Juventus 3 Lazio 0: Dybala at the double in comfortable win
Paulo Dybala scored twice as leaders Juventus restored their nine-point advantage over Napoli at the top of Serie A with a 3-0 victory over Lazio on Wednesday.
A tap-in from Mario Mandzukic in the 39th minute set Massimiliano Allegri's side on their way to an eighth straight league win, with this latest triumph putting them on the brink of retaining the title with just four games to go.
Lazio had Patric sent off before Dybala helped himself to a second-half double, the first of them coming from the spot after Leonardo Bonucci had been dragged down in the area at a corner.
The Argentine forward converted Sami Khedira's pass to heap further misery on a visiting side that has now lost four times to Juventus this season without scoring a goal.
Lazio were indebted to goalkeeper Federico Marchetti for keeping the score down to three, particularly during a first half that Juventus dominated.
Marchetti twice denied Dybala in the early stages, although he was fortunate to see Paul Pogba fluff his lines when presented with a glorious chance in the 20th minute.
Having broken clear of Lazio's defence, Khedira carefully rolled a pass across the area towards his unmarked team-mate. But, as he went to pull the trigger, Pogba lost his footing, resulting in a tame effort rolling towards Marchetti.
However, Lazio's luck finally ran out six minutes before the half-time interval.
Able to take a touch on his chest when dealing with a deep corner from the left, Pogba aimed a low drive towards the far corner of the goal. His attempt may well have been going in, but Mandzukic made absolutely sure by poking the ball home from close range.
Visiting manager Simone Inzaghi may still have harboured hopes of taking something from the game at the halfway stage, yet any hopes of a Lazio comeback disappeared within five minute of the re-start.
First, Patric was shown a second yellow card for dragging down Dybala, leaving Lazio to play almost the entire second half with only 10 men.
Pogba's free-kick from the foul was well saved by Marchetti, but the resulting corner saw Santiago Gentiletti punished for hauling back Bonucci when the ball was in the air.
Dybala converted from the spot, with the forward going on to add Juventus' third in the 64th minute.
Khedira unselfishly squared the ball inside to allow his team-mate to fire home his 16th league goal in what has been an impressive debut season at the club.
Key Opta stats:
- Juventus attempted 12 shots on target tonight against Lazio – a league-high for the Bianconeri in this campaign.
- Juventus are unbeaten in their last 23 meetings against Lazio in Serie A (W17 D6 since December 2003).
- Paulo Dybala has scored 16 goals and made eight assists in this campaign – only Gonzalo Higuain has been involved in more goals in this Serie A.
- Juventus have won their last 14 home games, keeping a clean sheet in each of the last nine at the Stadium.
- Juventus have allowed Lazio only four touches in the opposition box tonight.