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Rediff.com  » Sports » Football Extras: Ronaldo becomes joint top-scorer in Serie A

Football Extras: Ronaldo becomes joint top-scorer in Serie A

November 25, 2018 16:12 IST

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Juventus' Cristiano Ronaldo in action during the Serie A match against SPAL in Turin on Saturday

IMAGE: Juventus' Cristiano Ronaldo in action during the Serie A match against SPAL in Turin on Saturday. Photograph: Massimo Pinca/Reuters

Juventus moved nine points clear at the top of Serie A with a 2-0 win over SPAL on Saturday as Cristiano Ronaldo's strike made him the league's joint-top scorer.

Goals either side of the break from the Portugal international and Mario Mandzukic earned Juve their 12th win of an unbeaten start to the league season, with Ronaldo joining Genoa striker Krzysztof Piatek on nine goals.

Massimiliano Allegri’s side have now collected 37 points from a possible 39 and hold a significant lead over second-placed Napoli on 28 points ahead of their game against Chievo on Sunday.

 

Juventus appeared to have taken the lead after just 10 minutes when SPAL defender Felipe deflected a cross into his own net, but the effort was disallowed after Mandzukic was penalised for encroaching in the penalty box as Alfred Gomis took his goal kick in the build-up.

After half an hour, Ronaldo opened the scoring with a controlled left-footed finish into the corner from Miralem Pjanic’s free kick, becoming the first player since Pietro Anastasi in 1968-69 to reach nine goals in 13 games for the club.

Juventus, one of three teams in Europe’s top five leagues to have scored in every league game this season along with Barcelona and Paris St Germain, doubled their lead on the hour mark shortly after Douglas Costa had rattled the post from a tight angle.

Costa’s powerful shot was parried by Gomis into the path of Mandzukic, who tapped in from close range on the night that he captained Juventus from the start for the first time.

Ronaldo threatened to add a second, forcing Gomis into a smart save from distance before shooting wide from a promising position as Juventus strolled to a comfortable victory.

In the early kickoff, Davide Nicola masterminded a 1-0 win over AS Roma on his debut as Udinese coach, ending a 10-match losing run for his new club in the fixture.

Rodrigo De Paul scored the only goal of the game early in the second half to move Udinese above Bologna into 16th place on 12 points, while Roma remained on 19 points in seventh.

PSG win 14th straight game, Henry grabs first Monaco win

Champions Paris St Germain continued their record-breaking start to the Ligue 1 season with a 1-0 home win over Toulouse on Saturday while Thierry Henry could at last celebrate his first win as Monaco manager with a 1-0 victory at Caen.

Second-last in the table having drawn two and lost four under former French international Henry, Monaco were desperate for a change of fortune -- and Colombian forward Radamel Falcao provided it with a superb dipping free kick in the 54th minute.

Monaco rode their luck late on and had the video assistant referee (VAR) to thank for keeping their lead intact as Malik Tchokounte's late effort was ruled out for offside following a lengthy review.

Earlier, Uruguayan striker Edinson Cavani notched his ninth league goal of the season for PSG with a close-range finish after just nine minutes to earn the champions a 14th straight league win as they maintained their 100 percent league record.

Even though their much-vaunted attack misfired for much of the rest of the match, they were able to move on to a perfect 42 points, 15 ahead of second-placed Olympique Lyonnais.

At the foot of the table, Monaco remain 19th but moved three points clear of bottom club Guingamp, who lost 2-1 at Reims despite having been given late hope when Marcus Thuram scored from the penalty spot.

With attacking duo Neymar and Kylian Mbappe both sidelined after picking up knocks on international duty last week, PSG coach Thomas Tuchel started with Julian Draxler and Angel Di Maria up front alongside Cavani for the visit of lowly Toulouse.

Yet despite starting the day two points above the drop zone, Toulouse showed no fear of a PSG side that has been averaging over three goals a game at home, and their strong defending provided a springboard for plenty of attacks of their own.

Substitute Jimmy Durmaz was the driving force behind several promising second-half counter-attacks for the visitors, but the PSG backline, marshalled by Gianluigi Buffon in goal, managed to hold firm.

Brazilian defender Dani Alves came on as a second-half substitute for PSG to end a six-month spell on the sidelines with a knee injury that caused him to miss the World Cup in Russia.

Neymar and Mbappe are also scheduled to return when PSG meet Liverpool in a crucial Champions League Group C tie in Paris on Tuesday.

In Saturday's other games, a brilliant late goal by Majeed Waris gave Nantes a 1-1 draw at home to Angers, while a powerful downward header from a corner by Herve Lybohy secured a 1-0 win for Nimes away at 10-man Strasbourg.

Dijon remain third from bottom on 12 points after their gritty scoreless draw at home to Bordeaux.

Third-placed Lille are away to Nice on Sunday, while Montpellier, in fourth, host Rennes, and Amiens are at home to Olympique Marseille.

Alcacer scores again as Dortmund edge past Mainz 2-1

Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund got second-half goals from supersub Paco Alcacer and Lukasz Piszczek to edge past Mainz 05 2-1 on Saturday and open up a seven-point gap at the top.

Their seventh win in the last eight league games lifted undefeated Dortmund to 30 points, seven ahead of second-placed Eintracht Frankfurt, as they seek their first Bundesliga title since 2012.

Champions Bayern Munich, who have won the last six league titles, are fifth on 21 after a 3-3 draw against promoted Fortuna Duesseldorf.

"Obviously we are looking at the standings but there are other good teams (apart from Bayern)," coach Lucien Favre told reporters.

"It is a very balanced league and when you look at our game then it was a hard-fought victory."

"We struggled to find spaces in the first half and were not precise enough in our last pass. We were not good in the second half but we still scored the goals."

Spaniard Alcacer, whom Dortmund agreed to sign permanently from Barcelona on Friday on a five-year contract starting in January, snatched his ninth goal of the campaign in the 66th minute, two minutes after coming on, to lead the scorers' list in the Bundesliga.

Eight of those goals have come in substitute appearances.

Dortmund's joy did not last long with Mainz's Robin Quaison levelling four minutes later.

Dortmund, however, stayed focused and kept up the pressure until defender Piszczek curled in a shot from the edge of the box in the 76th to secure the three points for the Bundesliga leaders.

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