Cristiano Ronaldo At Center Of VAR Controversy In Serie A Debut

The Cristiano Ronaldo Juventus debut ended with the expected three points — eventually.

The Bianconeri scored early, went behind in the second half and then needed a wild ending to see off Chievo 3-2 on Saturday in the opening match of Serie A.

Ronaldo made his debut for the Old Lady and was at the center of some late controversy before Federico Bernardeschi scored a stoppage time winner. 

VAR and goal-line technology were both used in the closing minutes of the 90 with the match even at 2-2.

On the play in question, Ronaldo rose for a header but mistimed his jump and missed, with the ball deflecting off him toward the middle of the 18-yard box. There, Mario Mandzukic headed it toward goal, only for the ball to be cleared away as it crossed the line.

Chievo goalkeeper Stefano Sorrentino was left in a heap and had to be taken off with a head injury. While the medical staff was dealing with what looked like a severe injury, the Serie A referees had to go to two forms of technology to determine what just happened.

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Goal-line technology showed the ball had crossed the line for a goal. 

But the referees decided to award a free kick to Chievo for a hand ball on Ronaldo, who also may have fouled Sorrentino, who collided violently with Ronaldo’s thick thigh. 

Nonetheless, Juventus found a late winner, with Bernardeschi coming through in the 93rd minute. 

Ronaldo had a number of chances to score in his Juventus debut, but was denied repeatedly by Sorrentino.

Ronaldo finished with eight shots (four on target), 30 passes, two chances created, 90 percent pass accuracy, three aerials won and 57 total touches. The former Real Madrid and Manchester United star didn't score but will take the three points in a tough day for both teams.

The match couldn’t have started much better for Juventus. Sami Khedira shook off a bad World Cup with Germany to open the scoring within three minutes. 

But Chievo didn’t back down, showing no fear against the seven-time champion. Mariusz Stepinski pulled level in the 38th minute and Emanuele Giaccherini drew and converted a penalty in the 56th minute. For a while, it appeared the Old Lady would go down in defeat in the opener. 

The Bianconeri found an equalizer from a Mattia Bani own goal off a corner kick in the 75th minute, setting the stage for the wild finish.

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