Juventus
    07.12.2016 23:00 - in: Match report S

    Job done against Dinamo

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    Second-half goals from Gonzalo Higuain and Daniele Rugani help the Bianconeri beat Dinamo Zagreb on Wednesday to finish top of Group H

    Juventus made sure of qualifying to the Champions League knockout stages as group winners after seeing off Dinamo Zagreb 2-0 on Wednesday night at Juventus Stadium courtesy of second-half goals from Gonzalo Higuain and Daniele Rugani.

    In his pre-match press conference, Massimiliano Allegri had urged his charges to play with plenty of purpose from the first whistle and that’s exactly what they did, Miralem Pjanic firing a few feet wide from distance before Higuain brought a smart save out of visiting keeper Dominik Livakovic all inside the opening six minutes.

    The Bianconeri kept up the ante for the rest of the half, but Dinamo were reducing their hosts to very few clear-cut chances, the best of which fell to Pjanic on 32 minutes, the Bosnian heading straight at Livakovic from point-blank range before warming the Croatian stopper’s gloves yet again with a well-struck free-kick moments later.

    With the scores level at the interval, Juve did not take long to settle any nerves with a much-needed goal early in the second half. Having endured a fairly quiet first period by his standards, Pipita produced a moment of real quality in the 52nd minute, crashing home from the edge of the box to send the home supporters into raptures, that his third strike in the Champions League this term.

    The Bianconeri were in control of matters and Mario Lemina came close to doubling their advantage with a fierce drive that rattled the side-netting and just moments later, Rugani virtually made sure of the spoils in the 72nd minute with a predatory finish from point-blank range following a corner, his second goal in as many games following his strike against Atalanta at the weekend.

    There would be further reason to celebrate with just under a quarter-hour to play, Paulo Dybala making his first appearance since being sidelined through injury against Milan in late October, and supporters were treated to a couple of long-range efforts from La Joya’s left foot, the first blocked, the second finishing just wide of the mark.

    Two goals to nil the final score in Turin, a 20th consecutive match unbeaten at home in UEFA competitions, and a positive note from which to approach this weekend’s Derby Della Mole against inter-city rivals Torino.

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