushion atop Serie A to seven points.
The club’s advantage wasn’t in danger thanks to AC Milan’s 3-0 defeat of second-place Lazio later in the day.