'Stratospheric': Juventus win sets Serie A points tally record
Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice as he inspired Juventus to a 2-1 win against Sampdoria to break the record for the most points at the midway stage of the season, but the Turin club needed some help from VAR to ensure victory.
Juventus' big money capture of the five-time Ballon d'Or winner last summer is looking to be an increasingly sound investment for the Bianconeri as the Portuguese found the net twice in their single-goal win against Sampdoria in their final fixture before the Italian winter break.
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Ronaldo scored an early goal, adding a second from the penalty spot on 65 minutes after a contentious decision from the referee to penalize what appeared to be an accidental handball in the penalty area.
Fabio Quagliarella scored Sampdoria's sole effort with a first-half penalty.
Both penalties were awarded after the referee consulted VAR but further controversy was to come in injury time towards the end of the game when the video assistant was once again used to disallow a late Sampdoria equalizer, adjudging that Riccardo Saponara had come back from an offside position before curling a splendid finish past Mattia Perin.
53 - #Juventus have collected 53 points so far, a historical Serie A record after the first 19 match-days in the top italian league (20 teams). Stratospheric. #JuveSamp— OptaPaolo (@OptaPaolo) December 29, 2018
Max Allegri's Juventus side remain unbeaten through the first 19 domestic fixtures of the season, with two draws the only blemish on their record at the midway point of the Serie A season, meaning they have registered an impressive 53 points along the way - some 12 points clear of second-placed Napoli, who have a game in hand.
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It is the most points ever for a Serie A team at this stage of the season, and the 101 points they have registered in the 2018 calendar year is the most since Torino in 1948.
Ronaldo's impact in Saturday's win makes it nine successive matches in which he has found the net in the Italian top flight, making him the first player to do so since French World Cup winner David Trezeguet in 2005.