TURIN — Cristiano Ronaldo was on target as Juventus earned a 2-0 victory over AS Roma on Saturday to leapfrog their opponents and move into third place in the Serie A standings.
A day after turning 36, Ronaldo scored his first goal in four league games to give Juventus the lead in the 13th minute, drilling into the bottom corner with his left foot.
Ronaldo then thought he had scored another with his right, but saw his powerful effort come down off the underside of the crossbar, bounce down on the line and away from goal.
Roma did at least put some pressure on the hosts in the second half, but they could not create that killer chance, with an own goal from Roger Ibanez in the 69th minute sealing the win for Andrea Pirlo’s side.
A sixth win in a row in all competitions moved Juve above Roma on to 42 points, two clear of their opponents and five behind leaders Inter Milan.
Before his double in Juve’s 2-1 win at Inter in the Coppa Italia semi-final first leg on Tuesday, three games without a league goal represented something of a drought for Ronaldo, by his high standards.
The Portuguese had not gone four league games without scoring since 2017 when he was at Real Madrid, but the barren run was ended with a fine finish from the edge of the box.
Roma threatened on plenty of occasions in the match, having 14 shots at goal compared to the home side’s three, but they did not seriously test Juve goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny.
Ronaldo was ready to pounce to put the game to bed before Ibanez got there first, poking Dejan Kulusevski’s squared pass into his own net.
Elsewhere in Serie A on Saturday, Torino came from 3-0 down to draw 3-3 in a thriller at Atalanta.
When Luis Muriel scored his 12th league goal of the season after just 21 minutes to put his side 3-0 up, seventh-placed Atalanta looked to be on course for a comfortable win. However, goals from Andrea Belotti and Bremer got the visitors back in it before halftime.
It appeared the comeback would not be completed, however, as Torino struggled to find an equaliser, until substitute Federico Bonazzoli popped up with an 84th-minute leveller to snatch a point.
In another surprise result, struggling Spezia shocked Sassuolo with a 2-1 away win secured by an Emmanuel Gyasi winner in the 78th minute.
Reporting by Peter Hall; Editing by Christian Radnedge; Reuters