Cristiano Ronaldo became the top scorer in the 2019-20 Serie A campaign with his double against Lazio, but he also put Juventus one step away from winning the club’s ninth consecutive league title. The Portuguese star netted a brace and carried Juventus to a huge 2-1 win over Lazio at Allianz Stadium on Monday. Ciro Immobile netted Lazio’s lone strike late in the second half, but that wasn’t enough to mount a comeback.
With the win, Juventus now sit in first place of the standings with an eight-point lead over Inter Milan and four matches left in the schedule. Putting things differently, Juventus now need two more wins in the final four games to become league champions. Again.
The first half didn’t generate many scoring chances on either hand. Ronaldo was active for Juventus, but the Portuguese star only accounted for one dangerous chance before the break. His shot, though, went slightly wide. The Old Lady had the best chance before the break in the 11th minute with a header from Alex Sandro following a cross from de Ligt. The Brazilian’s effort rattled the post when Thomas Strakosha was completely beaten, though.
Lazio had a few decent moments, mostly through Danilo Cataldi and Immobile. The Italy international generated his side’s best effort in the dying minutes of the first half, but his shot went straight into Wojciech Szczesny’s left post. The first half finished with a scoreless draw, but there would be more emotions after the break.
Ronaldo seals the deal for Juventus with second-half brace
Juventus only needed a few minutes to establish the difference in the second half. A shot from Paulo Dybala in the second half bounced off a defender, and the referee, Daniele Orsato, called for a penalty due to handball after consulting the play with the VAR. Ronaldo stepped up and didn’t miss, placing the ball into the right side of the goal despite Strakosha’s dive. The former Manchester United star needed just three minutes to double his tally, as he was at the end of a two-on-one counter-attacking sequence.
Ronaldo received a pass from Dybala to make it 2-0 in the 54th minute. It was Ronaldo’s 30th goal in the current Serie A season, a strike that left the Portuguese star all alone at the top of the scoring charts. More importantly, it allowed Juventus to create an eight-point separation with Inter Milan, who were coming off a draw against AS Roma on Sunday.
Lazio didn’t give up and ultimately found an equalizer when Immobile netted a penalty of his own in the dying minutes of the second half. It was Immobile’s 30th goal of the campaign, and he is now at the top of the scoring table alongside CR7. It will be a down-to-the-wire race to see which player ends up being the league’s top scorer.
The Rome-based side didn’t have more time to pull a comeback and were forced to settle with the 2-1 loss. It ended Lazio’s title chances, but it also boosted Juventus’ likelyhood of winning the Serie A for a ninth straight year. And once again, it all came thanks to Cristiano Ronaldo.
Juventus: Wojciech Szczesny; Juan Cuadrado, Matthijs de Ligt, Leonardo Bonucci, Alex Sandro; Aaron Ramsey (Blaise Matuidi, min. 57), Rodrigo Bentancur, Adrien Rabiot; Douglas Costa (Danilo, min. 57), Paulo Dybala (Daniele Rugani, min. 89), Cristiano Ronaldo
Lazio: Thomas Strakosha; Bastos, Luiz Felipe (Luca Falbo, min. 89), Francesco Acerbi; Manuel Lazzari (Raul Moro, min. 89), Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, Danilo Cataldi (Andre Anderson, min. 75), Marco Parolo, Djavan Anderson (Denis Vavro, min. 66); Felipe Caicedo (Bobby Adekanye, min. 66), Ciro Immobile
Goals: Cristiano Ronaldo (1-0, min. 51; 2-0, min. 54), Ciro Immobile (2-1, min. 83)
Referee: Daniele Orsato
Yellow Cards: Alex Sandro, Bonucci, Danilo (JUV); Djavan Anderson (LAZ)
Red Cards: None
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