Juventus
    Juventus
      28.09.2016 12:00 - in: Serie A S

      Five talking points from a triumphant Tuesday

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      Miralem Pjanic’s devastating display and Paulo Dybala’s wonder strike top the list of talking points from Tuesday’s Champions League win over Dinamo Zagreb
      1. Magic Miralem

      A maiden Champions League goal and assist in Juventus colours ensured that Miralem Pjanic would rightly receive plenty of praise from supporters and the media alike after full time.

      Forty-five minutes on the field were all that it took for the Bosnia international to turn the course of events irreversibly in favour of the Bianconeri, as he opened the scoring with the deftest of touches before setting up Gonzalo Higuain moments later with one of his trademark, telepathic lofted through balls.

      This was the third time that Pjanic had netted and provided an assist in a UCL match, having done so previously for Lyon in 2009 and Roma in 2015, and Juve fans will be hoping that he can continue to shine on the continental stage after a highly impressive maiden start for the Old Lady in Europe’s premier club competition.

      2. Paulo’s Peach

      There are ways to open your account for the season and then there are ways to open your account for the season!

      On 57 minutes Paulo Dybala went for the latter option! Picking up the ball all of 30 yards from goal, La Joya needed just a split second to identify the space between Adrian Semper’s left glove and the keeper’s near post before rifling into precisely that part of the net.

      A scorer of great goals last season too, Bianconeri fans will be delighted with the spectacular fashion in which the Argentine forward has got off the mark this term, whilst continuing to make key contributions to the cause in other areas. Last night, Dybala also made a match-high six crosses and drew more opposition fouls (four) than any other player.

      3. Gunslinger Gonzalo

      A snazzy subtitle put forward by one of our fans on Twitter and a particularly apt one at that. Higuain’s strike at the Stadion Maksimir was his fifth in eight outings for Juventus (five starts), meaning that he has found the net once every 93 minutes: essentially a goal per game.

      Besides the aesthetic beauty of the move, initiated by Pjanic’s perfect pass and capped off by a thoroughly classy finish which told of a striker bang in form, Pipita will also be pleased to have struck for the first time away from Juventus Stadium this season, whilst joining Pjanic in opening his Champions League account in Bianconeri colours.

      4. Dani does it again!

      Dani Alves’ face in the 85th minute last night said it all. Everything the Brazilian wing-back touches at the minute is ending up in the back of the net and it doesn’t matter in the slightest how!

      Yesterday’s free-kick, taking a wicked deflection off Gordon Schildenfeld and in via a virtually helpless Semper’s gloves, was the third successive game in which Dani has given rise to a goal.

      If it’s true that you can make your own luck, Dani Alves could well be a case in point as he continues to do everything right both in defence – where he made a joint match-high four tackles – and going forwards – as he created more goalscoring opportunities than any other player (four) and once again completed the most passes in the opposition half (67).

      So let the footballing gods continue to smile on Dani for a while longer, we say! He deserves it.

      5. Dominant defence

      While Juve’s forward-thinking players were firing on all cylinders, the defence was quietly going about its business yet again as they successfully kept a third consecutive clean sheet in all competitions.

      All three members of the BBC club put in impressive showings on the night with Andrea Barzagli making a joint match-high four tackles, Leonardo Bonucci winning back possession more than any other player (10 times), while Giorgio Chiellini chipped in with three interceptions, bettered only by Hernanes’ four, the Brazilian midfielder putting in an assured performance just in front of the back three.

      The combined result of the above displays? Gianluigi Buffon didn’t have to make a single save, as Dinamo failed to muster any shots on target.

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