Ronaldo sets scoring record but Juventus fall in Verona
Milan, Feb 9: Cristiano Ronaldo 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 GiampaoloPazzini won the match for the promoted side from the penalty spot four minutes from time following a Leonardo Bonucci handball.
Juventus are three points ahead of Inter Milan, who have a chance to pull level when they take on ZlatanIbrahimovic’s AC Milan in Sunday’s derby clash at the San Siro.
Lazio are four points behind the leaders in third before they travel to Parma.
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 games days after earning a creditable goalless draw at Lazio, who can pull to within a point of Juve with a win at Parma on Sunday.
“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.”