Rome, 23 February 2021 (dpa/MIA) – Champions Juventus beat visiting backmarkers Crotone 3-0 on Monday with star Cristiano Ronaldo hitting a brace to clinch the lone top scorer spot in the Italian Serie A.
The Portuguese veteran, now on 18 goals, moved one past Inter Milan’s Belgian Romelu Lukaku, who struck for the front-runners as they beat second-place AC Milan 3-0 on Sunday to open a four-point lead.
Third-place Juve sit eight points off the top with a game in hand against Napoli. Newcomers Crotone, who held the Turinese 1-1 in the home leg last October, are in the three-team drop zone with Parma and Cagliari after closing matchday 23.
Ronaldo missed a deflection before Alex Sandro set up his header and nodded in again off Aaron Ramsey, who had come close at 0-0 when his header came off the bar. Weston McKennie netted the third after the break, firing home after a scramble in the box.
“We certainly needed a win,” said Juve veteran keeper Gianluigi Buffon, referring the latest defeat suffered against Napoli and, in the Champions League, at Porto. “It was important to stay focused and be energetic for 90 minutes.”
The 43-year-old set a record of 654 appearances in Europe’s main leagues, having appeared five times in the current Serie A.
“The main thing is that I have achieved this not crawling but still jumping,” he said. “As for my future, I monitor my jumps every week and I keep going until they are good enough. Should they get worse I will be the first to admit it.”