Inter Milan maintained their lead at the top of the Serie A with an eighth straight win.

Cristiano Ronaldo, on the other hand, netted a perfect hattrick for Juventus as the Italian champions crushed Cagliari.

Lautaro Martinez scored a stunner to give Inter a victory late in the game to extend their winning run to 8 consecutive matches as they now sit 9 points clear at the top of the Italian league by beating Torino.

Lautaro Martinez

Lautaro Martinez of Internazionale celebrates after scoring (Photo by Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images)

Belgian forward Romelu Lukaku opened the scoring for the Nerazzurri in the 62nd minute as he converted his penalty to put his team up.

8 minutes later, relegation-threated Torino found an equaliser through Antonio Sanabria.

Torino were on the verge of picking up a point but Argentinian star Martinez managed to steer a header beautifully into the bottom corner with 5 minutes remaining to give the league leaders a massive 3 points in the Serie A title race.

City rivals AC Milan suffered a defeat to 5th placed Napoli, which now means that Inter are clear at the top by 9 points after Mateo Politano gave the Gli Azzurri a big victory.

Juventus stay in the hunt

Cristiano Ronaldo scored a perfect hattrick inside just 32 minutes as Juventus comfortably beat Cagliari 3-1 to stay in the hunt for retaining their Scudetto.

Juventus overcame the disappointment of being knocked out of the UEFA Champions League with a comprehensive away win against relegation threatened Cagliari.

Ronaldo’s hattrick saw him take his career goal tally to 770. This took him 3 clear of Pele.

Pele congratulated Cristiano Ronaldo after the Portugal captain went past the Brazilian legend’s goal tally in official matches.

“Life is a solo flight. Each makes his own journey. And what a beautiful journey you are having. I admire you a lot, I love watching you play and this is no secret to anyone. Congratulations on breaking my record of goals in official matches,” Pele posted on his Instagram.

 

 

 

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After the game, Cristiano Ronaldo explained on Instagram why he is only now acknowledging the “record”.

“The last few weeks were filled with news and stats considering me the world’s top scorer in football history, overcoming Pele’s 757 official goals,” he said. “Although I’m thankful for that recognition, now it’s time for me to explain why I didn’t acknowledge that record until this moment.

“My ever-lasting and unconditional admiration for mister Edson Arantes do Nascimento [Pele], such as the respect that I have for mid-20th century football, led me to take into account his 767 score, assuming his nine goals for Sao Paulo State Team, as well as his single goal for the Brazilian Military Team, as official goals. The world has changed since then and football has changed as well, but this doesn’t mean that we can just erase history according to our interests.

“Today, as I reach the 770th official goal in my professional career, my first words go straight to Pele. There’s no player in the world who hasn’t been raised listening to stories about his games, his goals and his achievements, and I’m no exception. And for that reason, I’m filled with joy and pride as I acknowledge the goal that puts me on top of the world’s goalscoring list, overcoming Pele’s record, something that I could never have dreamed of while growing up as a child from Madeira.”

Juventus are now 10 points behind leaders Inter, with a game in hand and can move into 2nd with a draw, ahead of AC Milan on goal difference.

The Serie A race is still too early to call.