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Ronaldo scores twice on 100th Juve appearance to keep pace with AC Milan

Milan (AFP) – Cristiano Ronaldo marked his 100th game for Juventus with a pair of penalties in a 3-1 success over Genoa on Sunday, as the champions closed the gap on Serie A leaders AC Milan.

Paulo Dybala got his first league goal of the season in the 57th minute and Ronaldo sealed the points with two late strikes from the spot after Stefano Sturaro had levelled for the hosts after an hour. 

The Portuguese forward’s strikes have taken him level with AC Milan star Zlatan Ibrahimovic as leading scorer in Serie A with 10 goals.

“What better way to celebrate my 100th game for Juventus, than scoring two more goals for the team?” Ronaldo said on Twitter before vowing to reach 100 goals for the reigning champions.

Champions Juventus move up to fourth in the table, equal on points with third-placed Napoli, after just their second league win away from home this season.

Both Juventus and Napoli are three points behind AC Milan who host Parma later on Sunday.

“Dybala needed this goal to unlock mentally and physically,” said coach Andrea Pirlo. 

“We were expecting it, he returned to scoring and now we expect even more.” 

Inter Milan reclaimed second spot, two points behind Milan, with a 3-1 comeback win at Cagliari while Napoli are a further point adrift after beating Sampdoria 2-1.

All matches in Italy this weekend were preceded by a minute’s silence in memory of Italy’s 1982 World Cup winner Paolo Rossi, who died on Wednesday, aged 64.

Juventus, 3-0 winners at Barcelona in the Champions League during the week, came out firing with Adrien Rabiot having a goal disallowed after two minutes.

After a frustrating first half Juventus broke through with US midfielder Weston McKennie setting up Dybala for the opener.

Nicolo Rovella’s foul on Juan Cuadrado allowed Ronaldo slot in his first after 78 minutes with the second coming a minute from time after Perin brought down Alvaro Morata.

Genoa sink to second from bottom of the league after their worst ever start to a season with just six points from 11 games.

– Napoli honour Maradona –

Napoli got their first win in their Stadio Diego Armando Maradona, renamed after the Argentina legend who led the club to their only league titles in 1987 and 1990 and the UEFA Cup in 1989.

Jakub Jankto put Sampdoria ahead in the 20th minute, but Hirving Lozano came off the bench in the second half to spark a Napoli revival.

Lozano got his head to a Dries Mertens cross seven minutes after the break with the Mexican international then crossing for Andrea Petagna to nod in the winner with 22 minutes remaining.

Inter Milan bounced back after their Champions League exit, despite trailing with a quarter of an hour to go in Sardinia.

Former Cagliari player Nicolo Barella volleyed in the equaliser after 77 minutes with Danilo D’Ambrosio coming off the bench to immediately nod in a second with six minutes to go.

Romelu Lukaku added a third deep into injury time, for his ninth league goals this season.

“I’m really happy with their reaction because the lads still had the Shakhtar games on their minds,” said Conte. 

– Roma thump Bologna –

Roma got back to winning ways with an emphatic 5-1 victory at Bologna to move fifth, one point ahead of Juventus.

All six goals came in the first half at the Stadio Renato Dall’Ara.

Bologna’s Andrea Poli turned into his own net after five minutes before Edin Dzeko added a second to give the hosts a two-goal advantage after 10 minutes.

The Bosnian became the third highest scorer in Roma’s history with his 111th club goal.

Lorenzo Pellegrini, Jordan Veretout and Henrikh Mkhitaryan added three more before the break, with a Bryan Cristante own goal putting Bologna on the scoresheet.

In Bergamo, Atalanta eased past Fiorentina 3-0, with goals from Robin Gosens, Ruslan Malinovskyi and Rafael Toloi.

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