They Have A Strong Team, Says Sarri Ahead Of Napoli Clash

Juventus’ Italian coach Maurizio Sarri looks on during the Italian Cup (Coppa Italia) round of 16 football match Juventus vs Udinese on January 15, 2020 at the Juventus stadium in Turin. AFP

 

Juventus coach Maurizio Sarri said he expects an emotional return to his former club Napoli on Sunday as Lazio and Roma prepare for a derby clash in Serie A after both capital-city sides exited the Italian Cup during the week.

Sarri missed Juventus’ home game against Napoli with pneumonia in August and Sunday’s game at the Stadio San Paolo will be his first since leaving the club in 2018 before his move to Chelsea.

“It will be a tremendously difficult game, emotionally it will be particularly special. My relationship with Naples and above all the city was strong,” said Sarri, after Juve reached the Italian Cup semi-finals with a 3-1 win over Roma on Wednesday.

Juventus are top of the league with a four-point lead on second-placed Inter Milan, but Napoli — Serie A runners-up in the past two seasons — are struggling in 11th position, 14 points off the Champions League places.

“We must not look at their position in the table,” Sarri continued. “They have a strong team. They are going through a difficult time but have good players.

“There are three points at stake.”

Napoli lost 4-3 in the reverse fixture this season.

But the team are a shadow of the eye-catching side Sarri left in May 2018 to be replaced by Carlos Ancelotti.

Ancelotti helped the team maintain their runners-up position last campaign but was replaced at the troubled side by Gennaro Gattuso last month.

Gattuso has lost four of his five Serie A games in charge and the club have not won at home in the league since October 19.

But they have been boosted by booking their ticket to the Italian Cup semi-finals with a 1-0 win over in-form Lazio this week.

“We played with hunger, character and the right spirit, showing real grit, something we had been lacking up till now,” said Gattuso.

“Now, of course, we need to keep it up, to climb back up the table.”

Second-placed Inter Milan are at home against sixth-placed Cagliari this weekend, after their title bid was stalled with back-to-back draws.

Lazio — on a club-record 11-match league winning streak — are third, six points behind Juventus with a game in hand, and two adrift of Inter ahead of the Rome derby.

Paulo Fonseca’s Roma are seven points behind their city rivals in the final Champions League berth.

The teams played out a 1-1 draw in the reverse fixture in September, and last season had a win each.

Simone Inzaghi’s Lazio are pushing for a first Scudetto since 2000, after crashing out of the Italian Cup, which they won last season.

Flagging Atalanta, in fifth, travel to Torino, while Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s eighth-placed AC Milan visit Brescia on Friday looking to edge closer to the Europa League places.

Brescia striker Mario Balotelli will miss the game against his former club after being handed a two-match ban for arguing with the referee last weekend.

One to watch

Atalanta’s Duvan Zapata is desperate to end his three-match goal drought since returning from injury.

The 28-year-old scored six league goals in seven games before being sidelined for three months with a thigh injury.

It is the former Sampdoria forward’s longest stretch without scoring since his first goal for Atalanta back in November 2018.

Key stats

50 – Atalanta’s league goals scored in 20 games

27 – Napoli’s points deficit to Juventus

23 – Ciro Immobile’s league goals for Lazio this season

12 – Ronaldo’s goals in last eight games

3 – Maurizio Sarri’s seasons as Napoli coach

Fixtures (all times GMT)

Friday

Brescia v AC Milan (1945)

Saturday

SPAL v Bologna (1400), Fiorentina v Genoa (1700), Torino v Atalanta (1945)

Sunday

Inter Milan v Cagliari (1130), Hellas Verona v Lecce, Parma v Udinese, Sampdoria v Sassuolo (1400), Roma v Lazio (1700), Napoli v Juventus (1945)

AFP

Ronaldo Scores First Serie A Hat-Trick As Ibrahimovic Returns To Italy

A photo combination of Juventus’ Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo and AC Milan’s Swedish forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic. AFP

 

Cristiano Ronaldo scored his first Serie A hat-trick to lift Juventus top of the table with a 4-0 win over Cagliari on Monday, while Zlatan Ibrahimovic made an “emotional” return for AC Milan in a goalless draw against Sampdoria.

