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Dybala sets up Juventus easy win

Football
Thu, 07 Jan 2016
GDN Online Desk


Rome: With Paulo Dybala performing like Andrea Pirlo, Juventus picked up right where they left off before the holiday break.

Dybala scored with a curling free kick and also set up a goal as Juventus comfortably swept aside last-place Hellas Verona 3-0 for their eighth straight win in Serie A yesterday.

Leonardo Bonucci and Simone Zaza also scored for the four-time defending champions, who hadn’t played in 17 days.

Juventus remained three points behind leaders Inter Milan, who won 1-0 at Empoli with a first-half goal from Mauro Icardi.

Second-place Fiorentina are one point off the lead following a 3-1 win at Palermo, where Josip Ilicic scored twice.

Also, Roma wasted a two-goal lead in a 3-3 draw at Chievo Verona to remain fifth, two points behind Napoli.

With Mario Balotelli still recovering from pelvis surgery, AC Milan was beaten 1-0 at home by Bologna, who got a late winner from Emanuele Giaccherini.

Elsewhere, it was: Lazio 0, Carpi 0; Sassuolo 2, Frosinone 2; and Udinese 2, Atalanta 1.

In Turin, Dybala put Juventus in front with an accurate free kick eight minutes in, and Bonucci doubled the lead before halftime by redirecting a free kick from Dybala with a header.

Also in the first half, Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon tipped wide a dangerous acrobatic shot from Giampaolo Pazzini.

Zaza sealed it for Juventus after being set up by Paul Pogba eight minutes from the end.

After starting the season by winning only three of its opening 10 matches, Juventus appears on course to win its fifth consecutive title.

While the Bianconeri struggled to overcome the departures of Pirlo and Carlos Tevez at the start of the season, new players such as Dybala and Mario Mandzukic have settled in.

In Empoli, Icardi found the target from close range by redirecting a cross from Ivan Perisic.

Target

Having tied for the Serie A scoring lead with 22 goals last season, Icardi has eight goals from his 12 shots on target this term.

It was the 10th time Inter won with a one-goal advantage this season.

Empoli, which had won four straight, was dangerous at times but couldn’t find a way past Inter goalkeeper Samir Handanovic.

In Sicily, Ilicic was unstoppable against his former club. He put Fiorentina ahead in the 13th after dribbling through a defender’s legs, and scored again with expert control and a precise shot from beyond the area.

Former Fiorentina striker Alberto Gilardino pulled one back for Palermo with a header, but Jakub Blaszczykowski restored Fiorentina’s two-goal lead in added time.