Cristiano Ronaldo set up Mario Mandzukic for the winning goal as Juventus secured a spot in Champions League knockout stage with a 1-0 win over Valencia on Tuesday.
Ronaldo got away from his marker with some quick footwork before rolling the ball across for Mario Mandzukic to tap into the net in the 59th minute.
Juventus only needed a point to progress but the Bianconeri were keen to get back on track following a surprise home loss against Manchester United in the last round of group matches.
Ronaldo had scored his first Champions League goal for Juventus in that game and looked eager for more against Valencia, having been sent off against the Spanish team when the two sides met in September — in a match Juventus went on to win 2-0 despite its numerical disadvantage.
The Portugal star had two chances in the opening three minutes but sent one effort wide of the left post and the other straight at former Juventus goalkeeper Neto.
Ronaldo had another good chance midway through the first half following good interlinking play between Paulo Dybala and Alex Sandro but again fired wide.
Valencia was mainly camped out in its own half, defending in numbers, but had the best chance of the first half when Mouctar Diakhaby headed a corner toward goal only for Wojciech Szczesny to pull off a stunning save at point-blank range.
Juventus finally broke the deadlock in the 59th minute. Valencia defender Gabriel knew precisely what Ronaldo was about to do but was powerless to prevent him and let out a roar of frustration after the goal.
Valencia thought it had equalized immediately but Diakhaby used his hand to punch the ball into the back of the net and was instead shown a yellow card.
Juventus almost doubled its lead but Neto managed to fingertip Dybala’s effort over the bar.
Valencia’s hopes of qualifying ended when Marouane Fellaini scored in stoppage time to send Manchester United to a 1-0 win over Young Boys and secure second spot in Group H.
Source: The Associated Press