Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice in his first game in over two weeks — a hiatus caused by positive COVID-19 tests — to lead Juventus to a 4-1 win over Spezia in Cesena, Italy.
Ronaldo missed five games after he tested positive for COVID-19 in mid-October before he tested negative and made his return on Sunday for the Italian Serie A match. He scored in the 59th minute and in the 76th minute of the victory.
“I went back to doing what I like: playing football,” Ronaldo told reporters. “Cristiano is back, that’s what counts.”
Ronaldo entered the game in the 56th minute as a substitute for striker Paulo Dybala. The game was tied at 1-1 at the time of his entry. Alvaro Morata scored in the 14th minute for Juventus. Tommaso Pobega scored for Spezia in the 32nd minute.
Morata spotted Ronaldo running through the middle of the field less than three minutes after he entered the game. The Juventus striker split several defenders with a pass ahead into the box for Ronaldo. Ronaldo then tapped the ball around Spezia goalkeeper Ivan Provedel before he smacked a shot into the net for a 2-1 lead in the 59th minute.
Juventus midfielder Federico Chiesa then assisted a third score in the 67th minute. Chiesa chipped a long pass into the box for Adrien Rabiot to start that sequence. Rabiot brought the ball down before he dribbled to his right and finished with a shot just inside the near post.
Ronaldo netted the game’s final score with a penalty kick. Chiesa was brought down in the box by Spezia midfielder Paolo Bartolomei to set up Ronaldo’s attempt.
Ronaldo ran up to the penalty spot and chipped a soft shot over Provedel and into the net for the final goal.
Juventus battles Ferencvaros in Champions League play at 3 p.m. EST on Wednesday in Budapest, Hungary.