Ronaldo struck for the fifth consecutive league game as the champions bounced back from their Italian Super Cup defeat by Lazio to move ahead of Inter Milan who play Napoli later Monday.

“I’m happy with this first (league) hat-trick. But the important thing is the team, which played very well,” said Ronaldo, who brought his league tally to 13 goals in 15 games this season.

“We had to win today and put pressure on Inter.”

READ ALSO: Nadal On Fire As Spain Crush Uruguay At ATP Cup

Cagliari held off Maurizio Sarri’s Juve early on, but the second half was all one-way traffic with 34-year-old Ronaldo breaking the deadlock just after the interval.

The Portuguese striker added a second from the penalty spot on 67 minutes then set up Gonzalo Higuain who came off the bench to strike a third nine minutes from time, before completing his hat-trick a minute later.

Juve are three points ahead of Inter in the table with Antonio Conte’s side travelling to eighth-placed Napoli looking to keep pace with the eight-time defending champions.

‘Like A God’

Ronaldo’s heroics overshadowed Swedish star Ibrahimovic’s return for Milan as he came off the bench in the 55th minute against Sampdoria.

The 38-year-old had not played since leaving MLS side LA Galaxy in October.

He came on for Poland striker Krzysztof Piatek to deafening applause from the San Siro crowd after rejoining the club last week.

But there was little else to cheer for the hosts who extended their winless run to three games and remain 12th in the table.

“I felt a lot of adrenaline, emotion, it brought me back nine or 10 years,” said Ibrahimovic, who was top scorer in Serie A with Milan in the 2011-12 campaign before leaving for Paris Saint-Germain.

“I wanted to get on the pitch, score a goal and then celebrate like a God in front of the Curva! But it will happen next time.”

The seven-time European champions are 13 points off Champions League qualification, a competition they have not played since the 2013-14 season.

“You can see that the team is lacking confidence and aggression in scoring goals,” said the Swede.

“I will try everything possible to get Milan going again. There is a lack of faith here.”

Five-Star Atalanta

Milan coach Stefano Pioli said the team were still reeling from their 5-0 defeat by Atalanta last time out.

“The disastrous defeat in Bergamo has remained within us,” said Pioli. “It is a shame not to have won. Ibra’s impact was absolutely positive.

“He immediately gave support, but the team is not yet used to his presence, we could look to him more.

“His physical prowess gives us some more solutions, but we lacked quality from everyone.”

Atalanta continued their fine form, closing to within a point of fourth-placed Roma, who lost 2-0 to Torino on Sunday, with another 5-0 rout, this time of seventh-placed Parma.

Atalanta were already three goals up before the break thanks to Papu Gomez, Remo Freuler and Robin Gosens, with Josip Ilicic adding a second-half double.

New Fiorentina coach Giuseppe Iachini had to settle for a 1-1 draw against Bologna in his first game after taking over from Vincenzo Montella.

The Tuscany side had led for most of the game after Marco Benassi volleyed in on 27 minutes but Riccardo Orsolini grabbed a point for Bologna deep into injury time.

Udinese secured back-to-back wins for the first time this season thanks to a late Rodrigo De Paul winner at Lecce.

AFP

Swedish Teenage Sensation Set For Juventus Move

(FILES) In this file photograph taken on October 26, 2019, Parma’s Swedish midfielder Dejan Kulusevski (L) and Inter Milan’s Croatian defender Marcelo Brozovic fight for the ball during the Italian Serie A football match Inter Milan vs Parma at The San Siro Stadium in Milan. Promising Swedish teenager Dejan Kulusevski is poised on January 2, 2020, to complete a move to Juventus from Atalanta after undergoing his medical, the Serie A champions confirmed

 

Promising Swedish teenager Dejan Kulusevski is poised on Thursday to complete a move to Juventus from Atalanta after undergoing his medical, the Serie A champions confirmed.

