Rediff.com  » Sports » PIX: Ronaldo lifts Juve to win; Messi matches Pele goal haul

PIX: Ronaldo lifts Juve to win; Messi matches Pele goal haul

Last updated on: December 20, 2020 16:08 IST
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Images from the football matches played in the La Liga, Serie A and Bundesliga on Saturday.

Ronaldo scores twice as Juventus crush Parma

Cristiano Ronaldo

IMAGE: Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after scoring the third goal for Juventus against Parma at Stadio Ennio Tardini in Parma, on Saturday. Photograph: Alessandro Sabattini/Getty Images

Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice, taking his Serie A tally for the season to 12 in only nine games, as defending champions Juventus cruised to a 4-0 win at Parma on Saturday.

 

Dejan Kulusevski and Alvaro Morata were also on target although it could have been very different if Juve's 42-year-old goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon had not saved with his legs at close range from Juraj Kucka in the 15th minute.

Juventus, chasing a 10th successive title, drew level on 27 points with second-placed Inter Milan, who host Spezia on Sunday, and one behind leaders AC Milan, who visit Sassuolo.

Ronaldo's brace made the irrepressible Portuguese the league's topscorer, the 35-year-old moving two goals clear of AC Milan's Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Inter Milan's Romelu Lukaku as he bounced back from his penalty miss against Atalanta on Wednesday.

Cristiano Ronaldo

IMAGE: Cristiano Ronaldo scores the second goal for Juventus against Parma. Photograph: Alessandro Sabattini/Getty Images

Parma had the first real chance when a breakaway ended with the ball being played to Kucka at the far post but his effort was stopped by Buffon.

Juve, however, quickly took control and Kulusevski, who played for Parma last season, was given too much space in the penalty area and steered the ball in from Alex Sandro's pass in the 23rd minute.

Ronaldo added the second with a towering header three minutes later and Juve were on their way.

Leonardo Bonucci missed a third from close range just before halftime but it did not matter as Ronaldo scored with an angled drive three minutes after the break.

Morata was rewarded for an excellent performance with the fourth as he headed in from Federico Bernardeschi's cross late in the game.

Barca held as Messi matches Pele goal haul

FC Barcelona's Lionel Messi misses a penalty from the spot during their La Liga match against Valencia at Camp Nou

IMAGE: FC Barcelona's Lionel Messi misses a penalty from the spot during their La Liga match against Valencia at Camp Nou. Photograph: Albert Gea/Reuters

Lionel Messi equalled Pele's record of 643 goals for a single club on Saturday but was unable to help Barcelona beat Valencia in La Liga as they had to settle for a 2-2 home draw.

Valencia went ahead at the Camp Nou when Mouctar Diakhaby pounced on some slack Barca defending to head home in the 29th minute.

Barca earned a penalty towards the end of the first half when Jose Gaya lightly pushed Antoine Griezmann in the back and was initially shown a red card which was then reduced to a yellow after the referee consulted the pitchside monitor.

Barcelona players speak to referee Alejandro Hernandez after the match against Valencia 

IMAGE: Barcelona players speak to referee Alejandro Hernandez after the match against Valencia. Photograph: Albert Gea/Reuters

Messi saw his penalty saved by Valencia keeper Jaume Domenech but Jordi Alba kept the ball alive and his deflected cross fell towards the Argentine, who dived to head the ball across the line and score the milestone goal.

Defender Ronald Araujo gave Barca the lead early in the second half with an acrobatic strike from inside the area but Valencia hit back in the 69th when Maxi Gomez turned in a cross from Gaya, denying the Catalans a third straight league win.

Lewandowski caps year to remember with late Bayern winner

Robert Lewandowski

IMAGE: Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski celebrates scoring their second goal against Bayer Leverkusen. Photograph: Bernd Thissen/Reuters

Robert Lewandowski hailed a year to remember as his two goals helped Bayern Munich come from behind to beat Bayer Leverkusen and go top of the Bundesliga on Saturday, capping a fantastic 12 months for him and his team.

Lewandowski's injury-time winner completed another comeback victory for Bayern, ensuring the champions sit top of the standings, ahead of Leverkusen, going into the Christmas break.

That 93rd-minute goal took the Pole's tally this calendar year to 32 just two days after becoming the first Bundesliga player to be crowned the world’s best at the FIFA Best Awards.

"What a year we have had," Lewandowski told Sky Sport after Bayern's win.

"We always want more. And I hope that next year we will keep scoring goals like this to win matches in this way."

The win at Leverkusen was the champions' final match of a remarkable 2020, in which they won five trophies including the Champions League, finishing the calendar year having tasted just one loss in all competitions.

Bayern did fall behind for the seventh successive Bundesliga match, but in each of those seven games they have not lost.

"We know we suffer from these attention deficits at the start of games," Bayern coach Hansi Flick told DW.

"But now we finally have a short break and it's something we want to improve. This was the ending that we all wished for, rounding off a fantastic year for the team."

Lewandowski's goals ended Leverkusen's unbeaten start to this Bundesliga season and their coach Peter Bosz felt the defeat was unjust, having seen his side take the lead through Patrik Schick’s fine volley.

