MILAN: Cristiano Ronaldo marked his birthday by setting up Juventus to beat Roma 2-0 in Serie A on Saturday.
Ronaldo turned 36 on Friday then showed little sign of slowing down as he scored and also hit the crossbar in the first half. An own goal by Roma defender Roger Ibaez sealed the win for Juve.
Juventus leapfrogged Roma into third place. It is five points below leader Inter Milan, which won at Fiorentina 2-0 on Friday. AC Milan can retake top spot on Sunday with a victory over bottom-placed Crotone.
Napoli can replace Roma in fourth if it wins at Genoa later.
Juventus has played a match less than Inter and Roma.
The match in Turin was a head-to-head for third place but also came between the two legs of the Italian Cup semifinals between Juventus and Inter, with the Bianconeri leading 2-1.
Juventus took the lead in the 13th minute when Alex Sandro spun away from his marker to roll across for lvaro Morata, who laid it off for a criminally unmarked Ronaldo to fire into the bottom right corner.
Ronaldo also scored both goals in Tuesdays win over Inter.
Ronaldo almost doubled his tally nine minutes later but his effort came off the underside of the bar and bounced on the wrong side of the line for Juve.
Roma had more of the possession but couldnt make it count and Juventus doubled its lead in the 69th.
Juan Cuadrado found Dejan Kulusevski in the area and he crossed for Ronaldo. Ibaez got there first but managed only in turning the ball into his own net.
Relegation-threatened Torino fought back from three goals down to draw at Atalanta 3-3 in an extraordinary match in Bergamo.
Seventh-placed Atalanta was looking to close in on the top four, and matters appeared to be going to plan when it was 3-0 up inside 21 minutes thanks to Josip Iliis opener, an own goal from Torino goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu, and a strike by Luis Muriel.
Torino got back into the match on the stroke of halftime with two goals in four minutes.
Andrea Belotti won a penalty after having his shirt tugged by Jos Luis Palomino. The Torino captain’s spot kick was saved but he fired home the rebound.
Torino reduced the deficit still further in first-half stoppage time with a Bremer follow-up after Rolando Mandragoras strike came off the crossbar.
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