“The Swedish midfielder arrived at the medical centre located at the Allianz Stadium and began his tests,” the club said in a statement.

The 19-year-old has had a breakthrough season since going on loan from Atalanta to Parma in June, scoring four goals and setting up another seven in 17 games.

Maurizio Sarri’s Juve won the race to sign him ahead of Antonio Conte’s Inter Milan, who are trying to end their rivals’ run of eight straight Serie A titles.

The Swede has reportedly signed for 35 million euros ($39 million) plus nine million euros in performance-related bonuses.

Kulusevski, who joined Atalanta in 2016 from Swedish side Brommapojkarna, has agreed a five-year deal worth 2.5 million euros a season, according to reports.

He could remain at Parma, who are seventh in Serie A, four points off the European places, until the end of the season.

Kulusevski played for Macedonia’s Under-17 team, the country where his mother was born, but made his Sweden debut in November against the Faroe Island

AFP

Lazio Defeat Juventus To Win Super Cup

Lazio’s Italian forward Ciro Immobile runs after the ball during the Supercoppa Italiana final football match between Juventus and Lazio at the King Saud University Stadium in the Saudi capital Riyadh on December 22, 2019.
GIUSEPPE CACACE / AFP

 

Lazio won the Italian Super Cup for a fifth time on Sunday, defeating Cristiano Ronaldo’s Juventus 3-1 in a game played in the Saudi Arabia capital of Riyadh.

Lazio, the only team to have defeated Juve in Serie A this season, were in front through Luis Alberto after just 16 minutes.

Paulo Dybala levelled just before the break but Bosnian international Senad Lulic restored Lazio’s advantage in the 73rd minute.

Danilo Cataldi added a third in the fourth minute of stoppage time from a free kick after Juve’s Uruguayan midfielder Rodrigo Bentancur had been sent off.

Khedira Out For Three Months After Knee Surgery

From L) Juventus’ players and goalkeeper acknowledge the public at the end of the UEFA Champions League Group D football match Juventus Turin vs Atletico Madrid on November 26, 2019 at the Juventus Allianz stadium in Turin. Marco Bertorello / AFP

 

Juventus midfielder Sami Khedira has been ruled out for three months after undergoing knee surgery, the Italian champions said on Wednesday.

The 2014 World Cup winner had surgery in his native Germany.

“The operation was perfectly successful and the player will be able to start rehabilitation immediately,” Juventus said in a statement.

“The expected recovery time is around three months.”

The 32-year-old has played a key role in Maurizio Sarri’s team this season.

He has featured in 13 of Juventus’s 14 league games, only missing last weekend’s 2-2 draw against Sassuolo where the Turin giants lost their first points at home this season to slip to second behind Inter Milan.

The former Real Madrid and Stuttgart player joined Juventus in 2015 and has won four Serie A titles and three Coppa Italia trophies.

AFP

‘We Didn’t Use Our Heads’, Sarri Berates Players For Poor Performance

Juventus’ Italian coach Maurizio Sarri gives instructions during the Italian Serie A football match Atalanta Bergamo vs Juventus on November 23, 2019 at the Atleti Azzurri d’Italia stadium in Bergamo. Miguel MEDINA / AFP

 

Lautaro Martinez’s first-half brace sent Inter Milan top of Serie A on Sunday with a 2-1 win over SPAL after champions Juventus were held at home by Sassuolo.

“We didn’t use our heads,” lamented Juventus boss Maurizio Sarri after his side dropped their first points at home this season.

Cristiano Ronaldo scored from the spot to rescue a 2-2 draw but Juventus slipped one point behind Antonio Conte’s Inter.

READ ALSO: Liverpool To Play Everton In FA Cup Third Round

Argentinian Martinez put Inter ahead on 16 minutes at the San Siro, and then headed in Antonio Candreva’s cross to score his eighth league goal this season.

