Football | CR9: Ronaldo scores in 9th straight game to match Juve mark

Cristiano Ronaldo converted two penalties to tie a club record by scoring for a ninth straight game as Serie A leader Juventus bounced back from a rare loss with a 3-0 victory over Fiorentina yesterday [Macau time].
The penalties came toward the end of each half as Ronaldo — who appeared bothered by a bloody cut to his ankle during the pre-match warmup — matched David Trezeguet’s streak from 2005.
Ronaldo now has 19 goals in the 19 matches he has played in this season’s Italian league — only two fewer than he scored in all of last season. In 50 Serie A matches since joining Juventus from Real Madrid before last season, he has been involved in 50 goals — 40 goals and 10 assists.
Matthijs de Ligt added another for hosts Juventus in added time by heading in a corner.
Juventus remained three points ahead of Inter Milan, which won 2-0 at Udinese. Lazio is two points further back in third — but with a game in hand — following a 5-1 rout of Spal.
Last weekend at Napoli, Juventus lost only its second match in the Italian league.
Fiorentina, which lost its first match since Giuseppe Iachini replaced Vincenzo Montella as coach last month, remained 14th.
The Viola have not picked up a single point at the Allianz Stadium since the facility opened in 2011.
The first penalty was awarded after a shot from Miralem Pjanic hit the hand of Fiorentina defender Germán Pezzella. After the penalty was confirmed by VAR, Ronaldo coolly slotted a low shot inside the left post before goalkeeper Bartłomiej Drągowski could get there.
The second penalty came after Federico Ceccherini got in the way of Rodrigo Betancur, who was making his way through the Fiorentina defense. Ronaldo again sent his spot kick inside the left post while Drągowski this time leaped in the other direction.
Rocco Commisso, the Italian-American cable TV magnate who bought Fiorentina last year, took issue with the penalties.
“I’ve been here for six months and I’ve never criticized the referees, but I’m now saying that referees cannot decide the games,” Commisso said. “I am disgusted. Maybe the first one was a penalty, but the second one certainly was not. The referees cannot decide the games. They need to let the players do their work on the field.
“Juventus pays huge salaries. They don’t need extra help,” Commisso added. “I am disgusted by what I saw today, but also last week with Genoa and then against Inter.”
Juventus vice chairman Pavel Nedved responded by saying “we are seeing too much of this narrative against Juventus, suggesting that Juventus does not deserve its victories.
“We are fed up with this sort of thing,” Nedved added. “It’s time for people to stop relying on alibis when they play against Juve. We win games because we play well.”
Juventus goalkeeper Wojciech Szczęsny was exceptional early on to deny Fiorentina as the visitors threatened with several chances against their hated rival. ANDREW DAMPF, ROME, AP

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