Cristiano Ronaldo came off the bench to score a brace on his return from coronavirus as Juventus got back to winning ways in Serie A with a 4-1 victory against promoted Spezia on Sunday.
The champions ended a run of three consecutive draws to move third in Serie A, four points behind leaders AC Milan, who beat Udinese 2-1 earlier in the day thanks to a spectacular late winner from Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Sassuolo overtook Juventus to reclaim second spot, two points behind Milan, after a 2-0 win over Napoli, their first ever success at the Stadio San Paolo.
Ronaldo replaced Paulo Dybala in the 56th minute in Cesena with the match level after Tommaso Pobega had cancelled out Alvaro Morata’s opener for Juventus.
Adrien Rabiot grabbed a third on 68 minutes, with Ronaldo scoring a second from the penalty spot with 15 minutes to go for his fifth goal in three league games this season.
“Cristiano is back. This is the important thing,” said Ronaldo, who had been furious at missing Juventus’ Champions League 2-0 defeat in midweek by Lionel Messi’s Barcelona.
“I was stopped for a long time even though I had no symptoms and felt good. Today I got back to doing what I like, playing football.
In Naples, a Manuel Locatelli penalty just before the hour mark and a late Maxime Lopez goal gave Sassuolo a first win over Napoli in five years.
“We could have done more. We were lacklustre and frantic,” said coach Gennaro Gattuso as fifth-placed Napoli missed the chance to move second.
Roma are seventh after a 2-0 win at home against Fiorentina with Leonardo Spinazzola and Pedro Rodriguez scoring in either half.
City rivals Lazio fought back to beat struggling Torino 4-3 despite trailing four minutes into injury time in Turin.
Lazio were 3-2 down before Ciro Immobile, returning from a Covid scare, converted a penalty, with Felipe Caicedo tapping in the winner three minutes later to floor Torino who sit second bottom and are without a win this season.
Sampdoria and Genoa settled for a point in a 1-1 derby stalemate.