"The result is undeserved and disappointing," Bosz said.

"Nevertheless, today the team showed that we can keep up with the best team in Europe. That has to give us confidence."

Suarez double takes Atletico to top

Atletico Madrid's Luis Suarez celebrates scoring their second goal with teammate Marcos Llorente during their La Liga match against Elche at Wanda Metropolitano in Madrid on Saturday.

IMAGE: Atletico Madrid's Luis Suarez celebrates scoring their second goal with teammate Marcos Llorente during their La Liga match against Elche at Wanda Metropolitano in Madrid on Saturday. Photograph: Juan Medina/Reuters

Atletico Madrid forward Luis Suarez was back among the goals to help his side to a 3-1 win at home to Elche on Saturday, taking them three points clear at the top of La Liga.

The victory moved Atleti to 29 points from 12 games, three clear of second-placed Real Sociedad who have played 14 and are in action at Levante later on Saturday.

Uruguay striker Suarez, who recently had a spell on the sidelines after contracting COVID-19, gave Atletico the lead in the 41st minute as he got the slightest touch on a low cross from Kieran Trippier to score for the first time since Nov. 7.

Suarez then slid in to knock home another from a delightful low pass by Yannick Carrasco in the 58th for his ninth goal of the season, taking him joint top of the scoring charts alongside Celta Vigo's Iago Aspas and Real Sociedad's Mikel Oyarzabal.

Elche got back into the game with a header from Lucas Boye in the 64th following a well-worked corner routine, becoming the first side to score against Atletico at the Wanda Metropolitano since the first game of the season.

Boye nearly found an equaliser when he swivelled to shoot inside the box but Atletico keeper Jan Oblak got across to tip the ball around the near post.

The hosts soon sealed the points though when substitute Diego Costa went to ground to earn a debateable penalty and then lashed home from the spot in the 80th.

Elche's 40-year-old striker Nino then came off the bench to try and help his side get something from the game and almost scored but saw his header cleared off the line.

Leipzig miss chance to go top after being held by Cologne

FC Cologne's Sebastiaan Bornauw in action with RB Leipzig's Amadou Haidara as they vie for possession during their Bundesliga match at Red Bull Arena, Leipzig, Germany

IMAGE: FC Cologne's Sebastiaan Bornauw in action with RB Leipzig's Amadou Haidara as they vie for possession during their Bundesliga match at Red Bull Arena, Leipzig, Germany. Photograph: Ronny Hartmann/Pool via Reuters

RB Leipzig missed the chance to go top of the Bundesliga as they were held to a 0-0 draw at home by Cologne on Saturday.

Leipzig struggled to break down Cologne in the first half, with Manchester City loanee Angelino going closest to scoring as his goal-bound effort was deflected over midway through the opening period.

After the break, Leipzig stepped up the pressure with Kevin Kampl blazing a golden opportunity over the crossbar in the 65th minute, but the hosts could not make their dominance count.

Cologne stay in 15th with 11 points, just above the relegation zone.

Hoffenheim's Sessegnon strikes late to sink Gladbach

Hoffenheim's Ryan Sessegnon got a late goal to snatch a 2-1 win at Borussia Moenchengladbach in the Bundesliga on Saturday and stretch the hosts' winless run to six games in all competitions.

Gladbach's Lars Stindl followed his hat-trick at Eintracht Frankfurt in midweek with a penalty in the 34th minute to break the deadlock and put the home side in front.

But they struggled to build on the opener and Hoffenheim deservedly equalised through Andrej Kramaric in the 75th before Gladbach's Marcus Thuram was sent off after VAR upgraded his yellow card to a red.

The visitors made their one-man advantage count when Sessegnon, on loan from Tottenham Hotspur, pounced to claim all three points four minutes from time as Hoffenheim climbed to 11th with 15 points, while Gladbach stay eighth on 18.

Long delay before Verona penalty award in Fiorentina draw

Match officials took nearly six minutes to award Verona a penalty in a 1-1 draw at Fiorentina on Saturday which left the hosts still waiting for a first Serie A win since Cesare Prandelli returned as coach.

The match was an early contender for the worst of the league season so far, strewn with misplaced passes, ugly challenges, play-acting and 26 fouls and only four shots on target.

There was a dramatic start as Verona forward Eddie Salcedo went down in the area under a challenge from Antonio Barreca after only 80 seconds although it was not clear who tripped who.

Referee Francesco Fourneau pointed to the spot but it took nearly four minutes for VAR officials to examine the decision and nearly two more minutes for the referee to reconfirm it after looking at the pitchside monitor.

Eventually, Miguel Veloso was able to take the kick and converted in the eighth minute.

Fiorentina levelled in the 19th from another highly debatable penalty.

This time, Dusan Vlahovic went down under pressure from Koray Gunter and, although there did not seem to be contact, the referee again pointed to the spot and Vlahovic converted.

Verona, surprise contenders for a European place, stay seventh with 20 points with Fiore 17th on 11 after 13 games.

Fiorentina have drawn three and lost three of their six league games since former Italy coach Prandelli returned for a second stint at the club.

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