Ronaldo scores in 11th match in a row to equal record


Sports, Football

Portuguese forward's 1000th match extends Juventus's lead in the Serie A

Juventus' Cristiano Ronaldo scores his side's first goal during the Italian Serie A soccer match between Spal and Juventus at the Paolo Mazza stadium in Ferrara, Italy, on February 22, 2020. (AP)

Rome: Cristiano Ronaldo scored for a record-equalling 11th consecutive Serie A game in his 1,000th professional match as Juventus extended their lead in the league with a 2-1 win over bottom club SPAL.

The 35-year-old tapped in six minutes before the break last night to equal the mark held by Gabriel Batistuta and Fabio Quagliarella.

The five-time Ballon d'Or winner has scored 25 goals in all competitions this season for Juventus, including 16 in his current run of 11 matches.

Aaron Ramsey added a second after an hour, before Andrea Petagna pulled one back from the spot for SPAL amid controversy as the penalty was awarded following a VAR review despite the pitchside monitor not working.

It got Juventus back to winning ways away from home after consecutive defeats against Napoli and Hellas Verona, and ahead of next week's trip to French club Lyon in the Champions League last 16 first leg.

Maurizio Sarri's side opened up a four-point lead over second-placed Lazio who play Genoa later today. Inter Milan are six points behind the champions before their game at home against Sampdoria.

Ronaldo had an early goal ruled offside but made no mistake when running onto Juan Cuadrado's low cross after Ramsey's ball forward.

The Portuguese forward drew level with Sampdoria forward Quagliarella, who in January 2019 equalled the mark previously achieved by Batistuta in 1994-1995 for Fiorentina.

Both Italian Quagliarella and Argentine Batistuta went on to finish their respective seasons as the Serie A top scorer after their feat, with both scoring 26 goals in total.

Ronaldo has 21 goals in Serie A this season, five behind leading scorer Ciro Immobile.