ROME, Feb. 22 (Xinhua) -- Juventus beat Crotone 3-0 at home in Serie A on Monday, with Cristiano Ronaldo bagging a brace.
An injury crisis was taking its toll on the Bianconeri, who hosted bottom side Crotone without Paulo Dybala, Giorgio Chiellini, Leonardo Bonucci, Juan Cuadrado and Arthur, with Adrien Rabiot also sitting the game out due to suspension.
Juve dominated the game from the beginning and finally broke the deadlock in the 37th minute as Alex Sandro's floated cross found Ronaldo to head in from a point-blank range.
Ronaldo doubled the lead before the interval. Although his missile out of the box was saved by goalkeeper Alex Cordaz, Aaron Ramsey followed to roll across from the left, and the Portuguese hung in the air for an age for another bullet header.
Ronaldo was close to completing a hat-trick, but he missed the target with a slide-in.
Crotone had more possession in the opening stages of the second half, but was still toothless to test Gianluigi Buffon, while Weston McKennie added a third with a left-footed volley in the 65th minute to seal the win.
With a game in hand, Juve now sits third on 45 points, four points behind second-placed AC Milan and is still eight adrift of leaders Inter Milan.