Mattia Valoti pulled a goal back, but second-from-bottom SPAL fell to their ninth defeat of the campaign.

Conte has guided Chinese-owned Inter to 12 victories in 14 league games for the first time, and they reclaimed the top spot which they had previously held until their 2-1 defeat by Juventus on October 6.

“When a team like Juventus drops points, you need to make sure that you make the most of that,” said former Juve coach Conte.

In Turin, Leonardo Bonucci struck early for the eight-time reigning champions but Ivorian Jeremie Boga and Francesco Caputo hit back for Sassuolo before Ronaldo’s intervention.

Sassuolo, in 12th, claimed their first ever point at Juventus, and held Sarri’s unbeaten champions to their third draw this season.

“We got into trouble on our own, we didn’t use our heads in the first half, as the goals conceded show,” said Sarri.

“But we were coming off two games in which we used up a lot of energy against Atalanta and Atletico Madrid. We woke up after going behind.”

Veteran Gianluigi Buffon endured a nightmare in the Juventus goal.

The 41-year-old was making just his fifth start this season, putting him two short of Paolo Maldini’s record of 647 Serie A appearances.

Boga dinked the first Sassuolo goal on 22 minutes over the onrushing Buffon, who then fumbled in Caputo’s second after the break following a mix-up between Juan Cuadrado and Matthijs de Ligt.

Napoli crisis intensifies 

By contrast, 18-year-old Stefano Turati made an impressive debut in the Sassuolo goal, and pulled off a string of fine saves, denying a Ronaldo free-kick, Gonzalo Higuain and Paulo Dybala late on.

Ronaldo’s penalty pulled the hosts level in the 68th minute after Filippo Romagna fouled substitute Dybala.

It was the Portuguese star’s fifth Serie A goal this season, with the five-time Ballon d’Or winner also having an effort ruled out for offside.

“Ronaldo has regained stamina, the next step will be to recover brilliance, but the road is right,” insisted Sarri.

Lazio consolidated third place — seven points behind Inter — with a 3-0 win over Udinese thanks to a double from Serie A top scorer Ciro Immobile, including one from the spot, to bring his tally to 17 goals this season, and a Luis Alberto penalty.

Roma moved up to fourth, two points behind their city rivals, after a 3-1 win at midtable Verona, ahead of Cagliari, who host Sampdoria on Monday.

Justin Kluivert score after 17 minutes in Verona with Diego Perotti converting a penalty just before the break, and Henrikh Mkhitaryan adding a third in injury time.

But Napoli’s winless run stretched to eight games in all competitions with a 2-1 defeat at home by Bologna, leaving last season’s runners-up in seventh.

Bologna got their first win since October 27 with coach Sinisa Mihajlovic back on the bench following a bone marrow transplant as he fights leukaemia.

Despite taking a point in their Champions League game at Liverpool in midweek Carlo Ancelotti’s Napoli are five points off the top four.

“It’s a very delicate time for us,” said Ancelotti.

Fernando Llorente put Napoli ahead four minutes before half-time, but Dane Andreas Skov Olsen volleyed in an equaliser just before the hour with Nicola Sansone scoring the winner 10 minutes from time.

Llorente thought he had scored a 95th-minute leveller, but it was ruled offside by VAR.

AC Milan, struggling in 11th, got their first win in a month, 1-0 at Parma.

AFP

Ronaldo Rescues A Point For Juve Against Sassuolo

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Cristiano Ronaldo scored from the spot to rescue a 2-2 draw for Juventus at home against Sassuolo to leave the way open for Inter Milan to claim top spot in Serie A later on Sunday.

Leonardo Bonucci had scored early for the eight-time reigning Serie A champions but Jeremie Boga and Francesco Caputo hit back for Sassuolo before Ronaldo’s point-saving intervention.

Juventus have a two-point lead on top of Serie A but now can be overtaken by Inter Milan, who host struggling SPAL.

