Dybala keeps Juventus At Serie A Summit, Lazio And Cagliari Into Top Four

Juventus’ Argentine forward Paulo Dybala celebrates after opening the scoring during the Italian Serie A football match Juventus vs AC Milan on November 10, 2019 at the Juventus Allianz stadium in Turin. Marco Bertorello / AFP

 

 

Paulo Dybala struck the decisive goal in Juventus’ 1-0 win over AC Milan on Sunday after replacing Cristiano Ronaldo as Juventus stayed top of Serie A, while Lazio and Cagliari moved into the Champions League places.

Argentine forward Dybala hit the winner in the 77th minute in the Allianz Stadium having taken the place of Ronaldo 20 minutes earlier.

Defending champions Juventus maintain their one-point lead over Antonio Conte’s Inter Milan who had taken pole position after their 2-1 win over Verona on Saturday.

AC Milan’s seventh defeat in 12 games saw Stefano Pioli’s side drop to 14th position, just four points above the relegation zone.

READ ALSO: Ronaldo Leaves Stadium Before Final Whistle After Being Substituted

However Milan had threatened as the former European giants chased their first win against Juventus in Turin in eight years.

Wojciech Szczesny was kept busy in the Juventus goal, denying fellow Pole Krzysztof Piatek, Lucas Paqueta and Hakan Calhanoglu.

Blaise Matuidi missed Juventus’s best chance before Dybala’s winner when his powerful curling effort flew wide just after the break.

Five-time Ballon d’Or winner Ronaldo, who had also been taken off during the midweek Champions League win over Lokomotiv Moscow, reportedly left the stadium before the end of the game after being substituted on 55 minutes.

Douglas Costa also came on for Federico Bernardeschi after an hour, with the two substitutions changing the game for the champions.

Gonzalo Higuain fed Dybala, who easily shook off Alessio Romagnoli to beat Donnarumma and claim his third league goal this season.

“Cristiano should be thanked because he made himself available despite not being in optimal conditions,” said Juventus coach Maurizio Sarri.

“In the last month he has had this discomfort in his knee and this a little problem for him.

“It’s only natural a player is going to be irritated to leave the pitch, especially when he worked so hard to be there.”

Returning hero Nainggolan

Behind the leaders, Lazio and Cagliari moved into the top four after goal-packed wins.

Lazio saw off newly-promoted Lecce 4-2, while surprise package Cagliari continued their superb form with a 5-2 rout of Fiorentina.

The two teams are level on 24 points, eight behind Juventus with Lazio ahead of the Sardinians on goal difference.

Lazio’s Argentine forward Joaquin Correa hit a brace either side of Sergej Milinkovic-Savic’s strike, with Serie A top-scorer Ciro Immobile slotting in a penalty at the Stadio Olimpico.

Cagliari, who battled relegation last season, have been in superb form since Radja Nainggolan returned to the Sardinian outfit after five years away, including a difficult season at Inter Milan last term.

The Belgian contributed three assists and capped a stellar performance with the fifth goal of the game on 65 minutes.

Fiorentina are struggling without Franck Ribery who is serving a three-match ban for pushing an official.

Nainggolan set up Mark Rog for the opener on 17 minutes, with Fabio Pisacane nodding in the second less than ten minutes later.

The 31-year-old was involved again in Giovanni Simeone’s third goal against the Argentinian forward’s parent club, as well as Joao Pedro’s effort 10 minutes after the break, before blasting in his second goal of the campaign from distance.

He was given a standing ovation when substituted in the 78th minute.

“We are doing something extraordinary,” said Nainggolan whose side are unbeaten in 10 games, which include seven victories and three draws.

“Nobody would have said at the beginning of the year that we could play so well,” said the Belgian.

“There is an enthusiasm that hasn’t been seen at Cagliari for years.”

Atalanta lost ground in the league days after their 1-1 draw against Manchester City thanks to a goalless draw at relegation-threatened Sampdoria.

The Bergamo side are winless in three league games and played the last 15 minutes in Genoa a man down after Ruslan Malinovskiy was sent off for a second yellow card.

Paulo Fonseca’s injury-depleted Roma also showed signs of fatigue after their Europa League defeat in Germany, falling 2-0 at Parma and dropping down to sixth.

Parma pulled through thanks to a Mattia Sprocati strike on 68 minutes and Andreas Cornelius finding a way through deep into injury time.

Dybala Must Ignore Messi, Ronaldo Comparisons, Says Allegri

Paulo Dybala should avoid worrying about comparisons with Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo if he wants to become the best player in the world, said Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri Saturday.

