Ron­aldo nets de­spite loss

The Citizen (KZN) - - Sport - Mi­lan

– Cris­tiano Ron­aldo (above) on Satur­day be­came the first Ju­ven­tus player to score in 10 suc­ces­sive Serie A games but the cham­pi­ons fell 2-1 at Hel­las Verona to leave an open­ing to their ti­tle ri­vals.

Ron­aldo – who turned 35 this week – broke through af­ter 65 min­utes, to hit his 15th goal in 10 games and take his league tally to 20.

The five-time Bal­lon d’Or win­ner is clos­ing in on the all-time Serie A record of scor­ing in 11 con­sec­u­tive games held by Gabriel Batis­tuta and Fabio Quagliarel­la.

But Ju­ven­tus paid for de­fen­sive er­rors with Fabio Borini pulling Verona level with quar­ter of an hour to go, be­fore vet­eran striker Gi­ampaolo Pazz­ini won the match for the pro­moted side from the penalty spot four min­utes from time fol­low­ing a Leonardo Bonucci hand­ball.

The de­feat was the third this sea­son for Mau­r­izio Sarri’s side but sec­ond in three games af­ter los­ing 2-1 at Napoli just two weeks ago.

“We have to un­der­stand that win­ning is not a fore­gone con­clu­sion,” blasted Sarri.

“We need to get it into our heads that we can’t have lapses in con­cen­tra­tion as hap­pened this evening.

“We dropped points through care­less­ness.”

Verona mean­while are up to sixth af­ter ex­tend­ing their un­beaten run to eight game days af­ter earn­ing a cred­itable goal­less draw at Lazio.

“We’ve cre­ated a group of hun­gry kids,” said Verona coach Ivan Juric.

“Heart played a big role, the lads were tired but they gave it ev­ery­thing.”

Ear­lier Ata­lanta con­sol­i­dated fourth place with a 2-1 win at Fiorentina that ended the Berg­amo side’s 27-year away win­less run against the Tus­can club.

Fed­erico Chiesa’s scorcher just af­ter half an hour gave mid-ta­ble Fiorentina hope of an­other win over Ata­lanta, whom they elim­i­nated from the Ital­ian Cup at their Sta­dio Artemio Franchi last month.

But Du­van Za­p­ata tapped in four min­utes af­ter the break to level the scores be­fore Rus­lan Mali­novsky came off the bench to seal vic­tory with 18 min­utes left, giv­ing Ata­lanta their first win away at the ‘Vi­ola’ since 1993.

Gian Piero Gasperini’s side pulled three points clear of fifth­placed Roma in the race for the Cham­pi­ons League fol­low­ing Roma’s 3-2 home de­feat to Bologna on Fri­day, – AFP

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.