Cristiano Ronaldo made history on Tuesday to give Juventus a 3-0 Serie A victory over Spezia in Turin.
The 36-year-old struck the third goal of the game after Alvaro Morata and Federico Chiesa had put the champions in control in the second half at the Allianz Stadium.
Ronaldo’s clinical finish saw him become the first player to score at least 20 goals in each of the past 12 seasons in Europe’s top-five leagues.
It was a moment to savour for the Portugal star, who was playing in the 600th league match of his career, as he moved two goals clear of Inter’s Romelu Lukaku in the race to finish as Serie A top scorer for 2020-21.
The result lifted Juve back to within seven points of league leaders Inter with 14 games remaining, and head coach Andrea Pirlo is not prepared to give up on their chances of a 10th title in succession.
“The gap is just the points that separate us,” he told Sky Sport Italia. “We know it will be a long chase. Inter have been playing together for two years, they have a well-drilled approach, whereas we just started this season. We still intend to be there right to the end.”
Pirlo felt his side’s sluggish start against Spezia was “more physical than psychological fatigue”, adding: “It can happen when you have so many games with the same players.
“We tried to control the game and then when the fresh legs came on, we were sharper and able to make the most of our chances.”