Cristiano Ronaldo’s first-half double allowed Juventus to climb to second in the Serie A standings with a 2-0 win over Cagliari on Saturday.
After a relatively quiet international break for Ronaldo, with one goal in three games for Portugal, he scored in the 38th minute in Turin, finding the net for the fifth successive league match.
Four minutes later the 35-year-old forward brilliantly struck at the far post to double his side’s advantage, taking him to eight league goals for the season, from just four starts.
Ragnar Klavan thought he had got Cagliari back into the game in the second half but his header was ruled out for offside in the build-up.
Ronaldo turned provider on two occasions as Juventus looked to score again but poor finishing meant the hosts failed to add to their tally.
The win enabled Andrea Pirlo’s unbeaten side to close the gap to leaders AC Milan to one point, with Milan playing at Napoli on Sunday. Cagliari stayed 11th.
‘When you come back from the international break it is always difficult, but we returned with the right spirit from the first minute,’ Pirlo said.
‘We dominated the game well, we needed a game like this.’
Cagliari showed plenty of confidence in the early stages – and Juventus looked shaky after collecting just three wins from their last seven fixtures before the international break.
However, after recovering from COVID-19, then an ankle injury, before travelling to play for his country, Ronaldo looked sharper than all around him as he took charge.
The finish for his first goal was a trademark one, cutting inside twice before driving a low shot into the net, but the second was even better, adjusting as the ball was diverted behind him before flicking it home.
Elsewhere on Saturday, Atalanta were held to a 0-0 draw at Spezia and Lazio beat bottom side Crotone 2-0.
Dawid Malan could never have imagined he would play the starring role for England in a victory over South Africa when he made his first-class debut on this Boland Park ground 14 years ago.
Yet here was Malan, born in Roehampton but brought up on the Western Cape, showing again why he has become the top ranked short-form batsman in the world with a perfectly paced half century in a low scoring second Twenty20 international.
It was rarely pretty on the most turgid of Paarl pitches but Malan's 55 off 40 balls, his ninth score of 50 or more in 18 internationals, gave him the perfect return to his old home and clinched this series for England with a game to play.
And it emphasised that, in a white-ball team full of dynamic stroke-making talents, the 33-year-old is now a permanent fixture at three as England continue the build up to a Twenty20 World Cup next October he will certainly be part of.
Not that this second victory over South Africa was straight-forward. England, with Jason Roy's lack of runs at the top of the order becoming a serious issue, had to work hard to overtake the home side's modest 146 for six with just a single ball to spare.
They would not have made it had Malan not taken the attack to South Africa after his customary cautious start and accelerated just at the right time to strike Lungi Ngidi for 14 off three balls in the 18th over when England still needed 10 an over.
Even though Malan was then brilliantly caught on the long-off boundary trying to hit Ngidi for another six the job was all but done, captain Eoin Morgan ensuring there would be no late twist with an unbeaten 26 off 17 balls.
An unchanged England were still not at their best. And, while it may have been harsh on the desperately unlucky Mark Wood, the inclusion of Tom Curran was not the biggest surprise even though he was expensive in the first game.
England's priority on this tour is finding out about players more than results and Eoin Morgan wanted to see how the elder Curran, competing for one of just two or three places yet to be settled in the Twenty20 side, reacted to his most expensive short-form analysis.
The answer was not particularly well as Curran was once again England's most profligate bowler and was only spared going for more than 37 by South African mediocrity.
A home side still missing two players who returned positive Covid tests in David Miller and Andile Phehlukwayo and the injured Dwayne Pretorious seemed to have little ambition other than to see off Jofra Archer and Adil Rashid.
Trouble was, that left them with too much to do against the rest of England's attack while this desperately slow surface did not help South Africa's attempt to break out of the shackles England imposed on them.
Only Quinton de Kock, the one world-class batsman in the South African line-up, looked capable of testing England but once he gave Chris Jordan his 65th Twenty20 international wicket, equalling Stuart Broad's England record, there was no way back.
There are certainly no doubts over the places of Archer and Rashid and both were superb, Archer bowling Temba Bavuma with a 93 mile per hour ball and Rashid recording his 50th Twenty20 international wicket for England when he bowled Reeza Hendricks.
Any hopes England had of a convincing win when Roy, averaging just 18 in white-ball cricket since last year's World Cup triumph and with just one 50 in 13 innings, looked desperately out of touch before holing out off Ngidi for 14.
England also struggled against the left-arm wrist-spin of Tabraiz Shamsi, who took three cheap wickets, while the extreme pace of the returning Anrich Nortje, left out of the first match because of South Africa's transformation targets, unsettled Malan.
But after being struck on the shoulder and thigh in successive balls from Nortje, who touched 94 miles per hour, Malan survived his examination by pace to take England within sight of the finish line.
Roy still has plenty of credit in the bank and is a favourite of Morgan but, with so much competition for places, he will be under pressure to make a score in tomorrow's final Twenty20 back at Newlands or in the one-day series that follows.
Not least because most of his troubles are coming against spin – he could easily have fallen again in George Linde's opening over – and that next World Cup is now being staged in India where he will encounter plenty of pitches like this.
За прошедшие сутки в столице от коронавирусной инфекции вылечились еще 5947 человек. Об этом сообщает оперативный штаб по борьбе с заболеванием.
Всего с начала пандемии в Москве число вылечившихся от COVID-19 достигло 422 189 человек.
Ранее оперативный штаб передавал, что за прошедшие сутки от коронавируса в Москве скончались 75 пациентов. Всего жертвами заболевания стали 8530 человек. С начала пандемии в Москве выявили 566 417 (плюс 5 838 за сутки) заболевших COVID-19.
В Москве с 13 ноября действуют ограничения в связи с распространением коронавируса. Так, в столице запрещена работа общепита в ночное время (с 23:00 до 6:00), а также развлекательных заведений. Студентов и часть сотрудников предприятий перевели на дистанционных формат. Кроме того, в городе действует масочный режим в общественных местах и в транспорте.
«Сент-Этьен» сыграл вничью с «Лиллем» в матче 12-го тура французской Лиги 1.
Встреча проходила в Сент-Этьене и завершилась со счетом 1:1.
В составе «Сент-Этьена» забитым мячом отметился Вахби Хазри. В составе «Лилля» — Нанитамо Иконе.
Лига 1. 12-й тур «Сент-Этьен» — «Лилль» — 1:1 Голы: 1:0 — Хазри, 33; 1:1 — Иконе, 65.
Ранее «Наполи» обыграл римскую «Рому» на стадионе «Сан Паоло Диего Марадона».