Juventus
    Juventus
      17.02.2017 22:57 - in: Match report S

      Dybala at the double!

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      Marchisio, Dybala and Higuain set up routine win over Palermo at Juventus Stadium

      On a night where Leonardo Bonucci made his 300th appearance for the club, there was only one result that could do the landmark justice at Juventus Stadium on Friday evening.

      And, thanks to a maiden strike of the season for Claudio Marchisio, a beautifully taken brace for Paulo Dybala and a 12th goal in 10 games for Gonzalo Higuain, the Bianconeri duly delivered to sweep aside Palermo and earn their 29th home league win in a row.

      The new year has been characterised by lightning fast Juventus starts and the home crowd were treated to more early fireworks here as the reigning champions raced into an unassailable 2-0 lead ahead of half-time before delivering a further killer blow after the interval.

      A Dybala free-kick had already bounced off the base of the Palermo post before Massimiliano Allegri’s men made their dominance count definitively as Marchisio pounced on a fumble from away goalkeeper Josip Posavec to ram home with his left foot for the first time this term on eight minutes.

      Instead of buckling, the lowly visitors were briefly galvanised and were perhaps unfortunate not to immediately conjure up an equaliser. Twice the home defence was penetrated down the flanks with first Gianluigi Buffon, himself making a landmark 443rd Juve appearance, and then Kwadwo Asamoah both called into action to deny wideman Norbert Balogh from restoring parity.

      Yet just as the enterprising visitors were beginning to grow in confidence, it was up to a former colleague to strip the wind from their sails. Moments before Asamoah’s acrobatic last-ditch clearance, no other than former Rosanero Dybala stepped up to curl an unstoppable free-kick up and over the wall and into the net. 

      After a scrappy opening to the second half as the champions squeezed the life out of their opponents, a third goal this time for Gonzalo Higuain well and truly put things to bed 27 minutes from time.

      Latching onto Dybala’s precise through pass, Higuain demonstrated just why he is the most in-form centre forward in European football so far in 2017, nonchalantly chipping over a helpless Posavec for his 12th goal in 10 Serie A games.

      With Palermo out for the count, there was even time for Dybala to double his tally for the evening moments before the end of normal time, rolling into the corner from his strike partner’s clever back-heel lay-off on the edge of the box.

      A late consolation strike from Ilvalyo Chochev did little to undo another good night’s work for the reigning champions.

      Next up? Porto and the Champions League.

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