Cristiano Ronaldo broke another Serie A record as Juventus returned to winning ways against Sampdoria on Saturday afternoon
Manager Massimiliano Allegri recalled Ronaldo into the starting line-up for their final match of 2018 at the Allianz Stadium following a disappointing 2-2 draw at Atalanta on Wednesday.
The Portuguese superstar didn’t take long to make an impact either after cutting in through the left to slot the ball past Sampdoria keeper Emil Audero, who’s on loan from Juventus, for his 13th league goal.
Not only had Ronaldo given Juventus the lead but he also added another accolade to his list by beating Rui Barros’ scoring record of 12 Serie A goals to hold the highest single-season record for a Portuguese player in Italy’s top flight.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner then pulled off another one of his trademark celebrations.
But Juventus’ strong start was short-lived when the ever-impressive Fabio Quagliarella put the visitors level after 33 minutes.
The 35-year-old forward scored a penalty after midfielder Emre Can was deemed to have handled the ball in the area upon a Video Assistant Referee (VAR) review.
Quagliarella’s goal enabled him to become the first player since Juventus‘ David Trezeguet in 2005 to score in nine Serie A games in a row.
Afterwards, Sampdoria grew in confidence and began to become more than a match for Juventus with the hosts goalkeeper Mattia Perin being frequently tested.
However, Juventus were awarded a penalty of their own in the 65th-minute when another VAR review deemed that Gian Marco Ferrari handballed in the area.
Ronaldo then stepped up to take the spot-kick for Juventus and slotted it home for his 14th strike in the Serie A and Juventus’ 100th goal of 2018
But in the dying stages of the game in Turin, Sampdoria thought they had scored an equaliser when Riccardo Saponara took advantage of Perin’s mistake to put the ball into the top corner.
Although VAR intervened yet again to rule out the goal and award Juventus the win and a new record of 53 points for the first half of a Serie A season.