Juve conquers Sassuolo, Milan in seventh heaven

ROME, May 12 (Xinhua) — Juventus retained hopes of Champions League qualification by beating Sassuolo 3-1 on Wednesday, with both Cristiano Ronaldo and Paulo Dybala scoring their 100th goals in a Juve jersey, while AC Milan tore Torino apart with a 7-0 away victory as Ante Rebic completed a hat-trick.

Juve had dropped to fifth after a dreadful 3-0 home defeat to Milan last week and risk missing out on a Champions League spot. Dybala partnered Ronaldo up front, while Gianluigi Buffon, who confirmed he would leave the club for a second time at the end of the season, was preferred over Wojciech Szczesny in goal.

Coach Andrea Pirlo’s change proved smart as Buffon saved Domenico Berardi’s penalty in the 15th minute, the 43-year-old becoming the oldest shot-stopper to save a spot-kick in Serie A.

The Bianconeri punished the home side in the 28th minute as Adrien Rabiot dribbled forward to unleash a missile that went in off the upright.

Juve made it 2-0 before the interval, as Rabiot nodded for Ronaldo who turned a defender to finish with a left-footed strike, the Portuguese becoming the first player to score at least 100 goals for three different clubs across Europe’s top five leagues.

Despsite Giacomo Raspadori pulling one back for Sassuolo on the hour mark, the Old Lady restored the two-goal cushion minutes later as Dejan Kulusevski’s slide-rule pass found Dybala who lobbed over an on-rushing goalkeeper to reach his own 100-goal landmark.

Despite the win, Juve still rank fifth, as Atalanta, Milan and Napoli all secured wins on the same day.

Milan marched towards the Champions League with a comfortable 7-0 victory. Theo Hernandez and Franck Kessie’s goals put the Rossoneri firmly in charge before the break, and the away side staged a second-half show as Brahim Diaz added to the scoresheet and Hernandez bagged his second, while Rebic ran riot to complete a hat-trick in 12 minutes.

Milan are still locked together in second place with Atalanta, who beat Benevento 2-0 on home turf.

Newly-crowned Serie A champions Inter Milan continued their home-winning streak by dominating Roma 3-1 with Marcelo Brozovic, Matias Vecino and Romelu Lukaku on target, while Henrikh Mkhitaryan scored for the Giallorossi.

In Wednesday’s other fixtures, Lazio edged Parma 1-0, Genoa saw off Bologna 2-0, Cagliari drew with Fiorentina 0-0, and Sampdoria and Spezia shared the spoils in a 2-2 draw.