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Cristiano Ronaldo scores as Juventus edges closer to ninth consecutive title


Cometh the hour, cometh Cristiano Ronaldo as Juventus took one step closer to defending its Serie A title with a comfortable 2-0 win over Bologna on Monday.

Ronaldo gave his side an early lead after converting from the penalty spot before striker Paulo Dybala doubled Juve’s lead before halftime.

The win takes them four points clear at the top of the table with its closest rival Lazio playing one less match. The two teams meet in Turin on July 20.

Juve’s win on Monday marked a welcome return of form for a team that’s failed to score in normal time in both of its matches since Italian football restarted amid the pandemic.

Juventus was beaten by Napoli on penalties in the Coppa Italia final on Wednesday after a goalless draw. In the semifinal second-leg Juve had drawn 0-0 against AC Milan, qualifying for the final on the away goals rule.

“We knew Juventus would be angry,” said Bologna coach Sinisa Mihajlovic after the game. “It’s almost impossible for them to slip up three games in a row.”

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Ronaldo, who has scored 26 goals in 35 games for Juve this season across all competitions, hadn’t netted in his previous four games.

He dispatched his penalty after VAR spotted Matthijs de Ligt had been brought down by Stefano Denswil as a corner was whipped in.

Although the visitors have struggled for goals recently, it’s firepower is undeniable and Dybala put the game to rest with a thunderous strike.

Juventus is yet to tie down Dybala beyond the summer of 2022 with a some of Europe’s top clubs interested in signing the striker.

“Obviously I am a player of this club and I am happy to be here. People love me very much and I love the people very much. I have great appreciation for the club and the people who are here, I have a good relationship with my president and surely at some point they will come to chat — or maybe not, I don’t know,” Dybala recently told CNN Sport.

Juventus missed multiple chances to add to its tally in the second half which also saw left-back Danilo sent off in stoppage time.

The defending champion takes on Lecce in its next Serie A match on Friday as it resumes its bid for a ninth consecutive title.

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