Cristiano Ronaldo hat-trick pushes Juventus atop Serie A

Getty Images

Cristiano Ronaldo may have sported a questionable look while walking into Allianz Stadium, but Juventus fans won’t care so long as he’s bagging hat-tricks.

The Portuguese superstar led the way as Juventus picked apart Cagliari 4-0 to go top of the Serie A table (for now).

He opened the scoring by capitalizing on a horrendous error by Cagliari’s back line. Former Liverpool defender Ragnar Klavan delivered a dangerous centering pass to his defensive partner Sebastian Walukiewicz, and left miserably short, Ronaldo pounced before rounding the goalkeeper and finishing from a tight angle.

Ronaldo’s second came from the penalty spot after Paulo Dybala was scythed down by Luca Cigarini, with Ronaldo stepping up and sending Robin Olsen the wrong way. Gonzalo Higuain, on for Dybala for the final 20 minutes, scored Juve’s third in the 81st minute, and Ronaldo answered that a minute later to complete his hat-trick. The final one was the simplest of the bunch, with Douglas Costa finding a wide open Ronaldo at the far post with a cross, left embarrassingly unmarked on the break by Paolo Farago. The trio of goals give him 13 on the season in 15 league matches.

The hat-trick – his first in Serie A play and second for Juventus – was a historic moment for two reasons. First, it made Ronaldo the first Portuguese-born player to score a hat-trick in Serie A. Second, it marked the second time a player has scored a hat-trick in the Spanish, English, and Italian top-flights, with Alexis Sanchez being the first earlier this season.

The three points for Juve pushed them atop the Serie A table, creating separation with Inter Milan who was level on points coming into the day. Inter takes on Napoli later today with a chance to pull back level.