Cristiano Ronaldo failed to score again as Juventus continued its perfect start to the season with a win over Parma. 

By Associated Press
September 01, 2018

ROME — Cristiano Ronaldo is still scoreless after three matches with Juventus.

Juventus, however, is doing just fine.

Mario Mandzukic scored one and set up another with a backheel pass as the Bianconeri won at promoted Parma 2-1 on Saturday to remain perfect.

With Portugal Prime Minister Antonio Costa in attendance at Parma's Stadio Ennio Tardini, the closest Ronaldo came to scoring was with a header off a corner that went just wide midway through the first half.

Ronaldo was also visibly upset when Mandzukic prevented the Portugal captain from connecting on a volley early on by getting there first—prompting an apology from Mandzukic.

''I'm happy with what he's doing and the international break will help him get in better condition—because the league really starts after the break,'' Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri said.

Ronaldo left Real Madrid in the offseason in a Serie A-record 112 million euro (then $132 million) transfer, but he is still figuring out how to score in a league known for its defensive qualities. The five-time Ballon d'Or winner also didn't score in Real Madrid's opening three Spanish league matches last season—although he did score in other competitions for Madrid during that spell.

Mandzukic put Juventus ahead two minutes in with an easy tap-in following a failed clearance but it wasn't straightforward for the visitors as Parma began to threaten consistently.

Parma's Leo Stulac struck a free kick off the crossbar and former Arsenal and Roma forward Gervinho equalized from close range after the half-hour mark.

Blaise Matuidi restored Juve's lead in the 58th, taking a delightful backheel assist from Mandzukic inside the area before blasting in from a sharp angle.

''I didn't expect (Mandzukic) in this form after the World Cup but he's in top condition,'' Allegri said of the Croatia international.

Napoli and S.P.A.L, which are also perfect, each play on Sunday. Napoli visits Sampdoria and S.P.A.L. visits Torino.

Ronaldo's next chance to break his drought won't come until after the international break, when Juventus hosts Sassuolo on Sept. 16.

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