The 24-year-old Argentine — linked with a possible move to Manchester United — has not hit the heights of last season despite scoring 14 goals in 19 Serie A games including a double in Saturday’s 3-1 win at Verona.

Dybala had been on the bench in the previous three games but started on Saturday and ensured the six-time defending Serie A champions won for the first time in Verona since 2001.

Juventus Must Rediscover Cutting Edge In Champions League – Allegri
File photo. Allegri

“It’s important that Paulo found the net again,” said Allegri. “After the goal, he started to play better, as he was in a delicate moment where things weren’t quite going his way.

“Psychology is everything in football and confidence is key.

“You have to be focused and determined. I think the only advice for Paulo is to think just about his football and his journey, not worrying about comparisons with players like Leo Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo.

“In the next three years he will be, together with Neymar, the most important player in the world. Today there are Messi and Ronaldo and it is difficult, but his path is that he has to improve physically, technically and mentally.”

Blaise Matuidi scored Juventus’s earliest goal this season after six minutes, finishing off a Gonzalo Higuain rebound.

The hosts pulled level just before the hour mark when former Juventus player Martin Caceres scored from 20 yards.

Dybala then hit his five-minute double, the first on 72 minutes when Sami Khedira slid a through-ball to Stephan Lichtsteiner with the right back sending a cross into the box to a waiting Dybala.

The Argentine did the second on his own, dribbling through the Verona defence to seal the win which moved Allegri’s side to within a point of Napoli at the end of the first half of the season.

“What I hope for the second half of the season is that Juventus stay in the running on all three fronts,” said Allegri, who also refused to rule out the chasing pack of Inter Milan, AC Milan and Lazio who all failed to win on Saturday.

“It was important to increase the gap on those behind us and remain close to Napoli,” he said.

“The others are not out, there are still lots of games to play. The championship will be resolved in the last games.”

AFP

Dybala, Messi Renew Rivalry In Champions League Clash

Argentina’s Lionel Messi and Argentina’s Paulo Dybala during an international friendly football match between Russia and Argentina at the Luzhniki stadium in Moscow. Photo:  Kirill KUDRYAVTSEV / AFP

Juventus star Paulo Dybala has rediscovered his scoring form just in time as he renews his rivalry with fellow Argentina Lionel Messi in Wednesday’s Champions League clash with Barcelona.

The 30-year-old Messi scored two goals to help Barcelona to a comfortable 3-0 win over Juventus, last season’s finalists, at the Nou Camp in September.

Messi then scored a hat-trick in Ecuador to carry Argentina through to the 2018 World Cup.

Barcelona’s Argentinian forward Lionel Messi runs with the ball during the UEFA Champions League . / AFP PHOTO / LLUIS GENE

Dybala was on the substitute’s bench in Quito but the 24-year-old will be on the field in Turin where a win will ensure Juventus reaches the knockout rounds.

Barcelona lead Group D by three points with two rounds to go, and Ernesto Valverde’s side need only a draw to advance as group winners.

Dybala made a record-setting start to the Serie A season with 10 goals in six games before suffering a dip in form.

He got back on the scoresheet in the final seconds of Sunday’s 3-2 loss at Sampdoria, to bring his tally to 12 goals in 13 games.

Since arriving in Turin from Palermo in 2015, the player dubbed “The Jewel” has scored 56 goals in 112 games. But he has yet to open his tally in Europe this term.

Messi has hit three in the Champions League this season to join Ronaldo in the exclusive club of players who have scored 100 goals in European competition.

– ‘Messi like Maradona’ –

Diminutive, dynamic and with a deadly left foot like his idol, Dybala names Messi as a source of inspiration, although he has also spoken about how difficult it is to play alongside the superstar in the Argentine national team.

Dybala said he had been misinterpreted, adding that Messi had laughed off the comments when he tried to explain.

“Leo is like Maradona for those of our generation,” Dybala told France Football. “For me it’s an honour to play with him in the national team.”

“He dragged us to the World Cup with the hat-trick in Ecuador. He is a born leader.”

Juventus’ Argentinian forward Paulo Dybala celebrates after scoring a goal. Photo: MARCO BERTORELLO / AFP

Dybala has said that he would like one day play alongside Messi’s former Barcelona team-mate Neymar Jr. The pair have long been tipped as heirs to Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, who have dominated world soccer’s annual awards in recent years.

“I have to work to improve and win trophies. Once, in front of a bonfire with friends we all made a wish – my own was to win the Ballon d’Or.”

As for his future at six-time defending Serie A champions, he added: “In football you never know, but I’m not thinking of going away.”

Barca are in top form having won 11 and drawn one of 12 domestic matches this season to sit four points ahead of Valencia in La Liga.

