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PICS: Ronaldo strikes as Juventus extend Serie A lead

October 20, 2019 08:41 IST

Cristiano Ronaldo scores Juventus's first goal against Bologna during Saturday's Serie A match at Allianz Stadium, in Turin, Italy.

IMAGE: Cristiano Ronaldo scores Juventus's first goal against Bologna during Saturday's Serie A match, at Allianz Stadium, in Turin, Italy. Photograph: Massimo Pinca/Reuters

Cristiano Ronaldo opened the scoring as Juventus beat visiting Bologna 2-1 on Saturday to move four points clear at the top of the Serie A table.

Ronaldo struck from close range after 19 minutes, but Danilo levelled for the visitors soon afterwards.

 

Miralem Pjanic profited on a defensive mix-up to net Juve’s winner after the break and Bologna were denied an equaliser by the crossbar and a superb Gianluigi Buffon save in stoppage time.

The result stretched Juve’s winning run to five matches in all competitions and continued Maurizio Sarri’s unbeaten start as their coach.

“I told the players that we must not try to control a game, sit on a lead or be comfortable, because otherwise we leave ourselves in these risky situations at the very end,” Sarri told DAZN.

“It was a good game, but blighted by three or four horrible errors that we have to work on,” he said.

“I need to ensure the players realise we keep the ball for a reason, so possession is never kept just for the sake of it. We go into maintenance mode and that is never good.”

Juventus's Cristiano Ronaldo holds up a shirt to commemorate his 700 career goals before the match against Bologna.

IMAGE: Juventus's Cristiano Ronaldo holds up a shirt to commemorate his 700 career goals before the match against Bologna. Photograph: Massimo Pinca/Reuters

The champions are top on 22 points but second-placed Inter Milan can cut their lead to one point with victory at Sassuolo on Sunday.

Ronaldo reached the landmark of 700 career goals while on international duty with Portugal on Monday and made it 701 at the Allianz Stadium as he beat his marker and fired in at the near post.

Bologna travelled to Turin with just one victory against Juve in their last 31 attempts, but they levelled through Danilo midway through the first half when the Brazilian defender smashed in a half-volley.

Pjanic restored the hosts’ lead after 54 minutes as he capitalised on chaotic defending from Bologna to pounce on a loose ball and sweep a shot into the corner.

The visitors nearly equalised in the dying minutes when substitute Federico Santander’s header came back off the bar before veteran goalkeeper Buffon acrobatically palmed over the striker’s overhead kick.

Milik-inspired Napoli return to form with win over Hellas Verona

Arkadiusz Milik celebrates scoring Napoli's opening goal against Hellas Verona.

IMAGE: Arkadiusz Milik celebrates scoring Napoli's opening goal against Hellas Verona. Photograph: Ciro De Luca/Reuters

Two goals from Arkadiusz Milik helped Napoli return to winning ways in Serie A with a 2-0 home victory over Hellas Verona on Saturday.

The Poland international had not scored this season going into the game, but struck in either half to end his drought.

Napoli’s form stuttered before the international break as they were held to two consecutive goalless draws, against Torino in Serie A and Genk in the Champions League.

But a comfortable victory at the Stadio San Paolo helped Carlo Ancelotti’s side close the gap on third-placed Atalanta to just one point after they were held to a draw by Lazio.

Napoli are fourth on 16 points, one behind Atalanta and four ahead of fifth-placed Roma, who face Sampdoria on Sunday.

Earlier on Saturday, Lazio produced a remarkable comeback to earn a 3-3 home draw with Atalanta after trailing 3-0 at halftime courtesy of a Luis Muriel double and an Alejandro Gomez strike.

But Ciro Immobile’s second successful penalty of the afternoon levelled the scores in stoppage time after Joaquin Correa also struck for the hosts.

Reus strikes as Dortmund down Gladbach to close on leaders

Borussia Dortmund's Marco Reus celebrates at the end of Saturday's Bundesliga match against Borussia Moenchengladbach.

IMAGE: Borussia Dortmund's Marco Reus celebrates at the end of Saturday's Bundesliga match against Borussia Moenchengladbach. Photograph: Leon Kuegeler/Reuters

Borussia Dortmund edged past Bundesliga leaders Borussia Moenchengladbach 1-0 on Saturday thanks to captain Marco Reus’s second-half winner to cut the gap to the top to one point.

Reus broke the deadlock in the 58th minute, slipping the ball through the legs of keeper Yann Sommer for the goal that gave Dortmund their first win in four league games.

The Ruhr valley club, who were without Jadon Sancho after he was dropped from the squad following his late return from international duty, moved up to fourth on 15 points, level with third-placed Bayern Munich, who drew 2-2 at Augsburg, and RB Leipzig.

Gladbach, on 16 points, lead the standings ahead of unbeaten VfL Wolfsburg, who drew 1-1 with Leipzig, on goal difference.

 “It was important to take that first step and we did it,” said Reus of Dortmund’s first league win since mid-September.

“It could have gone the other way because Gladbach were dangerous. But we stayed aggressive and am happy for our win.”

Dortmund twice put the ball into the net with Hazard and Julian Brandt but both efforts were ruled off side following a VAR review.

Mats Hummels had also come close in the first half but his header was tipped onto the crossbar.

Sommer, however, was beaten when Hazard sent Reus through in the 58th with the Dortmund captain keeping his cool to put the ball past the keeper.

Having squandered a lead in their previous three league games to draw all of them, Dortmund again became nervous.

The hosts needed the skills of substitute keeper Marwin Hitz, who had replaced injured Roman Buerki, to stop a Florian Neuhaus close-range effort on the line and secure victory.

Augsburg's Finnbogason nets stoppage-time equaliser to shock Bayern

Bayern forward Robert Lewandowski scored his 12th league goal for the club this season

IMAGE: Bayern forward Robert Lewandowski scored his 12th league goal for the club this season. Photograph: Bayern Munich FC/Twitter

Augsburg’s Alfred Finnbogason scored a stoppage-time goal to snatch a 2-2 draw against a wasteful Bayern Munich on Saturday and deny them the top spot in the Bundesliga.

The hosts shocked Bayern with a goal after 28 seconds with Marco Richter volleying in from a Rani Khedira header.

Bayern forward Robert Lewandowski brought them level in the 14th minute, heading in a perfect Serge Gnabry cross for his 12th league goal. He has now scored in each of their eight league games to equal the record set by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang four years ago.

Gnabry, who also hit the post late in the first half, curled a superb left-footed low shot past Augsburg keeper Tomas Koubek in the 49th to give Bayern the lead.

Koubek repeatedly denied Kingsley Coman and Lewandowski before Finnbogason snatched the late equaliser.

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