Ronaldo’s rocket powers Juve to important win
Cristiano Ronaldo scored with a long-range rocket on a night when each Juventus goal was more spectacular than the other, in a 3-1 win at relegation-threatened Genoa.
Chasing a record-extending ninth straight Serie A title, the victory restored Juventus’ four-point lead over Lazio, which won 2-1 at Torino earlier yesterday.
Since losing the Italian Cup final to Napoli in a penalty shootout, Juventus have won all three of their league matches in the restart.
Paulo Dybala opened the scoring shortly after the break by evading three defenders before firing in a low shot that Genoa goalkeeper Mattia Perin, who is on loan from Juventus, could only get a weak hand on.
Seven minutes later it was Ronaldo’s turn. The five-time Ballon d’Or winner gathered a pass near midfield, charged toward the goal and unleashed a blistering effort from 22 yards into the top corner past the outstretched Perin.
It was Ronaldo’s first goal in open play of the restart, after converting penalties in his previous two matches, and it raised his total to 24 in 25 Serie A matches this season.
Not to be outdone, substitute Douglas Costa made it 3-0 by curling in a shot from beyond the area inside the far post, as Genoa’s defence looked on helplessly.
Andrea Pinamonti then pulled one back for Genoa from a tight angle.
Meanwhile, three days after coming back to beat Fiorentina 2-1, Lazio did it again to beat Torino by the same score.
Ciro Immobile and Marco Parolo scored second-half goals to cancel out an early penalty from Andrea Bellotti.
A handball from Immobile led to Bellotti’s penalty and means the striker will miss Saturday’s game against AC Milan with a suspension.
But Immobile made up for his error with an expert finish shortly after the break to raise his total to 29 goals in 29 games -on pace to break Gonzalo Higuain’s Serie A record of 36 goals in 2015-16. Immobile also matched his personal best for a Serie A season set two years ago. Parolo scored the winner with a deflected shot from just beyond the area.