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Juventus claim ninth title in a row as Ronaldo sets up win over Sampdoria


Juventus have won the Serie A title for the ninth successive season after goals from Cristiano Ronaldo and Federico Bernardeschi earned a 2-0 win at home to Sampdoria.

Ronaldo opened the scoring on the stroke of half-time from a clever free-kick routine, firing into the bottom corner from Miralem Pjanic’s ball across the area. It was a welcome breakthrough for Juve, who had struggled to get going against stubborn opponents.

Samp had plenty of chances to spoil the hosts’ party, with Wojciech Szczesny saving Fabio Quagliarella’s tame shot in the first half. Lorenzo Tonelli and Gaston Ramirez failed to make the most of headed chances, and they were punished by Juventus midway through the second half.

Ronaldo’s shot was spilled by Emil Audero, allowing Bernardeschi to scramble the ball home. The winger’s first goal of the season gave Maurizio Sarri’s side breathing space, with Szczesny producing a point-blank save to turn away Quagliarella’s header. Claudio Ranieri’s Samp kept pushing, even after midfielder Morten Thorsby was sent off for collecting two yellow cards.

Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates his opening goal just before half-time.



Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates his opening goal just before half-time. Photograph: Alessandro Di Marco/EPA

Maurizio Sarri’s side held firm though, earning their manager his first ever league title. Ronaldo had a late chance to score his 32nd league goal of the season, but blasted his penalty off the crossbar. He stays three behind Ciro Immobile, who hit a hat-trick as Lazio won 5-1 away at Verona.

The Italian is now level with Robert Lewandowski across Europe’s major leagues, and has two games to surpass Gonzalo Higuaín’s single-season record tally of 36. Joaquin Correa and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic were also on target for the visitors.

Elsewhere, Lecce fell 2-0 down inside five minutes at Bologna but rallied back to 2-2, only for Musa Barrow to score a last-gasp winner for the hosts. Lecce remain four points from safety with two games remaining.

Jordan Veretout scored twice, including an 87th-minute winner, as Roma beat Fiorentina 2-1 to tighten their grip on fifth place. Stefano Okaka’s early goal earned Udinese a 1-0 win at Cagliari.



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