Ronaldo’s brace helps Juve open four-point lead on Inter

Rome, Serie A leaders Juventus beat visiting Parma 2-1 Sunday and went four points clear of Inter Milan as Cristiano Ronaldo got a brace in a scoring run of seven league games.

The Portugal ace is now on 16 goals as he trails top scorer Ciro Immobile, who netted a hat-trick for Lazio on Saturday and tops the chart on 23, Deutsche press agency (dpa) reported.

Juve have 51 points, with Inter on 47 and Lazio on 45 with a game in hand. Parma are seventh on 28.

A deflection from Matteo Darmian late into a sluggish first half helped Ronaldo open the scoring and Juve defence substitute Danilo had a taut drive deflected onto the post, but the guests levelled on 55 as forward sub Andreas Cornelius nodded in a corner kick.

Three minutes later, a Paulo Dybala low pass set up Ronaldo for a clinical shot into the far corner.

Inter were held 1-1 at struggling Lecce, who also held Juve 1-1 in October and lie one point clear of the drop zone as the league begins its second half.

Inter came close when Marcelo Brozovic hit the post before being denied twice by home goalkeeper Gabriel, but had to wait for the 20-year-old Alessandro Bastoni to come on and head home off Cristiano Biraghi in the 72nd minute.

Lecce levelled five minutes later as substitute Zan Majer squared to see his captain Marco Mancosu get the better of Bastoni.

"The result stems from the fact that my team must always go at 200 (kilometres per hour)," said Inter boss coach Antonio Conte, who was born and began playing in Lecce.

"If some players perform below par our game slows down and it can happen to draw a game we should have won, considering the game stats."

Inter and Juve players wore a black armband and a minute's silence was observed in Lecce and Turin to remember their 1970s striker Pietro Anastasi, who died at 71 on Friday. Anastasi helped Italy win their only European championship in 1968.

Roma clinched a 3-1 win at second-bottom Genoa, going fourth on 38 points and filling the last Champions League place.

In the day's opener, substitute Ante Rebic scored a brace as AC Milan rallied to a late 3-2 victory at home to Udinese.

The Croatia forward came on at half-time to level for 1-1 and then netted a stoppage-time winner to help the Rossoneri go eighth on 28 points. Udinese stayed on 24 points.

Jens Stryger Larsen fired into the empty net for the guests' early lead after goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma tried to stop the rushing Kevin Lasagna outside the box.

Rebic turned in a cross on 48 minutes and saw Donnarumma make two prodigious saves before home defender Theo Hernandez volleyed home Milan's 2-1 lead from distance.

The inspired Stryger Larsen crossed for Lasagna to head in for 2-2 with five minutes left, but Rebic drilled home the winner three into added time.

Brescia and visiting Cagliari drew 2-2 with braces from Joao Pedro and home striker Ernesto Torregrossa. Joao Pedro opened and closed the scoring with a 68th-minute penalty to tally his 13th goal.

Mario Balotelli came on for Brescia in the 74th and exited eight minutes later, picking up two close bookings for a foul and subsequent insult to the referee.

Bologna drew 1-1 with Verona, going ahead through a first-half goal from Mattia Bani, who was then dismissed after a second caution in the 67th. Verona's new signing Fabio Borini came on and levelled nine minutes from time.

Atalanta and SPAL wrap up matchday 20 on Monday.

On Saturday, Lazio pummelled visiting Sampdoria 5-1, Sassuolo beat Torino 2-1 and Fiorentina won 2-0 at Napoli.

Source: Bahrain News Agency