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Ramsey, Ronaldo put Juventus top in Serie A

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Juventus’ Welsh midfielder Aaron Ramsey (C) celebrates after scoring an equalizer with Juventus’ Brazilian defender Alex Sandro (L) as Juventus’ Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo looks on during the Italian Serie A football match Juventus vs Verona on September 21, 2019 at the Juventus stadium in Turin. Isabella BONOTTO / AFP


Aaron Ramsey’s first Juventus goal on his maiden start and Cristiano Ronaldo’s spot-kick winner saw the Italian champions seal a comeback 2-1 win over Verona on Saturday that put them top of Serie A ahead of the Milan derby.

Welsh international Ramsey pulled Juventus level in the 31st minute in Turin in reply to Miguel Veloso’s early Verona goal, with a well-taken Ronaldo penalty ensuring all three points for the hosts just after the break.

It got Maurizio Sarri’s side back winning after last weekend’s Serie A stalemate at Fiorentina and a 2-2 Champions League draw at Atletico Madrid midweek.

Sarri’s side move one point ahead of Inter Milan at the top of the table before Antonio Conte’s side play city rivals AC Milan later on Saturday.

Italian goalkeeping legend Gianluigi Buffon returned to the Juventus goal after spending a season in Paris Saint-Germain to match Paolo Maldini’s Italian record of 902 club matches.

Buffon’s appearances have been spread across three clubs — Parma, Juventus and PSG — with Maldini having spent his entire career with Serie A rivals Milan.

But the 41-year-old — who played his last game for Juventus also against Verona here in May 2018 — could not keep a clean sheat and was beaten by Veloso after 21 minutes.

Amid confusion in front of the Juve goal after Simone Di Carmine missed a Verona penalty, and Darko Lazovic’s rebound rattled the bar, Veloso pounced to rifle a long range strike past Buffon.

But Ramsey got the champions back on level terms 10 minutes later on his full debut after coming on late against Atletico, with a deflected effort past Verona goalkeeper Marco Silvestri.

Ronaldo put Juventus ahead from the spot with just his second goal this season three minutes after the restart, having missed two chances before the break.

Verona kept pushing with Buffon denying Mattia Zaccagni and Lazovic on front of goal after 89 minutes and Veloso denied a brace by the post, but Juve held on to take the three points.

Carlo Ancelotti’s Napoli travel south to promoted Lecce on Sunday after seeing off European champions Liverpool 2-0 on Tuesday.


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