Cristiano Ronaldo, Juventus beat Inter Milan to keep Champions League hopes alive

Posted Sunday, May 16, 2021 by ESPN

Cristiano Ronaldo scored on the rebound after his spot-kick was saved and Juan Cuadrado added a double as Juventus kept their Champions League qualification hopes alive with a 3-2 win over Serie A champions Inter Milan on Saturday.

Despite spending most of the second half with 10 men, the result lifted Andrea Pirlo's side into fourth place with one game remaining, although Napoli will knock the Turin club back into fifth if they beat Fiorentina on Sunday.

"It was a difficult game against a great team like Inter. Even with a man down, we had to get the job done, make sacrifices, and I think that we got the result as a team," Cuadrado told Sky Italia.

Cristiano Ronaldo, Juventus beat Inter Milan to keep Champions League hopes alive
Cristiano Ronaldo and Juventus kept their hopes alive in securing a Champions League spot. Sportinfoto/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

Both sides were awarded first-half penalties in a game dominated by VAR decisions. Ronaldo's rebound put Juve ahead and Romelu Lukaku scored his penalty for Inter soon after.

Juve regained the lead on the brink of halftime through a deflected Cuadrado strike, but the hosts were reduced to 10 men early in the second half when Rodrigo Bentancur picked up a second yellow.

Inter drew level through a Giorgio Chiellini own goal and Cuadrado responded with the winning penalty on the 88th minute, but there was still time for Marcelo Brozovic to be sent off for the visitors for a second booking.

Ronaldo was replaced by Alvaro Morata in the 70th minute, the earliest substitution for the Portuguese star since Nov. 10, 2019 against AC Milan.

Inter ended Juve's nine-year stranglehold of the Serie A title with four games to spare and had the chance to land a huge blow to their rivals' top-four hopes.

"Winning was important to still have hope. We had an obligation to carry out our objective and we managed to win, despite some difficulties," Pirlo told Sky Italia.

"We would not be talking about a fight for fourth place if we had always had the same determination as in the last few games.

"But when you are playing for fourth place on the last day of the season it means that something is missing: we lost too many points, especially in games that were easier on paper."

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