Soccer

Ronaldo held scoreless but Juventus wins in star striker's debut

Juventus fans witnessed an unusual sight on Saturday as Cristiano Ronaldo, making his Serie A debut, failed to score for their team in its come-from-behind 3-2 victory at Chievo Verona.

Italian club fights back to defeat Chievo Verona

Juventus' Cristiano Ronaldo was held scoreless in his club debut but his teammates stepped up in a 3-2 comeback win over Chievo Verona on Saturday. (Antonio Calanni/The Associated Press)

Cristiano Ronaldo had to rely on his teammates to make a winning start to his Juventus career.

For the thousands of fans who descended on the medieval city of Verona, this was one of the rare occasions when the five-time world player of the year couldn't score.

"Cristiano Ronaldo had a good game. He had several shots on goal. Today he didn't score because clearly it was written somewhere that he wouldn't score," said Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri with a smile.

Ronaldo had scored in both pre-season friendlies he played for Juventus since his surprise 112 million euro (then $131.5 million US) move from Real Madrid but could not find the back of the net on his competitive debut.

And it was up to Federico Bernardeschi to rescue Juventus, with a stoppage-time winner as the Bianconeri fought back from a goal down to beat Chievo Verona 3-2 and get their pursuit of an eighth straight league title off to a winning start.

Ronaldo looked dangerous

Ronaldo did not seem too perturbed at not scoring. The 33-year-old forward appeared relaxed after the match and, although he did not stop to speak to reporters, he responded with a smile and a thumbs-up gesture when asked how he felt his debut had gone.

Ronaldo should make his home debut next week against Lazio and there were encouraging signs for Juventus from this game.

He linked up well with Douglas Costa, notably in the 18th minute when Ronaldo's effort went just the wrong side of the left post.

Ronaldo also fired narrowly over from a tight angle on the half-hour, while he drew several smart saves from Chievo goalkeeper Stefano Sorrentino, who is still going strong at the age of 39.

The Portugal international almost scored the winner at 2-2, but Sorrentino got down quickly to beat away his angled free kick.

"[Ronaldo] moved well at times but he wasn't picked out by his teammates," Allegri said. "He's a different footballer, you can see that. He's integrated into the team with ease."

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