Sassuolo claimed their first-ever point at Juventus and handed Maurizio Sarri’s unbeaten champions their third draw of the season.

The side from Emilia-Romagna, are 12th in the table.

Ronaldo started upfront for Juventus, having missed last weekend’s league game with a slight knee problem, with Champions League hero Paulo Dybala starting on the bench.

Eighteen-year-old Stefano Turati made an impressive debut in the Sassuolo goal, and pulled off a string of fine saves, denying Ronaldo, Higuain and Dybala late.

But Juventus counterpart Gianluigi Buffon had a difficult game in Turin as the 41-year-old, making just his fifth start this season, had a role in Caputo’s goal just after the break.

Bonucci had gotten Juventus off the mark with a long-range effort on 20 minutes.

But three minutes later Boga pounced on a Caputo cross sending in past an out-rushing Buffon from an angle.

Back after the break Caputo added a second for the visitors following a mix-up between Juan Cuadrado and Matthijs De Ligt in the Juventus defence, with Buffon then fumbling the effort as it slipped into the back of the net.

Turati got down low to deny Higuain after getting his hand to send a Ronaldo free kick over the bar.

Ronaldo’s penalty pulled the hosts level on 68 minutes after Filippo Romagna fouled substitute Dybala.

It was the Portuguese star’s fifth Serie A goal this season.

Later, Inter host SPAL with third-placed Lazio at home against Udinese and city rivals Roma at Verona.

Ronaldo ‘Improving’ But In Doubt For Atletico Clash

File photo of Juventus’ Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo 
Marco BERTORELLO / AFP

 

Cristiano Ronaldo remains in doubt for Tuesday’s Champions League clash against Atletico Madrid in Turin, Juventus coach Maurizio Sarri said on Monday.

The 34-year-old Portuguese international was rested for Saturday’s Serie A game against Atalanta which Juventus won 3-1 thanks to a Gonzalo Higuain double to stay top of the Italian league.

“Cristiano trained with his teammates yesterday (Sunday),” said Sarri.

“It seems that his condition is improving but we still have to evaluate between today and tomorrow.

“The positive thing he was able to play throughout the training session with his teammates.”

Defender Matthijs de Ligt, who suffered a dislocated shoulder, and forward Federico Bernardeschi, who bruised his chest, also need to be evaluated, Sarri said.

Ronaldo was substituted in Juventus’s previous two games including their Champions League game at Lokomotiv Moscow with a slight knee problem.

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner and hit back with four goals to help Portugal qualify for Euro 2020.

“My relationship with Cristiano is good,” said Sarri, “if a player who has won so much is angry about being substituted, it means he still has a lot of motivation, and this is something positive.”

Juventus are already through to the last 16 and want to finish top of Group D with second-placed Atletico needing a win to guarantee their place.

“Atletico are a difficult side to play against, we have to think we want to qualify being the leader of the group that is our target for tomorrow,” said Sarri.

Sarri conceded he was spoilt for choice up front between Ronaldo, Paulo Dybala and Higuain.

“We have three very strong strikers for just two roles, I think it is an ideal situation, nobody will be able to play 65 matches, including with the national team,” continued the Juventus coach.

“Playing Dybala, Higuain and Cristiano all together is difficult because of their characteristics, but all three know how to play really well and are comfortable with each other.”

Higuain, who has scored five goals this season, sat alongside Sarri in the press conference, and praise his coach, who he also played under at Napoli and Chelsea.

“Obviously I spent some of the best season’s of my career with Mr Sarri, I know exactly what he wants,” said the 31-year-old Argentine who joined the veteran coach at Chelsea last season after an unhappy five-month loan spell at AC Milan.

“Compared to last year I had to change something in my head and he (Sarri) helped me a lot.

“Mentally and physically I’m in great shape and the manager has been helping me a lot.”

Cuadrado Extends Juventus Deal Until 2022

 

Colombian international Juan Cuadrado has followed Leonardo Bonucci’s example by extending his contract with Juventus, penning a deal until 2022, the Serie A champions announced on Thursday.

