Defending Champion Juventus beat Roma 2-1, as Ronaldo scores

Ronaldo celebrating his goal against Roma with Juventus teammates
Ronaldo celebrating his goal against Roma with Juventus teammates

Defending champions Juventus seized their opportunity to edge past Inter Milan in the Serie-A table, as they beat Roma 2-1.

Early Juventus Goal

Maurizio Sarri’s team struck twice in the opening 10 minutes, as Merih Demiral taps in Paulo Dybala’s free-kick before Dybala himself earned a penalty kick which Cristiano Ronaldo converted. Roma responded in the second half through spot-kick by Diego Perotti.

Ronaldo’s nine goal in seven games appeared to have put Juventus in firm control in a first-half overshadowed by a serious-looking injury to 20-year-old Roma midfielder Nicolo Zaniolo.

But Paulo Fonseca’s hosts produced a reaction after the interval, striker Edin Dzeko hitting the post moments before a VAR review found Sandro to have handled amid a goalmouth scramble.

With the Stadio Olimpico roaring Roma on, Juventus’s Gonzalo Higuain had a goal which was disallowed for offside while Aleksandar Kolarov missed an excellent header opportunity to equalise. Juventus managed to survive late pressure to record a fourth consecutive league win since suffering a first defeat of the season against Lazio in December.

Injury scare for Roma and Juventus

Nicolo Zaniolo will go through a surgery on Monday after rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) during Roma’s 2-1 defeat to Juventus. The winger, who is a pivotal part of both the Roma and Italy national teams, will miss the rest of the Serie-A season and will likely miss the European Championships, with the meniscus in his right knee also said to be damaged.

Juventus’ defender Merih Demiral suffered an similar injury after jumping for a high ball and he had a preiry . The 21-year-old was taken for tests on Monday morning, where Juve doctors confirmed the injury. It is a bitter blow for Turkey, as Demiral has been superb through qualifying, forming a defensive partnership with Leicester City’s Caglar Soyuncu.

Antonio Conte’s Inter were held to a 1-1 draw at home to Atalanta on Saturday. Meanwhile Lazio, curretly number third in league table, recorded a 10th consecutive Serie A win against Napoli to sit six points behind Juventus with a game in hand.