A brace in the space of three minutes from Cristiano Ronaldo powered Juventus to a 2-1 victory over Lazio at the Allianz Stadium. Their win threw Simone Inzaghi's side out of the title race and took Juventus eight points clear at the top with four matches to go.
Lazio, who had claimed a point from their previous four Serie A outings ahead of this one, just could not help themselves after the two-goal lead was engineered by Ronaldo. Ciro Immobile scored a penalty in the 83rd minute for them in the attempt to salvage something, but Juventus managed to hold on.
The win was extremely crucial for Maurizio Sarri after the 3-3 draw against Sasuolo, as he is now heading closer to his first-ever Serie A title.
Juventus enjoyed the early share of possession, as they pushed Lazio back and attacked on all fronts. They had their moments from outside the box more often than not, while some lovely footwork from Paulo Dybala also split the visitors' back line.
However, it proved difficult for Maurizio Sarri's charges when Lazio began to look threatening in the turnover of possession. It increased the tension on the Juventus touchline as they failed to add a penetrative edge, and were in fact, saved by the frame of goal not once but twice.
Statistics suggest Lazio had no shots on target in the opening half, but they really lined them up from distance. Immobile's rocket, in particular, was unstoppable.
On the other hand, Sandro came extremely close to giving Juventus the lead.
Just when frustration started to brim to the surface, Cristiano Ronaldo stepped up twice in the space of three minutes to hand the Old Lady a two-goal buffer out of nowhere.
The first was yet another penalty off a hand ball, which of course, was dispatched with aplomb by the former Real Madrid winger. Never in doubt from there, Ronaldo, at the age of 35, became the faster player ever to score 50 Serie A goals.
He would go on to double his team's lead only three minutes later, courtesy of a splendid piece of pressing from Dybala. The forwards robbed Luiz Felipe off possession and unselfishly, Dybala squared it for Ronaldo to pass the ball into the back of the net.
It was also Ronaldo's 30th goal of the season, which prematurely moved him ahead of today's opponent Immobile until the latter scored as well.
Immobile kept Lazio's hopes as well as his push for the golden boot alive with an 83rd minute penalty that he himself won.
A large portion of the Juventus fan base would not have started celebrating after what happened against Sassuolo, and rightly so after Immobile converted from the spot. However, the Serie A holders maintained control of the game and continued to defend with possession and not without it.
With a giant eight-point lead at the top and matches against Udinese, Sampdoria, Cagliari and AS Roma to follow, one wouldn't bet against Juventus lifting another Serie A title.
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