Friday, April 3, 2020 04:03:08 AM
AFP, Rome :
Cristiano Ronaldo scored for a record-equalling 11th consecutive Serie A game in his 1,000th professional match as Juventus extended their league lead on Saturday with a 2-1 win over basement club SPAL.
The 35-year-old tapped in six minutes before the break to equal the mark held by Gabriel Batistuta and Fabio Quagliarella.
The five-time Ballon d'Or winner has scored 25 goals in all competitions this season for Juventus, including 16 in his current run of 11 matches.
Aaron Ramsey added a second after an hour, before Andrea Petagna pulled one back from the spot for SPAL, amid controversy as the penalty was awarded following a VAR review despite the pitchside monitor not working.
It got Juventus back to winning ways away from home after consecutive defeats against Napoli and Hellas Verona, and ahead of next week's trip to French club Lyon in the Champions League last 16, first leg.
Maurizio Sarri's side opened up a four-point lead on second-placed Lazio who travel to Genoa on Sunday.
Inter Milan are six points behind the champions before their game at home against Sampdoria.
"These were very difficult matches and in the last few years we had never won here," said Sarri. "The test was to collect the three points, then from tomorrow morning we will study Lyon thoroughly.
"The goal is the championship. The Champions League is a dream, even if in life it is always nice to achieve dreams."
Ronaldo had an early goal ruled offside but made no mistake when running onto Juan Cuadrado's low cross after Ramsey's ball forward.
The Portuguese forward drew level with Sampdoria forward Quagliarella, who in January 2019 equalled the mark previously achieved by Batistuta in 1994-1995 for Fiorentina.
Both Italian Quagliarella and Argentine Batistuta went on to finish the seasons as the Serie A top scorer after their feat, with both scoring 26 goals in total.
Ronaldo has 21 goals in Serie A this season, five behind leading scorer Ciro Immobile.
Ramsey doubled Juve's lead on the hour mark, latching onto Paulo Dybala's pass to produce a scooped lob over SPAL goalkeeper Etrit Berisha for his second league goal of the season.
Petagna pulled one back with a penalty awarded for a Daniele Rugani foul on Simone Missiroli after 68 minutes, a decision made by VAR officials with referee unable to check the faulty monitor.
"Today we had goals scored using VAR when VAR wasn't working," said Sarri.
"It seems to me a great injustice - if the monitor does not work, the referee must decide.
"I understand that the regulation allows this and (referee Federico) La Penna explained it to me, but I don't agree with it."
Ronaldo missed a chace for a second when his free-kick hit the crossbar, but Sarri's side earned a valuable three points against an outfit they had failed to beat away from home in the previous two seasons.
Juventus captain Giorgio Chiellini made his first start since being sidelined with a cruciate ligament knee injury last August, playing for 55 minutes in Ferrara.
"We're taking it slowly, seeing how he reacts," added Sarri.
"He can't play three games in six days that's for sure."
AC Milan missed the chance to move ahead of sixth-placed Napoli into the Europa League places with a 1-1 draw at 10-man Fiorentina, to stay behind the southerners on goal difference.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic had a goal ruled out in the first half for a handball with Milan also losing goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma to a foot injury seven minutes after the break with Asmir Begovic making his debut.
Ante Rebic scored his sixth goal in as many league games in the 56th minute to give Milan the lead.
Fiorentina's Dalbert was sent off for a foul on Ibrahimovic, leaving the hosts a man down for the final half an hour.
But Erick Pulgar grabbed a point for 13th-placed Fiorentina from the spot with five minutes to go for an Alessio Romagnoli foul on Patrick Cutrone.
WHEN the poor people need cash and food support under the shutdown some wealthy people are misusing the occasion to demonstrate their charity otherwise. Some public leaders are using the plight of the poor to make their own fortune. They are giving less of the government given rice to the ...
The Women's European Championships - set to be held in England in 2021 - will be moved to the summer of 2022.The tournament was expected to be shifted after the men's European Championship and the Tokyo Olympics were both postponed until 2021 because of the global coronavirus pandemic.Three European teams ...
The public response in donating to charity to help feed deprived children after an appeal by Marcus Rashford has impressed the Manchester United forward.The 22-year-old England international teamed up with FareShare, a food distribution charity, after schools in the Manchester area were closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.Donations as of ...
Women players suing US Soccer say in court documents filed Tuesday that the federation has acknowledged the jobs of men and women footballers require equal skill.The language seemed to signal a decrease in tension between the parties after language in documents filed by federation lawyers earlier in March provoked widespread ...
BBC Online :Former Marseille president Pape Diouf has died aged 68 after contracting coronavirus, the club have announced.The Senegalese was president between 2005 and 2009 when Marseille finished second in Ligue 1 twice and reached two French Cup finals.They went on to win a first French league title in 18 ...
THE government is going to launch a special open market sale (OMS) of coarse rice at Tk 10 per kg in all city corporation areas to ensure food for the urban poor amid the countrywide public holiday for coronavirus. The shutdown is being enforced as part of the efforts to ...
AS the coronavirus gains a foothold in the country, the increasing vulnerability of millions of orphaned and destitute children remains largely unaddressed. There are around 4,400,000 orphaned children in Bangladesh. However, the government's department of social services knows of around 2, 00,000 kids who live in 85 government-run children's homes ...
AP, Paris :Karim Benzema made an unflattering comment about fellow forward Olivier Giroud, comparing himself to a Formula One car and his former France teammate to a go-kart.Benzema has nearly 250 goals for Real Madrid and won four Champions League titles. He was holding a live chat session on his ...
LANS :Lancashire Cricket Club chairman David Hodgkiss has died after contracting coronavirus. He was 71.Hodgkiss, who had been on the board at Emirate Old Trafford for 22 years, is understood to have had underlying health issues, reports ESPNcricinfo. He had first joined in 1998 and took over as chairman in ...