The 31-year-old winger joined Juventus on loan from Chelsea in 2015, making the move permanent two years later for 20 million euros ($22 million).

Cuadrado has won the Serie A title four times, along with three Italian Cup and an Italian SuperCup, scoring 15 goals and contributing 28 assists in 151 games.

This season Maurizio Sarri has used Cuadrado mainly as a full-back because of an injury crisis among the defenders.

The Colombian has spent most of his career in Italy with Udinese, Lecce and Fiorentina before moving to Chelsea where he won the Premier League in 2015.

Juventus Join Bayern In Champions League Last 16

Juventus’ Brazilian forward Douglas Costa celebrates with Juventus’ Argentine forward Paulo Dybala after scoring a goal during the UEFA Champions League group D football match between FC Lokomotiv Moscow and Juventus at Moscow’s RZD Arena stadium on November 6, 2019.
Dimitar DILKOFF / AFP

 

Substitute Douglas Costa’s injury-time winner secured Juventus their spot in the Champions League last 16 on Wednesday after a 2-1 victory over Lokomotiv Moscow.

The Brazilian winger struck a magnificent, last-gasp solo goal for the Italian champions after Aleksei Miranchuk had canceled out Aaron Ramsey’s fourth-minute opener.

Juve is three points clear of Atletico Madrid at the top of Group D ahead of the Spanish side’s game at Bayer Leverkusen, who will likely battle Lokomotiv for a Europa League place.

Lokomotiv coach Yuri Semin made one change from the weekend’s draw at Ufa as on-loan Inter Milan midfielder Joao Mario came in for Murilo Cerqueira.

Juve’s Maurizio Sarri brought in seven new faces from Saturday’s Turin derby victory which included handing Wales midfielder Ramsey his first start for the club in the competition.

Ramsey, whose appearances for his new side this season have been restricted by injury, opened the scoring early after Lokomotiv goalkeeper Guilherme fumbled Cristiano Ronaldo’s free-kick.

Ronaldo fired his effort from the corner of the box straight at Guilherme who spilled the ball through his legs, allowing Ramsey to poke home from the goal-line on the greasy surface.

READ ALSO: BREAKING: Bayern Through To Champions League Last 16 After Olympiacos Win

The Russians equalised eight minutes later after Juve took their foot off the gas.

Maciej Rybus whipped a cross towards Miranchuk who tapped in unopposed with Wojciech Szczesny on the floor after his header bounced back off the post.

The equaliser seemed to inspire Lokomotiv and they could have taken the lead less than 10 minutes later.

Miranchuk wasted a chance to double his tally after glancing his header over the crossbar from a chipped cross by Rifat Zhemaletdinov.

Ronaldo troubled Guilherme from a set-piece once again three minutes into the second half, the Brazil-born Russia international nervously parrying away the long-range effort.

Guilherme denied Ronaldo again nine minutes later sending the Portugal attacker’s powerful shot over the bar with an impressive save.

Ronaldo was substituted off for Paulo Dybala on 82 minutes with Sarri potentially keeping an eye on Sunday’s Serie A game against AC Milan, despite the former Real Madrid forward’s frustration at the decision.

Juve dominated the final moments and Costa clinched their sixth straight last 16 appearances with a tidy side-footed finish in injury time for his first Bianconeri goal since January.

AFP

Serie A: Lecce Hold Juventus To Draw

Juventus’ Argentine forward Paulo Dybala shoots to score a penalty and open the scoring during the Italian Serie A footbal match Lecce vs Juventus on October 26, 2019 at the Stadio Comunlae Via del Mare in Lecce. Alberto PIZZOLI / AFP

 

Paulo Dybala scored but Juventus were held 1-1 at lowly Lecce on Saturday with the defending champions in danger of being overtaken by Inter Milan at the top of the Serie A table.

Both goals came from penalties with Dybala’s strike from the spot after 50 minutes cancelled out by Lecce’s Marco Mancosu’s effort six minutes later.

