May 14, 2021

Sports Legend

Ronaldo’s brace saves Juventus dethroned against Udinese


Portuguese Juventus striker Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after scoring a goal during the Italian Serie A soccer match between Udinese and Juventus at Dacia Arena in Udine on May 2, 2021 (Photo by MARCO BERTORELLO / AFP )

Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice late to save Juventus’ 2-1 win at Udinese on Sunday hours after the Turin giants lost their Serie A crown to Inter Milan.

Inter broke Juve’s nine-year streak of domestic dominance by winning their 19th ‘Scudetto’ after closest rivals Atalanta drew 1-1 at Sassuolo to leave ‘Nerazzurri’ ’13 points ahead of four games to play.

Antonio Conte’s side needed just one point to win the title, regardless of Atalanta’s fate after their 2-0 win at Crotone on Saturday, and denied Juve a 10th triumph consecutive in the league.

Juve’s victory puts them third as they aim for a Champions League spot, but are tied on 69 points with second-placed Atalanta and fourth-placed AC Milan.

Napoli are two points away from fifth after a 1-1 draw with Cagliari while Lazio are still in contention, five points off a top-four standings with a game in hand after a thrilling 4-3 win against Genoa.

“The nine years are over, we will no longer have the Scudetto attached to the shirt, but we will start over with the same desire as before,” said Juve coach Andrea Pirlo.

“We took this victory with effort and pride, and it’s a very important victory given the other results this afternoon.

“We lost points against teams we should have beaten, sometimes naively, we let Inter slip away and now we are focused on the Champions League.”

Juventus were left behind for most of the game in Udine after Nahuel Molina put Udinese in the lead in the 10th minute, hitting a quickly fired free kick from Rodrigo De Paul as Juventus players still protested .

Weston McKennie missed a chance to level for the outside side before half an hour when he sent a wide diving header.

Matthijs de Ligt had a foul shot with Ronaldo nodding on the follow-up.

The equalizer came seven minutes from time after De Paul conceded a handball penalty on a free kick from Ronaldo, with the Portuguese forward making no mistake on the penalty spot.

Four minutes later he caught the winner when he came home with a cross from Adrien Rabiot, with relieved coach Andrea Pirlo joining in the celebrations.

Ronaldo’s brace brings his Serie A lead tally to 27 goals, six more than Inter’s Romelu Lukaku.

Heroes Atalanta

In Emilia Romagna, Atalanta played most of the game against a downed man after goalkeeper Pierluigi Gollini saw red after 22 minutes at Mapei Stadium.

Atalanta’s Robin Gosens scored 10 minutes after Gollini’s dismissal for recklessly taking down Jeremie Boga.

Domenico Berardi shot Sassuolo level from the penalty spot seven minutes after the break after Hamed Traoré fell into the penalty area under pressure from Rafael Toloi.

Sassuolo also played the final quarter of an hour with 10 men after Brazilian defender Marlon was sent off for a second yellow card, but goalkeeper Andrea Consigli saved Muriel’s penalty to give Inter the title.

In Napoli, Nahitan Nandez secured a late equalizer for relegation-threatened Cagliari to cancel Victor Osimhen’s opener in the 13th minute.

Lazio’s thrilling victory over Genoa saw the club claim the 11th consecutive victory.

Joaquin Correa scored a brace, breaking the deadlock after half an hour and hitting again 11 minutes after the break.

Ciro Immobile added the second from the penalty spot before half-time after a foul by Ivan Radovanovic.

Genoa came back into the game when pressured Lazio defender Adam Marusic turned into his own net.

Luis Alberto completed a third for the hosts just after with Correa, then 4-1.

The hosts survived a late scare as Genoa hit back with Gianluca Scamacca scoring a penalty 10 minutes from time and Eldor Shomurodov scoring another goal almost immediately after.

Roma extended their winless run to four games with a 2-0 loss to Sampdoria to slip nine points from Europa League places.

Paulo Fonseca’s side hosted Manchester United in the Europa League semi-final second leg on Thursday in an attempt to reverse a heavy 6-2 defeat at Old Trafford last week.

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