Cristiano Ronaldo's gesture to Paulo Dybala in Sassuolo win could be vital for Juventus


Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 20th goal for Juventus as the unbeaten Italian champions moved 11 points clear of Napoli in Serie A.

The Bianconeri eased past Sassuolo with a 3-0 victory, with Germany international duo Sami Khedira and Emre Can also finding the net.

Juve have won 20 of their 23 league games and are romping to an eighth consecutive league title.

But the question around the Turin giants, and the reason they splashed big money to sign Ronaldo, now 34, from Real Madrid last summer, was their desire to win the Champions League.

Having reached two finals in the last four years, Juve are desperate for Europe’s premier club crown, and will face Atletico Madrid in the last 16.



Ronaldo scored again in the win over Sassuolo

Ronaldo continuing his red-hot form by netting in an ninth successive away league game bodes well for the remainder of the season.

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But there was another moment during the win which could prove just as important in the long run – his celebration.

After notching to make it 2-0, Ronaldo sought out Paulo Dybala on the bench and proceeded to perform the Argentine’s trademark ‘mask’ celebration.

And the duo also celebrated Emre Can’s third together, to further suggest that there is no problem with their relationship.



Ronaldo with Dybala’s trademark celebration


Ronaldo is joined by Miralem Pjanic

Since Ronaldo’s arrival, much has been made of his relationship with his fellow forward who admitted in an interview with Mirror Football in November that he has had to adapt his game.

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Dybala scored 22 times in Serie A last term, but has scored just twice in 20 appearances in the league this season.

He played just seven minutes on Sunday, and coach Max Allegri was again quizzed on whether the duo are compatible.



Dybala, Ronaldo and Emre Can celebrate

“Ronaldo and Dybala can certainly play together and they will do, but we need everyone to work hard in order to keep the team balanced.

“It all depends on who you are playing against. If the opponents are really clammed up, you need to pass around them. If they leave gaps, you pass between the lines. Sassuolo have a strong midfield, so I had to balance my team that way.

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“Different players have different characteristics. Dybala is playing the same role as he did last year and the year before.



Allegri has again had to answer questions about his star attackers

“It’s just having Ronaldo, who is more of a striker, we need someone to find the space. We still need bodies in the box.

“You can play Dybala and Ronaldo, it just depends on the situations. Ronaldo played with Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale.

“Everyone needs the right partner. Mario Mandzukic is very helpful for Dybala and for Ronaldo.”

While Dybala may have been going through a difficult time of late, it appears as though Ronaldo is well aware of how much Juve need him if they are to be victorious in Europe.

Ronaldo is particularly desperate to add another European Cup to his collection, amid his personal dispute with Florentino Perez.

Both he and the Real Madrid president currently have five Champions League successes to their name.

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