Cristiano Ronaldo has rediscovered his touch in front of goal by converting a penalty to guide Juventus past Torino 1-0 in their Italian Serie A derby and go joint top on the scorers chart.
Ronaldo failed to score in his previous two matches, the first time that had happened since September, but he netted 20 minutes from time to join Genoa’s Krzysztof Piatek on 11 goals this season.
The goal was Juve’s 5,000th in the Serie A while the win increased their advantage to 11 points over second-placed Napoli, who visit Cagliari on Sunday. Torino are pushing hard for a Europa League spot and are sixth, only four points below fourth-placed AC Milan.
The hosts suffered an early setback when goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu had to be replaced by Salvador Ichazo on 21 minutes due to a hip injury. The Uruguayan Ichazo kept out efforts from Giorgio Chiellini and Blaise Matuidi but gave away the penalty by bringing down Mario Mandzukic after a terrible backpass from former Juventus forward Simone Zaza.
Ronaldo made no mistake from the spot, beating Ichazo with a low shot into the corner which the keeper got a hand to – the Portuguese star was then booked after he barged into the goalkeeper as he celebrated.
Juventus thought they had doubled their lead but Mandzukic’s effort after Ronaldo nodded on a free kick was ruled out for offside.
Inter Milan ended a seven-match winless run in all competitions with 1-0 home win over Udinese 1-0.
Mauro Icardi scored with a panenka penalty 14 minutes from to take his season tally to nine.
Inter are third on 32 points, 14 points behind Juventus, while Udinese are just two points above the drop zone.
“Overall, we did very well, apart from the start of the second half,” Inter coach Luciano Spalletti.
Inter were wasteful as Icardi headed Keita Balde Diao’s cross narrowly past the left post.
Udinese goalkeeper Juan Musso also did well to keep out efforts from Keita and Kwadwo Asamoah.
Inter finally scored after being awarded a penalty on video review when Seko Fofana handled in the area.
Icardi converted by chipping the spot kick down the middle.
The Argentine forward thought he doubled his tally late on but his diving header was ruled out for offside.