Cristiano Ronaldo took his goal tally in Serie A to 30 goals on Monday evening with a second-half brace as Juventus beat Lazio in Turin to edge closer to defending their title.
Ronaldo’s goals saw him go level with Ciro Immobile, who also scored, in the race for the Capocannoniere award for top marksman in the Italian top flight. It is the first time Ronaldo has reached the 30-goal mark in a league season for four years.
After a goalless first half, Ronaldo put Juve in front against the Rome club from the spot after Bastos blocked a shot from the Portuguese with his arm to concede a penalty. The Seleção captain scored a second just three minutes later, easily tapping home after Paulo Dybala had robbed possession on the halfway line and selflessly fed his teammate.
Immobile’s consolation from a Lazio penalty meant he drew level again with Ronaldo in what is the most prolific race for top goalscorer in Italian football history. Both players find themselves on 30 goals with four matches left to play, but Ronaldo was keen to downplay the individual battle during his post-match interview.
"Team most important" - Ronaldo
“We knew it was a very difficult game against a team having a great season, but we knew this was a big opportunity to win, we were at home. We’re very happy,” Ronaldo told Sky Sport Italia.
“Individual record? They are always important, but the most important thing is that the team wins. We are a phenomenal team and we showed that again today, although we always want to improve and raise the bar.
“These things are nice, but the Capocannoniere title is a natural process that comes as a consequence of scoring to win games for the team.”
Ronaldo’s opener was his 50th league goal since moving to Italy, and makes him the first player to have reached a half century of goals in the English Premier League, La Liga in Spain and Italy’s Serie A. The latest in a long list of remarkable historic achievements by Portugal’s captain.
By Sean Gillen