Cometh the hour, cometh Paulo Dybala!
In an even contest at the Stadio Olimpico with chances few and far between, Juve’s number ten came through with perhaps one of the biggest goals of his Juventus career in the 93rd minute to earn the Bianconeri a dramatic win over Lazio in the capital.
With seconds left on the clock, Dybala took a ball from Daniele Rugani, slipping past one defender and holding another off before somehow sliding a shot into the top corner sparking wild celebrations from the Bianconeri faithful in Rome.
Juve came close to opening their account inside 10 minutes, when Miralem Pjanic swung in a free-kick from deep on the right and Mario Mandzukic was able to get himself free in the box, but his diving header went over the Lazio crossbar.
Gianluigi Buffon was called into action in the 20th minute when he got down well to hold Sergej Milinkovic-Savic’s header, following a Lazio short corner. Buffon was then on hand to deny former Juve striker, Ciro Immobile who struck a low effort at goal that the Juve number one was able to push around the post.
In what was a farily even first-half, the Bianconeri actually went closest to scoring as Lazio’s Jordan Lukaku turned into his own net on a Juve corner, but the referee annulled the effort citing a foul in-play, Sami Khedira also went close as he saw his shot deflected wide from another Bianconeri corner.
The second half saw much of the same tentative play from the two sides, with neither side particularly threatening the other, but Juve were first to create the first chance of note as Dybala’s shot from distance flew over. La Joya then went closer just a minute later as the Argentine came charging through but his effort deflected wide.
Just as the match looked to be heading towards a 0-0 stalemate, La Vecchia Signora were able to fashion a chance and strike right at the death. The ball fell to Dybala on the edge of the box who was able to turn the defender and run in on goal, showing immense strength and prowess to hold off his man and fire a great shot into the back of the net past Thomas Strakosha hand Juve the win in dramatic fashion.
Attention will now turn to Juve’s last 16 second leg in London against Tottenham on Wednesday 7 March.