Juventus, after their setback at Sampdoria, are third in Serie A.

AFP

Dybala Hat-Trick Helps Juventus Maintain Perfect Record

Juventus’ Argentinian forward Paulo Dybala celebrates after scoring a goal during the Italian Serie A football match Sassuolo versus Juventus on September 17, 2017 at the Mapei Stadium in Reggio Emilia. MARCO BERTORELLO / AFP

A Paulo Dybala hat-trick lifted Juventus back to the summit of Serie A alongside Inter Milan with a 3-1 victory at Sassuolo on Sunday making it four wins out of four for the champions.

The Argentina forward left the pitch ten minutes from the end to a standing ovation from the crowd at the Mapei Stadium following a masterclass performance by the 23-year-old who has now scored eight goals in four games.

His first was a left-footed volley from the edge of the box to beat Andrea Consigli on 16 minutes, the second a close-range effort again surprising the Sassuolo goalkeeper just after the break and the third a sublime free-kick on 63 minutes.

Sassuolo managed to get a consolation goal through Matteo Politano after a Stephan Lichtsteiner error on 51 minutes.

“I wanted to score one and three came along,” said Dybala after his second hat-trick of the season and his 52nd goal in his 100th match for Juventus.

The victory also helped Massimiliano Allegri’s team bounce back from the disappointment of their midweek Champions League defeat to Barcelona.

“The team continues to win and reach high levels,” continued Dybala.

“I hope to continue like that with the number 10 shirt. The team gives me confidence and I also compliment the coach, who gives me the freedom to play where I want.”

Juventus leapfrog Inter, also on the maximum 12 points but behind on goal difference. They won 2-0 at Crotone on Saturday.

Napoli could also join the leading two by making it four wins from four when they play neighbouring Benevento later.

Lazio and Torino can move into the top part of the table if they beat Genoa and Sampdoria respectively later Sunday as AC Milan host Udinese.

Roma eased past Verona 3-0 on Saturday.

AFP

Seria A: Dybala Hat-Trick Silences Genoa

Juventus’ Argentinian forward Paulo Dybala celebrates after scoring during the Italian Serie A football match Genoa v Juventus at The Luigi Ferraris Stadium in Genoa on August 26, 2017.
Marco BERTORELLO / AFP

Argentina forward Paulo Dybala hit a hat-trick as Juventus recovered from two goals down after a dreadful start to win 4-2 at Genoa in Serie A on Saturday.

With confidence still flying high after last season’s shock 3-1 home win over the champions, Genoa looked on their way to causing another upset after breaching Gianluigi Buffon’s goal twice in the opening minutes.

Seconds into the game the Luigi Ferraris stadium erupted when Goran Pandev skipped past Alex Sandro, rolled the ball across the area and saw his effort deflect off Miralem Pjanic’s knee and into the net.

Memories of last season’s reverse must have come flooding back for visiting coach Massimiliano Allegri, especially when the hosts doubled their lead six minutes later.

For the second successive league game, Juve conceded a penalty following a decision by the video assistant referee (VAR) after defender Daniele Rugani kicked the back of Andrej Galabinov’s heel.

Although Galabinov looked slightly offside, officials consulted the VAR technology to award the penalty, which Galabinov got up to convert.

Juve, however, refused to buckle. Pjanic made part amends for his earlier mishap when he pulled back from the byline for Dybala to beat Genoa goalkeeper Mattia Perin at his near post before the quarter hour.

The goal was enough to instil Juve confidence and Perin was tested by both Dybala and Gonzalo Higuain shortly after, while Galabinov nodded just wide from Darko Lazovic’s cross at the other end.

Perin, making his first home appearance since rupturing his ACL last season, did well to thwart Dybala twice in succession after he latched on to Pjanic’s pass, scrambling to deny Mario Mandzukic on the follow-up, too.

The VAR was used again, this time to Juve’s advantage, when a penalty was awarded for a Lazovic handball from a Cuadrado pass. Dybala stepped up to convert and level four minutes into first-half stoppage time.

Juve completed their comeback just after the hour thanks to a fine piece of skill from Colombian forward Cuadrado, who controlled Mandzukic’s lob before beating Perin with a left-footed curler into the far top corner.

To their credit, Genoa dug deep and Diego Laxalt was unlucky when his strike skimmed the bottom of the far post, Buffon then hurrying to smother Raffaele Palladino’s close-range effort.

But hopes of snatching a share of the points were tempered by a fine third from Dybala, the diminutive number 10 collecting from Higuain before firing a low drive past Perin.

In Saturday’s late game Roma host Inter Milan and former coach Luciano Spalletti at the Stadio Olimpico.

AFP