Andrea Pirlo defends under-fire Cristiano Ronaldo after yet another blank

Juventus manager Andrea Pirlo
Juventus manager Andrea Pirlo

Juventus manager Andrea Pirlo has defended under-fire Cristiano Ronaldo for his performance against Fiorentina in Serie A.

The two rivals played out a 1-1 draw on Sunday as Fiorentina created more chances than the reigning champions.

La Viola took the lead in the 29th minute through a penalty after Adrien Rabiot had handled the ball inside his own penalty box.

After a dull first half, Juventus sprang to life immediately in the second, and Alvaro Morata scored the equalizer through a wonderfully curled effort in the 46th minute.

The Bianconeri should have sealed a come-from-behind win late on, but Cristiano Ronaldo, who had a quiet game, failed to meet a wonderful cross by Dejan Kulusevski.

Andrea Pirlo says Cristiano Ronaldo did not do too badly

Cristiano Ronaldo was criticized for his miss late in the game, but Andrea Pirlo decided to focus on the team and explained that the Portuguese did not have a bad game.

“I don’t think Ronaldo did badly. He had a few chances and overall was not bad. It was the team that should’ve attacked the space more and we did see some of that in the second half, as Fiorentina had a high line,” Pirlo said.

Cristiano Ronaldo bore the brunt of the blame on social media after the game as Juventus fans were not pleased with his overall performance.

Despite failing to find the back of the net for a run of three games, Cristiano Ronaldo is still the top scorer in Serie A with 25 goals. He is four ahead of Romelu Lukaku, who is also stuck on 21 strikes.

The draw against Fiorentina means Juventus’ faint title hopes are all but over as they now need a spectacular drop-off by Inter Milan to catch them.

Finishing in the top four will be the main aim for Juventus, as they will not want to head into the summer without Champions League football.

With European qualification and the Coppa Italia still to play for, Pirlo and Juventus fans will hope Cristiano Ronaldo finds his goal-scoring touch soon.

Edited by Arjun Panchadar

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