Juventus had to wait until the 81st minute for Cristiano Ronaldo to find the breakthrough against a spirited Frosinone.
Cristiano Ronaldo struck in the final 10 minutes to put Champions League heartache behind him and set up Juventus’ hard-earned 2-0 victory over Frosinone on Sunday.
Sent off against Valencia in midweek, the Portugal superstar gained a measure of redemption by sweeping home from close-range before substitute Federico Bernardeschi netted in stoppage time to maintain the champions’ perfect start in Serie A.
It had looked as though Ronaldo would endure a no less frustrating affair than on his return to Spain, as he failed to convert a succession of chances against the promoted hosts.
But a heavy deflection from Miralem Pjanic’s initial attempt dropped kindly for the 33-year-old to exorcise his demons and Bernardeschi was on hand to crown a well-constructed counter attack.
Reduced to tears on Wednesday, Ronaldo’s mood was hardly helped in a scoreless opening 45 minutes at Stadio Benito Stirpe.
Marco Capuano hooked his poacher’s effort off the line in the seventh minute and a second attempt soon after drew a sharp near-post save from Marco Sportiello.
Irritation turned to angst when he sliced over the bar just prior to the hour before Sportiello, on loan from Atalanta, added to Frosinone’s increasing hope of a famous result.
The goalkeeper bravely dived at Ronaldo’s feet to smother an inventive backheel in a sign of the hosts’ commitment to escaping with a point.
In the end, though, there was to be no denying Juve’s main man.
He finally broke the deadlock in the 81st minute and provided a key pass in the lead-up to Bernardeschi’s breakaway second, the substitute picking out the bottom corner to make safe Juve’s three-point buffer atop Serie A.