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Ronaldo nets as Juventus emerge Serie A winter champions at Roma

Juventus earned the title of Serie A winter champions as they moved two points clear at the top of the table with a 2-1 win over Roma at the Stadio Olimpico on Sunday night, but the game was marred by a serious injury to Nicolo Zaniolo.

Maurizio Sarri’s side needed just three minutes to take the lead when Merih Demiral volleyed in from a freekick, and they doubled their advantage on the 10-minute mark when Cristiano Ronaldo fired home a penalty after Jordan Veretout had bundled over Paulo Dybala in the box.

There were concerns for Juve when goalscorer Demiral went down in pain after an awkward fall and needed to be replaced by Matthijs De Ligt, but the Turkey international was on his feet and jogging again before heading to the dugout.

Disaster struck for Roma towards the end of the first half when Zaniolo burst halfway up the pitch on a superb solo run, only to go down in agony under a challenge. The Italy star was left in tears and needed to be stretchered off, prompting concerns that he may have sustained a serious injury.

Roma rallied midway through the second half as Edin Dzeko smashed a shot off the foot of the post before a VAR review showed Alex Sandro had handled inside the box, allowing Diego Perotti to bury the resulting penalty.

The home side had their tail up but Juve created the best chances in the latter stages as Ronaldo headed wide from a good position before substitute Gonzalo Higuain scored from a tight angle, only to be denied by the offside flag.

Roma had a chance to snatch a draw at the death when Dzeko’s shot was denied by a superb De Ligt tackle and Lorenzo Pellegrini lashed the follow up over the bar.

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