ROME (Reuters) – Cristiano Ronaldo continued his excellent goal form when Juventus won 2-1 at AS Roma on Sunday and had a two point lead at Serie A.
Juventus & # 39; Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates his second goal with his teammates REUTERS / Alberto Lingria
Merih Demiral gave the Italian champions an early lead before Ronaldo took a penalty to double his lead in just 10 minutes.
It was Ronaldo's 14th goal of the season and his ninth in the last six Serie A games.
It got worse for the Roma towards the end of the first half when winger Nicolo Zaniolo burst into tears on a stretcher and the club confirmed during full season that the 20-year-old had broken his anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee.
In the 68th minute, the hosts came back with a penalty from Diego Perotti before substitute Juve Gonzalo Higuain retired for offside.
This puts Juventus at the top of the table with 48 points in the middle of the season, two ahead of Inter Milan, while Roma is fifth with 35 points.
"We played a good 60 minutes and suffering in the Stadio Olimpico against Roma is almost inevitable," Juventus coach Maurizio Sarri told Sky Sport Italia.
"What I didn't like is that we tried to stay at the top instead of increasing it because we had three counterattacks against one and we didn't finish it."
Juve was ahead after three minutes when Demiral shot a shipment of Paulo Dybala home.
Dybala robbed Roma midfielder Jordan Veret from possession before being thrown into the box to earn a penalty Ronaldo sent to give the guests a dream start.
Juve lost Demiral to injury after 17 minutes, but Zaniolo was seriously worried when he was pushed out of the field.
Roma confirmed after full time that the Italian international will undergo surgery on Monday after breaking his right knee ACL and injuring the meniscus.
"This is a bad moment and now Nicolo only has to concentrate on recovering as quickly as possible," Roma coach Paulo Fonseca told Sky Sport Italia.
"We are sad, but tomorrow is another day."
Edin Dzeko shot a shot from the post in the middle of the second half before sending a cross to Cengiz Under, whose header blocked Juve defender Alex Sandro.
The Brazilian was convicted after a review by the Video Assistant Referee (VAR), and Perotti sent Wojciech Szczesny in the wrong direction from 12 meters.
There were late chances at both ends when Ronaldo scored a wide header from a good position before Roma midfielder Lorenzo Pellegrini flew into the box.
Previously Hellas Verona had 2-1 against Genoa from behind and reached the eighth place in the table with 25 points. The descent fought with 14 points in 18th place.
Reporting by Alasdair Mackenzie; Cut by Toby Davis