Ronaldo late winner pulls Juventus 11 points clear in Serie A
Milan: Cristiano Ronaldo converted a penalty to seal a hard-fought 2-1 win for Juventus against Lazio in Rome on Sunday to pull 11 points clear in Serie A.
Juventus had trailed after an Emre Can own-goal after an hour before substitute Joao Cancelo pulled the champions level and then earned the penalty which Ronaldo slotted in with two minutes to go.
An eighth straight Serie A title beckons for Massimiliano Allegri’s side who soar clear of second-placed Napoli who were held to a goalless draw at AC Milan on Saturday.
Inter Milan are 19 points behind the leaders after losing 1-0 at Torino earlier on Sunday.
Lazio drop to eighth place – three points off the Champions League spots – after their second defeat in a row after losing to Napoli by the same score last weekend.
“For sixty minutes it was the worst Juventus of the year,” said captain Giorgio Chiellini.
“Paradoxically after the goal disadvantage we found the motivation to win it.
“We’ve got players who make the difference. (Goalkeeper Wojciech) Szczesny kept us on our feet, we were lethal in the end.” The champions had struggled for the first hour in the Stadio Olimpico as Lazio piled on the pressure.
Daniele Rugani pulled off a goal-line clearance, after Joaquin Correa dribbled past Can and Leonardo Bonucci, with Szczesny denying Luis Alberto and Marco Parolo.
German midfielder Can’s woes were compounded just before the hour mark when he ducked down and instead deflected the ball into his own net off a corner.
But Allegri’s side could count on the depth of their bench with second half substitutes Cancelo and Federico Bernardeschi proving pivotal.
A solo run by Bernardeschi down the left set up the equaliser which Cancelo fired in off a rebound after Lazio goalkeeper Thomas Strakosha had initially cleared a Paulo Dybala shot.
Ronaldo – whose penalty was saved last week against Chievo – finished off to score in his eighth consecutive away match to bring his league tally to 15 goals.