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Cristiano has been Cristiano when it matters: Chiellini on Ronaldo's 'decisive' heroics in Atalanta draw

ANALYST
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2.35K   //    27 Dec 2018, 21:35 IST

ACF Fiorentina v Juventus - Serie A
ACF Fiorentina v Juventus - Serie A

What's the story?

Juventus skipper Giorgio Chiellini has heaped praise on his teammate Cristiano Ronaldo for consistently showing up when the team needed him the most this season.

In case you didn't know...

The Bianconeri side went head-to-head with Atalanta in a Serie A game that almost saw the table-toppers lose for the first time in the league this season.

Manager Massimiliano Allegri had initially decided on giving his star recruit a rest for the first time since his famous move to the Old Lady as the club wanted the former Real Madrid man to be "in his best shape in March" when the UEFA Champions League journey gets more challenging.

The five-time Ballon d'Or winner had played through all 17 games since arriving from Real Madrid over the summer and started the game against Atalanta on the bench.

After Juventus went 2-1 down to their opponents and Rodrigo Bentancur received a red card, Allegri decided to overturn his decision to rest Ronaldo and brought him on in the 65th minute.

The change saw the Portuguese netting a crucial equalizer that would go on to save the Bianconeri's unbeaten Serie A season.

The heart of the matter

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Ronaldo's teammate Chiellini has now acknowledged that when the team needs Ronaldo, he frequently shows up to save them.

Speaking to Sky Sport Italia, the Juventus star said, "This year there have been three moments in which we were in difficulty and behind in the game - the matches against Napoli, Empoli, and Atalanta."

"It is no coincidence that in these three games, Cristiano has been Cristiano."

"Ronaldo is a decisive player, we knew it: in the fundamental moments he manages to bring out that extra something he has inside."

"He was given a rest because you cannot always be at the top when you play so many games, but you can be decisive when playing 20 and he has shown that."

What's next?

After the draw, Juventus will look to extend their unbeaten run when they face Sampdoria on Saturday.

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