FRUSTRATED Cristiano Ronaldo was hoping for another red letter day of amazing stats – but instead was lucky to escape a red card.
The Juventus superstar went into tonight’s 3-3 thriller at Sassuolo with 20 goals from his past 18 games, needing one more strike to become the first player to net 50 times in the Italian, Spanish and English top flights.
Cristiano Ronaldo failed to score for the first time in a Serie A match since March[/caption]
But as well as failing to provide a goal or assist for the first time in 19 matches, he also caught Sassuolo’s record-appearance holder Francesco Magnanelli with a studs-in challenge.
Referee Paolo Valeri merely booked Ronaldo, who was perhaps showing his frustration as Sassuolo had turned a 2-0 deficit into a 3-2 lead.
Alex Sandro soon headed Juve’s point-saver to keep the Serie A leaders seven points clear of second-placed Lazio with five games left as they eye a ninth successive crown.
But Ronaldo had to wait until late on for the main exception to his own quiet night, twinkling footwork to conjure a fierce shot well saved by home keeper Andrea Consigli.
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It was the first time sine March the former Real Madrid and Manchester United striker has failed to score in Serie A, having amassed seven in six matches following the restart.
But 32 goals so far this season, including 28 in the league, is still another incredible feat.
And if Juve do retain the title Ronaldo will become the first player to win two domestic crowns apiece in Italy, Spain and England.