Ronaldo draws another blank as Juventus beats Lazio 2-0

TURIN, Italy (AP) — Two games, zero goals. Cristiano Ronaldo is finding life in Serie A harder than he might have expected.

The Portugal forward again drew a blank as Juventus beat Lazio 2-0 on Saturday thanks to goals from Miralem Pjanic and Mario Mandzukic.

Ronaldo left Real Madrid in the offseason in a Serie A record 112 million euro (then $131.5 million) deal, but has yet to fully adapt to Italian football after also failing to score on his debut last week as Juventus won 3-2 at Chievo Verona.

The fans were anxious for Ronaldo to find the target on his home debut on Saturday, and there was an air of nervous expectation around the Allianz Stadium.

He was largely anonymous in the first half and had only one touch in the opposition box. The closest he came to scoring was when his hand appeared to brush Federico Bernardeschi’s attempt, which was palmed away by Thomas Strakosha.

Pjanic gave Juventus the lead, shortly after Sami Khedira had hit the post, with a 20-meter volley into the bottom corner on the half hour.

The 33-year-old Ronaldo did better in the second half. He almost laid on a second goal with a series of stepovers on the left of the penalty area before putting in a cross that Mandzukic somehow ballooned over.

Excitement grew to a crescendo when Juventus was awarded a free kick just outside the area, but Ronaldo sent his effort into the Lazio wall.

He was getting closer, though, as he sent a header narrowly wide and then fired a dipping 20-meter shot which Strakosha did well to fingertip over the crossbar.

Ronaldo seemed certain to score in the 75th minute. Joao Cancelo rolled the ball across to his compatriot but Strakosha did just enough to stop him from tapping the ball in from four meters.

Instead, it ricocheted off Ronaldo’s feet and fell to Mandzukic to stroke the ball into an empty net.

Ronaldo thrust his hands up in the air and gave a wry smile at his misfortune.

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