Ronaldo continues goal glut as Juventus stays top

Cristiano Ronaldo and Matthijs de Ligt condemned Fiorentina to defeat, with Juventus putting the setback at Napoli firmly behind them.

Cristiano Ronaldo scores from the spot   -  Getty Images

Cristiano Ronaldo slotted away two penalties and Matthijs de Ligt applied the finishing touch as Juventus beat Fiorentina 3-0 to confirm its status as front-runner for the Serie A title.

The vital double strike from Ronaldo took the Portuguese to 14 goals in his last nine league games and 19 in the Italian top flight overall this season, and crucially it ensured Juventus would remain clear at the summit of the table after this weekend's fixtures.

It also made Ronaldo the first Juventus player since David Trezeguet in 2005 to score in nine successive Serie A appearances. De Ligt's late header increased the misery for Fiorentina.

READ| Serie A: Cristiano Ronaldo matches Trezeguet feat

Victory allowed Maurizio Sarri's Juventus to put behind it the disappointment of the 2-1 defeat to Napoli last time out, while keeping Inter and Lazio at arm's length.

Ronaldo proved lethal from the spot in the 40th and 80th minutes, finding the same corner each time.

Gonzalo Higuain had an early shot charged down before Fiorentina's Federico Chiesa tested Wojciech Szczesny from 25 yards, and in a lively opening Miralem Pjanic had a penalty appeal refused after tumbling in the Fiorentina penalty area.

 

Fiorentina's Pol Lirola and Erick Pulgar were thwarted by Szczesny midway through the first half, while Juventus midfielder Rodrigo Bentancur saw a 30-yard swerving drive pushed away by Bartlomiej Dragowski.

Ronaldo wanted a penalty after going down in the box, but there looked to be no foul.

 

However, Juventus had the spot-kick it was looking for when Pjanic's 22-yard shot struck German Pezzella on the left arm just inside the box.

With the calm assurance of a penalty master, Ronaldo rolled the ball into the bottom left corner.

 

Juventus again wanted a penalty midway through the second half when De Ligt's header struck Patrick Cutrone, but this time there was nothing doing.

Once more though, just as in the first half, an infringement was around the corner.

Bentancur's weaving run was brought to an end just inside the box when Federico Ceccherini impeded the midfielder, and Ronaldo stroked the ball home, Dragowski diving the wrong way.

De Ligt nodded in the third in stoppage time from substitute Paulo Dybala's swerving set-piece delivery.

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