Football

Juventus 2 Lazio 1: Records tumble as Cristiano Ronaldo’s double sends Old Lady to brink of Serie A title


CRISTIANO RONALDO is breaking records quicker and slicker than ever before.

His match-winning double in three minutes for champs-elect Juventus made him the fastest man to 50 Serie A goals and the first to a half-century in each of the Italian top flight, LaLiga and Premier League.

Cristiano Ronaldo slots home a record-equalling 12th penalty of the Serie A season - bringing up an historic 50 top-flight goals in Italy

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Cristiano Ronaldo slots home a record-equalling 12th penalty of the Serie A season – bringing up an historic 50 top-flight goals in ItalyCredit: Getty Images – Getty
Two-goal Cristiano Ronaldo shattered more goal records to leave Juventus just four points off the title

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Two-goal Cristiano Ronaldo shattered more goal records to leave Juventus just four points off the titleCredit: Getty Images – Getty
Cristiano Ronaldo shares a joke with Ciro Immobile afterwards - but they are locked in a race to be Serie A top scorer this season

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Cristiano Ronaldo shares a joke with Ciro Immobile afterwards – but they are locked in a race to be Serie A top scorer this seasonCredit: Getty Images – Getty

But it’s not duel over yet – as Lazio’s Ciro Immobile replied with a penalty consolation that leaves the two frontmen tied on 30 goals in the race to win Italy’s version of the golden boot.

And this match, above all else, was a demonstration of how, at 35, Ronaldo has adjusted from effervescent free-roamer into a zonal forward, whose games is now more about timing and aerial threat than leaving opposition defenders chasing their tails as he whizzes down the lines.

Before all that, though, Juve left-back Alex Sandro hit a Lazio post before Immobile did the same to the home side with a long-range rasper.

Ronaldo then drilled home a penalty for Bastos’ handball, albeit off the fingertips of diving keeper Thomas Strakosha – giving him 50 goals in 61 Serie A matches.

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He promptly sidefooted his second into an empty net when impressive strike-partner Paulo Dybala broke free on 54 minutes and slotted unselfishly to the middle for his front-partner.

Ronaldo later thumped a header off the bar as he nodded close three times in all to underline how important judgement and positioning are to his game nowadays as the edge fades to his zippy pace.

And although Immobile tucked in a late penalty – after he himself was fouled by dozing defender Leonardo Bonucci – Ron was still the main man.

Yet in one sense Immobile and Ronaldo failed to to gain a spot of one-upmanship on each other.

They have both now converted 12 spot-kicks this term – equalling the record of Lazio’s Giuseppe Signori in 1995-96.

Meanwhile, this narrowly-deserved win, born of creating far more opportunities, leaves Juventus eight points clear of second-placed Inter Milan with four matches to play – surely certain of their ninth title in a row.

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