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Juventus close on ninth straight title as Cristiano Ronaldo double defeats Lazio

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Juventus are on the verge of sealing their ninth successive Serie A title after Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice to earn a 2-1 win over Lazio at the Allianz Stadium.

After a goalless first half, Ronaldo won a penalty in the 51st minute when his shot struck the Lazio defender Bastos on the elbow. The referee initially awarded a free kick but pointed to the spot after a long VAR review. Ronaldo’s effort squirmed in under Thomas Strakosha’s hand to put the hosts in front.

Just three minutes later, the Portuguese forward got his second. Luiz Felipe lost the ball to Paulo Dybala who burst forward on the break and generously laid the ball off for Ronaldo to score into an empty net. It was his 30th goal of the season, allowing him to overtake Lazio’s Ciro Immobile as the league’s top scorer.

Simone Inzaghi’s visitors were expected to challenge Juve for the title as the season resumed, but a dismal run of form has seen them fall to fourth in the table. Ronaldo almost made it three but his header came back off the crossbar, and Lazio found a way back into the game with seven minutes to go.

Ronaldo talks to Ciro Immobile after the game. Both players have scored 30 goals this season.



Ronaldo talks to Ciro Immobile after the game. Both players have scored 30 goals this season. Photograph: Marco Bertorello/AFP/Getty Images

Leonardo Bonucci brought down Immobile in the area, after the forward had pounced on a mix-up between the defender and the Juve keeper Wojciech Szczesny. Immobile converted the penalty himself to join Ronaldo on 30 goals and Lazio pushed for an unlikely equaliser. Szczesny redeemed himself by palming away a Sergej Milinkovic-Savic free kick that was heading for the top corner.

A first win in four league games for Maurizio Sarri’s side leaves them eight points clear of second-placed Internazionale, who were held to a 2-2 draw at Roma on Sunday. Lazio are three points off Inter and two behind third-placed Atalanta.

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