04 December 2015
Massimiliano Allegri’s charges secured a sixth straight win in all competitions with a 2-0 victory against Lazio on Friday evening in Rome’s Stadio Olimpico, as Paulo Dybala netted his eighth goal in the black and white courtesy of a fabulous effort from outside the area.
Juventus’ first strike of the evening was the quickest they had scored all season, as Dybala’s seventh-minute shot cannoned in off an unfortunate Santiago Gentiletti, thus going down as an own goal for the centre-back.
On 32 minutes, however, the Bianconeri’s in-form forward would get his name on the scoresheet when he unleashed a brilliant half-volley just as fierce as it was accurate, which nestled inside Federico Marchetti’s bottom left corner, the Lazio stopper unable to get a strong enough glove to what can be considered the most spectacular of the Argentine’s seven Serie A strikes this term.
The second period saw Lazio continue to have plenty of possession (63.1 per cent over the 90 minutes) but without causing Gigi Buffon any problems with any of their efforts on target, as the Bianconeri successfully stifled their opponents and held on for their fifth successive victory and fourth clean sheet in all competitions.
Juventus had never scored before this term in the opening quarter of an hour, but they would manage to cut that down to just seven minutes when Alex Sandro’s cross was hooked into Dybala’s path and the Argentine’s shot crashed off compatriot Gentiletti and into the net, leaving Marchetti with no chance whatsoever.
The visitors took heart from the early goal with Dybala causing the Lazio defence all kind of problems and drawing Gentiletti into a foul and first yellow card of the match.
On 20 minutes, Alex Sandro was again providing a menace down the left side, muscling his marker off the ball before sliding a deft pass to Kwadwo Asamoah, who was making his first start of the season after recovering from over a month on the sidelines, but the Ghanaian’s shot was deflected over the crossbar.
The next ten minutes would see Stefano Pioli’s charges largely encamp the Juventus half of the pitch, but without creating any noteworthy scoring opportunities.
And they would immediately rue not making more of their positive spell when Dybala produced a moment of magic to double his side’s lead. The Argentine trapped Mario Mandzukic’s ball, flicked it onto his knee and executed a fine half-volley into the bottom corner from the edge of the area.
Without necessarily being free-flowing with their football, the Bianconeri nonetheless found themselves two goals to the good and comfortable with their lead, which they would take into the interval without any scare, as the hosts failed to have a single shot on target in the first 45 minutes.
Allegri’s men started the second period at lightning pace, with Alex Sandro continuing to give his opposite number Dusan Basta a torrid time down the left before feeding Mandzukic in the box, but the Croatian’s header was well blocked by Gentiletti.
Pioli’s introductions of Felipe Anderson and Keita Balde Diao during the break had injected greater life into their attacking play, but it would take until the 65th minute for Sergej Milinkovic-Savic to force Buffon into his first save of the match with a well-hit effort on the turn, but far too central to worry the experienced keeper. Diao too would try his luck from the edge of the box, only for Buffon to smother comfortably.
As Lazio failed to trouble Buffon with any further forays forward, Allegri’s men were more than happy to soak up the pressure and hold on to a fifth Serie A victory on the spin which sees them join Roma on 27 points, placing them just four adrift of table-topping Napoli ahead of the rest of this weekend’s fixtures.
Buffon, Barzagli, Bonucci, Chiellini, Lichtsteiner, Sturaro, Marchisio, Asamoah (Evra 70), Alex Sandro, Mandzukic (Morata 82), Dybala (Cuadrado 79)
Unused substitutes: Neto, Rubinho, Rugani, Padoin, Lemina, Vitale, Zaza
Marchetti, Basta, Mauricio, Gentiletti, Radu, Biglia, Parolo, Candreva (Felipe Anderson 46), Milinkovic (Matri 69), Kishna (Keita 46), Klose
Unused substitutes: Berisha, Guerrieri, Braafheid, Konko, Hoedt, Cataldi, Djordjevic