By G9ija

Cristiano Ronaldo marked his 600th appearance in league football with yet another record, scoring his 20th Serie A goal of the season as Juventus beat Spezia 3-0 on Tuesday.

The Portuguese guided in his side’s third goal late on after Alvaro Morata and Federico Chiesa had struck earlier in the second half as Andrea Pirlo’s side moved to within three points of second-placed AC Milan.

Ronaldo, 36, becomes the first player to score at least 20 goals in each of the past 12 seasons in Europe’s top five leagues, dating back to his final term with Manchester United, when he netted 18 times in the 2008/09 Premier League season.

The win leaves Juve third with 49 points from 24 games behind Milan on 52 and leaders Inter with 56, both of whom are in action this week against Udinese and Parma respectively.

The gap still leaves Juventus with work to do in their quest for a 10th consecutive league title.

“If we don’t win it at the end of the season we will congratulate the winners, but we must die on the pitch first, until we’re told that there are no more points left to play for,” Morata told Sky Italia.

“That’s what we must do, as long as we have a mathematical chance, we will fight until the end.”

The double introduction of Morata and Federico Bernardeschi with half an hour remaining proved decisive, as the winger teed up the Spanish striker to score his first league goal since December within 60 seconds of coming on.

“Morata is a fundamental player for us; he has a lot of quality, knows how to work with the team, how to attack the space and score goals,” Pirlo said.

“He’s the player that we wanted. Unfortunately he has been missing lately but now we hope he can get back to his best quickly.”

“Morata is a fundamental player for us; he has a lot of quality, knows how to work with the team, how to attack the space and score goals,” Pirlo said.

“He’s the player that we wanted. Unfortunately he has been missing lately but now we hope he can get back to his best quickly.”

Spezia squandered the chance for a consolation goal when Wojciech Szczesny saved Andrey Galabinov’s penalty with the final kick of the game.