Ronaldo penalty double sends Juventus six-points clear
Juventus' Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo works around Fiorentina's Spanish defender Pol Lirola during the Italian Serie A match between Juventus an Fiorentina at the Juventus Allianz stadium in Turin. AFP
Cristiano Ronaldo stretched his scoring streak to nine consecutive league games with a penalty double on Sunday as Juventus bounced back from last weekend's defeat to Napoli with a 3-0 win over Fiorentina.
The Portuguese striker slotted in both his goals from the spot in either half in Turin with Dutch defender Matthijs de Ligt heading in a third in injury time. Maurizio Sarri's side open up a six-point lead on top of the Serie A table on second-placed Inter Milan, who travel to lowly Udinese later on Sunday.
Juventus had fallen to just their second defeat of the season last weekend at Sarri's former club Napoli, despite Ronaldo scoring. Fiorentina, in 14th position, have had a resurgence in form since Giuseppe Iachini took over on December 24, and had been unbeaten in the league this year.
They tested Juventus goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny early with the Pole getting his hand to deny Federicio Chiesa's back-heel kick and a Pol Lirola effort. Fellow Pole Bartłomiej Dragowski denied Rodrigo Bentancur at the other end before a VAR viewing confirmed Fiorentina's German Pezzella had handled the ball in the area.
Five-time Ballon d'Or winner Ronaldo made no mistake, slotting in five minutes before the break. His second came ten minutes from time after Federico Ceccherini brought down Rodrigo Bentancur. Ronaldo made it 14 goals in nine games to bring his tally to 19 this season, including seven penalties.
The former Real Madrid player has now scored 50 goals in 70 games since moving to Juventus in 2018. The 34-year-old also becomes the first Juventus player to achieve a run of goals in nine consecutive league games since David Trezeguet in December 2005.
De Ligt nodded in a Paulo Dybala cross after 91 minutes to hand Iachini his first league defeat with the Tuscany side. Third-placed Lazio will try to close the gap on Juventus against struggling SPAL later on Sunday.
Roma's fourth position however is now at risk after losing 4-2 to Sassuolo on Saturday. Atalanta are just a point behind in fifth before they play relegation-candidates Genoa looking to move into the final Champions League berth.