Two Ronaldo penalties seal Juve win over Fiorentina

Rome, Cristiano Ronaldo netted two penalties for Serie A leaders Juventus as a 3-0 home defeat of Fiorentina on Sunday kept them three points clear of Inter Milan.

The Nerazzurri won 2-0 at Udinese from Romelu Lukaku’s brace and stayed two points above Lazio, who hammered humble SPAL 5-1; the Romans have a game in hand to Verona on Wednesday.

Portugal ace Ronaldo has been on target for nine successive league games and tallied his 50th goal since joining the Bianconeri in 2018. With 19 goals he sits six behind league top scorer Ciro Immobile of Lazio, who also got a brace in Rome. Lukaku trails on 16.

Before the Turin game, Ronaldo received the award as best player for January from Serie A, who recognized Immobile for his performance in October, Deutsche press agency (dpa) reported.

Ronaldo converted on 40 and 80 minutes after video reviews showed the hand of La Viola captain German Pezzella block a drive from Miralem Pjanic and a Federico Ceccherini foul on Rodrigo Bentancur. Defender Matthijs de Ligt nodded in a corner kick in stoppage time.

“I am really happy about my first goal [at home] in Turin,” said de Ligt, a July signing from Ajax who in November struck in a 1-0 win at city rivals Torino.

“I think the goals that Cristiano scored were more important. I want to improve and keep going. We had to have a reaction after the Napoli game [losing 2-1 last weekend] and we did it.”

Lazio were four up at half-time as Felipe Caicedo also scored a brace, and had substitute Bobby Adekanye on target after the break, with Simone Missiroli pulling one back for tailenders SPAL.

After three straight 1-1 draws, Inter struggled for about one hour against the dynamic Udine hosts, but prevailed as Lukaku fired under the legs of a defender and converted a penalty after a foul on ex-Udinese striker Alexis Sanchez.

Atalanta were held 2-2 at home by third-last Genoa, who lost Valon Behrami when he received a late second booking. The Bergamo side sit above Roma on goal difference and fill the fourth available Champions League slot. The Rome Giallorossi lost 4-2 at Sassuolo on Saturday.

AC Milan had veteran star Zlatan Ibrahimovic out with the flu and struggled against 10-man guests Verona, failing to break a 1-1 deadlock from the first half despite the dismissal of Sofyan Amrabat in the 68th.

Another bad day befell Torino as they crashed 4-0 at Lecce, a week after a 7-0 home beating against Atalanta. Il Toro, now on a three-game losing run, are in 12th place, while Lecce moved three points clear of the three-team drop zone.

A weekend opener on Saturday saw Bologna beat Brescia 2-1 before Cagliari and Parma drew 2-2. Sampdoria and Napoli close matchday 22 on Monday.

Source: Bahrain News Agency