Ronaldo scores as Juventus seal NINTH straight Serie A title with victory over Sampdoria

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Cristiano Ronaldo got on the scoresheet but also missed a penalty as Juventus beat Sampdoria 2-0 in Turin to pick up the three points they needed to seal a ninth straight Serie A title.

Maurizio Sarri’s men had won just once in their past five games heading into the clash against Sampdoria, including throwing away a lead in a shock defeat at Udinese on Thursday, but got the job done this time round thanks to goals from Ronaldo and Federico Bernardeschi.  

The Portuguese forward made the breakthrough deep into first-half injury time, driving home a well-worked free-kick from Miralem Pjanic on the edge of the box for his 31st goal of the Serie A season and his 10th in 10 league games since the restart.

The strike meant the 35-year-old equaled the record for a Juventus player in a single Serie A campaign, and also moved to within three goals of Lazio frontman Ciro Immobile at the top of the scoring charts with two games to play.

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Juventus continued to have the best of the possession in the second half but survived a scare when substitute Mehdi Leris glanced a header past Wojciech Szczesny’s post.

At the other end, Sampdoria goalkeeper Emil Audero saved well from Ronaldo when the Portuguese was well placed inside the box.

Juventus eventually made their pressure tell 25 minutes from time when Audero could only parry a Ronaldo shot, with Bernardeschi on hand to turn home the rebound. 

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Claudio Ranieri’s visitors pressed to get themselves back into the game as Szczesny saved smartly from a Fabio Quagliarella header, but their cause wasn’t helped when Morten Thorsby picked up a second booking for a rash tackle with 15 minutes remaining.

Sampdoria still pushed on with 10 men, but Juve had a chance to make it three when Alex Sandro was brought down in the box by Fabio Depaoli with two minutes to play, only for Ronaldo to rattle his spot-kick against the bar.  

In the end, it mattered little as Juventus wrapped up the three points to seal a ninth Scudetto in a row for the Old Lady but a first league title for 61-year-old boss Sarri. 

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Juventus are now seven points clear of Inter Milan at the top of Serie A, and have league games remaining against Cagliari away and Roma at home as Ronaldo hunts the Capocannoniere (Golden Boot).

They then turn their attentions to their Champions League last-16 second leg against Lyon in Turin on August 7, when they will seek to overturn a 1-0 deficit from the first leg in France to give them a chance of a first major European title since 1996.  

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