Football

Ronaldo sends Juventus to the top

Account opening: Merih Demiral, centre, celebrates scoring his first goal for Juventus.

Account opening: Merih Demiral, centre, celebrates scoring his first goal for Juventus.   | Photo Credit: ANDREAS SOLARO

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He extended his goal-scoring streak to six league games

Cristiano Ronaldo stretched his goal-scoring streak to six consecutive league games as Juventus took top spot in Serie A on Sunday with a 2-1 win at Roma, whose defeat was made worse by the cruciate ligament injury of rising star Nicolo Zaniolo.

Juventus moves two points ahead of Inter Milan, which was held 1-1 by Atalanta at the San Siro on Saturday, to move top after going two goals up in just 10 minutes in Rome.

Turkish defender Merih Demiral found a way through after three minutes when he connected with a Paulo Dybala free-kick.

Minutes later Argentine Dybala was hauled down in the box, and Ronaldo stepped up to convert from the spot to make it nine goals in six league games.

Casualties

Both sides had casualties in the first half with Demiral limping off with a knee injury not long after scoring his first Juventus goal, and replaced by Matthijs de Ligt.

And 20-year-old Zaniolo was stretchered off in tears eight minutes before the break after falling victim what Roma later confirmed was a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee as he tried to pass between de Ligt and Adrien Rabiot.

Zaniolo was a rare bright points for Roma in a torrid first half, will undergo surgery on Monday.

Roma had its chances with Edin Dzeko hitting the post and Wojciech Szczesny denying Cengiz Under from point-blank range, and Diego Perotti pulled a goal back for the host from the penalty spot on 68 minutes after an Alex Sandro handball.

However the capital side fell to its second straight home defeat to drop to fifth, outside the Champions League places, level on 35 points with fourth-placed Atalanta and seven behind Lazio.

Berenguer scores

Earlier Alejandro Berenguer struck the only goal as Torino beat Bologna to climb to seventh.

Spaniard Berenguer finished off a cross from captain Andrea Belotti on 11 minutes as Torino moves two points off sixth-placed Cagliari, which is in the last Europa League place.

Hellas Verona is two points behind Torino in eighth after snatching a 2-1 win over Genoa in a game which was delayed for 15 minutes in order to redo the uneven lines of the two penalty areas.

A pitch inspection at Verona’s Stadio Bentegodi before the the home side’s win —which also left Genoa in the relegation zone —found that the lines marking the penalty box were visibly not straight.

Sampdoria moves five points clear of the drop zone with veteran striker Fabio Quagliarella scoring a brace in its thumping 5-1 win over Brescia.

The results:

Serie A: Hellas Verona 2 (Verre 55-pen, Zaccagni 65) bt Genoa 1 (Sanabria 41); Roma 1 (Perotti 68-pen) lost to Juventus 2 (Demiral 3, Ronaldo 10-pen).

Torino 1 (Berenguer 11) bt Bologna 0; Sampdoria 5 (Linetty 34, Jankto 45+3, Quagliarella 69-pen, 90+2, Caprari 77) bt Brescia 1 (Chancellor 12); Fiorentina 1 (Pezzela 82) bt SPAL 0.

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2020 10:39:56 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/football/ronaldo-sends-juventus-to-the-top/article30560602.ece

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