The Italian champions have 23 points from nine games, but could be overtaken by Antonio Conte’s Inter who are two points behind before hosting Parma later on Saturday.

Juventus rested Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo after Tuesday’s 2-1 Champions League win over Lokomotiv Moscow, and ahead of two Serie A matches in four days next week.

But Dybala, who scored both goals against the Russians, started up front alongside Gonzalo Higuain, with Federico Bernardeschi just behind the Argentine strike duo.

Maurizio Sarri gave starts to Emre Can and Danilo with Blaise Matuidi and Juan Cuadrado starting on the bench.

Promoted Lecce, a side from the heel of Italy, are struggling above the relegation zone, but managed to pull through for a precious point despite being dominated by the visitors.

Slovenian midfielder Zan Majer forced a save from Juventus goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny after just two minutes.

Dybala was targeted early by the Lecce defenders with Luca Rossettini and Marco Calderoni picking up yellow cards early for fouling the Argentine forward.

Higuain looked as he had the opener after a quarter of an hour finishing off Alex Sandro’s cross, but his effort was ruled for offside.

Gabriel denied Dybala and Bernardeschi then failed to connect with a Danilo cross just before the break.

But Dybala put Juventus ahead five minutes into the second half with his sixth goal in five games following a disputed foul on Miralem Pjanic.

But captain Mancosu pulled his side back level from the spot six minutes later after a Matthijs De Ligt handball.

Gabriel denied Higuain on the line after 68 minutes and Leonardo Bonucci also sent over as the Turin giants pushed forward unsuccessfully for the winner.

The bruising encounter could prove costly for the champions with Pjanic, Higuain and Rodrigo Bentancur all taking knocks.

Inter host Parma later Saturday with Genoa playing their first game under new coach Thiago Motta at home against Mario Balotelli’s Brescia.

Dybala Double Gives Juventus 2-1 Victory Against Lokomotiv Moscow

Lokomotiv Moscow’s Russian goalkeeper Guilherme fails to stop Juventus’ second goal during the UEFA Champions League Group D football match Juventus vs Lokomotiv Moscow on October 22, 2019 at the Juventus stadium in Turin. Miguel MEDINA / AFP

 

Paulo Dybala struck a quick-fire second-half double as Juventus came from behind to beat Lokomotiv Moscow 2-1 in their Champions League Group D clash in Turin on Tuesday.

The Italian champions had trailed the Russians with 13 minutes to go in the Allianz Stadium after Aleksei Miranchuk had put the visitors ahead after half an hour.

But Dybala pulled the hosts level on 77 minutes and added a second two minutes later to keep Juventus on course in Group D with seven points after three games.

Maurizio Sarri’s side had drawn with Atletico Madrid and beaten Bayer Leverkusen 3-0 in the last two games.

Atletico also have seven points, after beating Leverkusen 1-0 in Spain on Tuesday, with Lokomotiv third with three points.

Cristiano Ronaldo missed the chance for another record of scoring against a 34th different Champions League club.

The Portuguese star drew a blank in Turin firing over from a Juan Cuadrado cross early as, despite dominating possession, Juventus struggled to break down the Russians.

Lokomotiv broke through with their first clear chance.

Miranchuk shrugged off Leonardo Bonucci and the Juventus defence to find on-loan Inter Milan midfielder Joao Mario whose effort was cleared by Polish keeper Wojciech Szczesny into the path of the Russian forward who finished.

Dybala looked as if he had scored the equaliser before the break but play had stopped following Ronaldo’s tackle on Lokomotiv goalkeeper Guilherme.

Dybala fired over just after the break with fellow Argentine forward Gonzalo Higuain coming on in place of Sami Khedira.

Szczesny denied Joao Mario after an hour while at the other end Higuain missed two quick-fire chances before Dybala finally rifled in the equaliser.

Alex Sandro was denied two minutes later but Dybala was on hand to follow up to keep Juventus unbeaten in all competitions this season.

AFP