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Ronaldo double in dramatic Juve win

Serie A: AC Milan, Roma, Inter move on

Ronaldo double in dramatic Juve win

ROME, Dec 30: Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice as Serie A leaders Juventus sealed a 2-1 win over Sampdoria on an incident-packed afternoon in Turin, reports Sky Sports. Ronaldo curled in the opener after just two minutes and netted what proved the winner from the penalty spot in the 65th minute when Alex Ferrari was contentiously punished for handball. VAR had awarded Sampdoria a spot-kick of their own (33) as Emre Can was penalised for the same offence and Fabio Quagliarella levelled. But the review system denied the visitors a second, stoppage-time equaliser from Riccardo Saponera when referee Paolo Valeri ruled him offside - but still booked him for his celebration. Juve reach the season’s halfway mark with 53 points out of a possible 57 - a Serie A record for a 20-team championship. Ahead of the later games, Sampdoria stay fifth - two points behind Lazio, who occupy the final Champions League spot. Elsewhere, Napoli fans and players showed their support for defender Kalidou Koulibaly during the 3-2 win over Bologna after the Senegal international was subjected to racist chants this week. With Koulibaly suspended, Napoli full-back Faouzi Ghoulam warmed up wearing the Senegal international’s No 26 shirt. Fans held up photos of Koulibaly and anti-racism banners with a hashtag which translated as “We’re all Kalidou.” Koulibaly had monkey noises directed at him throughout a match against Inter Milan on Wednesday at the San Siro Stadium. Dries Mertens scored the winner two minutes from time with a shot from beyond the area after the hosts had twice given up the lead. Arkadiusz Milik scored twice for Napoli but Federico Santander replied to his first and Danilo equalised after his second. The visiting section was empty for Inter Milan’s 1-0 win at Empoli. Local authorities banned away fans after an Inter supporter died following clashes with opposing supporters outside the San Siro stadium before the match against Napoli. Keita Balde scored midway through the second half with a scuffed shot that went in off the post. Meanwhile, Lazio remain fourth following a 1-1 draw with Torino in which both sides finished with 10 men. Sergej Milinkovic-Savic scored the equaliser for Lazio after a penalty from Andrea Belotti. AC Milan stayed fifth as goals from Gonzalo Higuain and Samu Castillejo saw them come from behind to win 2-1 against SPAL. Roma won 2-0 at Parma with second-half goals from Bryan Cristante and Cengiz Under to move up to fifth, two points from the Champions League places. Josip Ilicic came off the bench to score a hat trick in Atalanta’s 6-2 win at Sassuolo. It was Ilicic’s third hat-trick in 2018 matching Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero for the record in Europe’s top five leagues. Udinese won 2-0 against Cagliari with goals from Ignacio Pussetto and Valon Behrami. Cagliari goalkeeper Alessio Cragno saved a penalty from Kevin Lasagna as both teams ended with 10 men. Emanuele Giaccherini scored with a curling free kick as last-place Chievo Verona beat 10-man Frosinone 1-0 for their first win of the season while Genoa and Fiorentina shared a 0-0 draw.

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