Buffon sets record, Ronaldo nets in Juve win

Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon set a record for the number of Serie A appearances when he played his 648th game in the Italian top flight in a 4-1 win against Torino on Saturday.

The 42-year-old, who made his Serie A debut for Parma as a 17-year-old in November 1995, overtook the record previously held by former AC Milan defender Paolo Maldini.

Buffon stayed with Parma for six seasons, making 168 Serie A appearances, before joining Juventus in 2001. He left the Turin side at the end of the 2017-18 season and joined Paris Saint-Germain, where he spent one season before returning to Juventus.

Gianluigi Buffon
Buffon is beaten from the penalty spot by Torino’s Andrea Belotti

He also played 37 times in Serie B after Juventus were relegated over the Calciopoli match-fixing scandal in 2006 and 17 times in Ligue 1 with Paris Saint-Germain.

Saturday’s match was his eighth of the season in Serie A and his first this year.

Juventus went ahead with a deflected Paulo Dybala shot in the third minute and Juan Cuadrado extended their lead before Andrea Belotti pulled one back from a penalty in first-half stoppage time.

Torino were threatening an equaliser until Cristiano Ronaldo curled his shot over the wall and into the corner, his first goal in 43 free kick attempts during just under two seasons with Juventus. An own goal by Torino substitute Koffi Djidji completed the scoring.

The win left Juventus with 75 points from 30 games, seven ahead of second-placed Lazio who were at home to AC Milan later on Saturday.

Elsewhere, veteran forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic, starting his first match since the coronavirus stoppage, converted a penalty to help AC Milan to an emphatic 3-0 win at Lazio on Saturday, severely denting the Serie A title hopes of their ragged opponents.

Lazio, missing Serie A leading scorer Ciro Immobile through suspension, dropped seven points behind leaders Juventus on a night when nothing went right for them.

Hakan Calhanoglu put Milan ahead in the 23rd minute with a shot which took a wicked deflection of Gil Patric and Ibrahimovic, recovered from a calf injury, added the second 11 minutes later from the spot.

As stunned Lazio lost their way, sixth-placed Milan looked dangerous with every counter attack and it was no surprise when Ante Rebic added a third just before the hour.

At the other end of the table, Lecce‘s relegation fears increased as they were beaten 4-2 by Sassuolo.

Late goals from Jeremie Boga and Mert Muldur proved decisive after Lecce had twice come from behind. Fabio Lucioni first cancelled out Francesco Caputo’s early opener before Domenico Berardi and Marco Mancosu traded penalties.

La Liga: Celta relegation worries remain

Former Manchester City winger Nolito put Celta ahead
Former Manchester City winger Nolito put Celta ahead

Celta Vigo missed a chance to move further away from the relegation zone after a 1-1 home draw against Real Betis.

It was the third straight winless match for Celta, who stay just outside the drop zone with four matches left.

Celta took the lead with a clever free-kick converted by forward Nolito in the 22nd minute, curling a low shot around the wall, but the hosts conceded in the 79th after the defence failed to clear a cross inside the area and Betis defender Zou Feddal picked up the loose ball to score easily.

Celta stay in 17th place after Saturday’s draw, with a six-point cushion over Mallorca.

Meanwhile, Valladolid moved closer to La Liga survival as a last-gasp Joaquin goal gave them a 1-0 win over Alaves.

Joaquin struck with just two minutes remaining at the Jose Zorrilla Stadium, earning a first win in six and lifting the side 10 points clear of the relegation zone.

Substitute Fede Vico scored an 86th-minute equaliser as Granada snatched a 2-2 draw in their mid-table battle with Valencia.

Carlos Fernandez had opened the scoring for Granada with a 61st-minute penalty but quickfire replies from Manuel Vallejo and Goncalo Guedes had turned the game around.

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