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Ronaldo matches record in 1,000th game as Juve beats Spal

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MILAN — Cristiano Ronaldo shows no sign of slowing down as he marked his 1,000th official match by scoring a record-equaling goal to help Juventus win 2-1 at Spal in Serie A on Saturday.

Ronaldo scored for an 11th straight league game, matching the Serie A record set by Gabriel Batistuta in 1994 and equaled by Fabio Quagliarella last season.

Ronaldo also hit the crossbar with a free kick late on and had an early goal disallowed.

Aaron Ramsey doubled Juve’s lead in the second half before Andrea Petagna got Spal back into the match with a penalty.

Juventus visits Lyon in the first leg of the Champions League round of 16 on Wednesday.

Serie A leader Juventus extended its advantage to four points above Lazio, which visits Genoa on Sunday. Third-place Inter Milan is also playing a relegation-threatened team on Sunday as it hosts Sampdoria.

Spal remained firmly bottom of the table, eight points from safety, after a fifth successive defeat.

Ronaldo thought he had given Juventus the lead in the fifth minute but it was ruled offside on video review.

However, the Portugal forward did get on the scoresheet six minutes from the break, rushing in at the far post to volley Juan Cuadrado‘s cross into the roof of the net.

It took Juventus until the hour mark to double its lead when Paulo Dybala sent in a delightful through ball for Ramsey, who lifted it above Spal goalkeeper Etrit Berisha.

Spal reduced the deficit nine minutes later after Juventus defender Daniele Rugani fouled midfielder Simone Missiroli. After a lengthy wait and the use of video review, a penalty was awarded and Petagna fired it into the bottom right corner.

AC Milan was playing at Fiorentina later. Bologna drew 1-1 at home to Udinese earlier.

Serie A roundup: Atalanta crush Udinese in historic victory (video)

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Atalanta’s historic 7-1 victory over a typically defensively sharp Udinese highlights Sunday’s Serie A action.

 [ MORE: Serie A scores, schedule ]

Atalanta 7-1 Udinese

Stadio Atleti Azzurri d’Italia was a fun place to be on Sunday.

The home side, Atalanta routed Udinese 7-1, equalling their biggest ever Serie A victory and moving just three points behind league leaders Juventus.

Udinese opened the scoreline in the 11th minute, but the visitor’s red card in the 32nd minute proved to be too much for them to overcome. When all was said and done, Luis Muriel finished with hat-trick, while Josip Ilicic added a brace of his own.

Fresh off of a 5-1 drilling against Manchester City in the Champions League – a tournament that has seen them lose its first three games – La Dea was in dire need of such reviving performance, despite just loosing once this season.

Prior to Sunday, Udinese had conceded just six goals this season.

Atalanta will have to turn the page quickly, however, as they take on fourth-place Napoli midweek, while Udinese host Roma, who edged AC Milan with goals from Edin Dzeko and Nicolo Zaniolo.

Elsewhere in Serie A

Roma 2-1 Milan

SPAL 1-1 Napoli

Bologna 2-1 Sampdoria

Torino 1-1 Cagliari

Fiorentina 1-2 Lazio

Serie A: SPAL shock Juve, Milan hold onto fourth place

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Here’s a roundup of all of Saturday’s action in Italy’s top flight…

[READ: Sloppy Man United beat West Ham thanks to Paul Pogba]

SPAL 2-1 Juventus

Juventus will have to wait at least another week to celebrate another Scudetto after a historic SPAL win on Saturday. The club based in the famous region Emilia-Romagna came back to beat Juventus, 2-1. Budding Juventus star Moise Kean scored for the fourth time in five games but two second half goals from Kevin Bonifazi and Sergio Floccari gave SPAL the win.

Juventus, ahead of its second leg match with Ajax in the UEFA Champions League, rested many of its veteran starters including Cristiano Ronaldo and Giorgio Chiellini. 17-year-old Paolo Guzzi made his debut for Juventus with all the changes.

AC Milan 1-0 Lazio

Franck Kessie’s penalty kick goal gave AC Milan its tenth home win of the year and kept the Italian giant in the run for a place in next year’s UEFA Champions League.

Just three points separated Lazio and Milan before the match but despite Lazio reportedly having the advantage, Milan came away with all three points. Ciro Immobile had chances to score for Lazio at either end of the first half, but Pepe Reina came up with big saves to keep the clean sheet. At the other end, Davide Calabria crossed to Krzysztof Piatek but he couldn’t put a strike on target.

In the second half, Riza Durmisi fouled Mateo Musacchio in the box, leading to Kessie scoring to secure the victory.

Elsewhere, Edin Dzeko‘s goal led Roma to a 1-0 victory over Udinese at the Estadio Olimpico.

VAR decision in Serie A game has double impact

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FERRARA, Italy (AP) Video review changed the course of a Serie A match in Italy on Sunday when, for the first time, a goal was disallowed and a penalty awarded to the opposing team in the same decision.

[ MORE: Serie A scores, schedule

SPAL thought it had gone 2-1 ahead when Mattia Valoti scored on the counter-attack but the referee viewed a previous incident on VAR and opted to award Fiorentina a penalty for Dias Felipe’s trip on Federico Chiesa moments earlier.

The decision, which came more than four minutes after the foul, made everything that had followed null and void, including Valoti’s goal.

Jordan Veretout converted the penalty and Fiorentina went on to win 4-1.

This scenario has been a possibility since VAR was introduced at the start of the 2017-18 season in Italy but it is the first time it has actually happened.

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/apf-Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

SPAL tops Atalanta 2-0, now 2nd in Serie A table

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SPAL finished 17th last season, just three points above the drop, but Serie A minnows SPAL may have turned things around.

23-year-old AC Milan youth product Andrea Petagna scored a pair within six minutes of each other soon after halftime, and that was all SPAL needed as they topped Atalanta 2-0 at Stadio Paolo Mazza. Atalanta held 57% possession, but couldn’t find a way through, only able to put one of its 13 shots on frame.

The win moved SPAL to second in the Serie A table, level with Napoli on points but ahead by three goals on differential, with Napoli on a 0 goal differential thanks to its baffling 3-0 loss at Sampdoria two weekends ago. Through four matches, SPAL has conceded just a single goal, coming in last weekend’s 1-0 loss at Torino, their only blemish so far this season.

The victory marked SPAL’s first match back in its home ground, which had been renovated to increase capacity to 16,000 which was the minimum to host Serie A matches. They had been playing home matches at Stadio Renato Dall’Ara in nearby Bologna, the usual home site for fellow Serie A side Bologna FC. Last season’s 17th placed finish was the club’s first campaign in the top flight since 1968.

SPAL and Napoli still sit three points back of eight-time defending champions Juventus, who are on a perfect 12 points through four matches. SPAL visits Fiorentina next weekend.