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Paulo Dybala makes impact off the bench as Juve beat Bologna

Paulo Dybala came off the bench to score the only goal of the game as Juventus won 1-0 against Bologna at the Stadio Renato Dall’ara.

Massimiliano Allegri’s side bounced back from their midweek defeat to Atletico Madrid in the Champions League by extending their lead at the top of Serie A to 16 points with Dybala’s strike after 67 minutes.

Juve made it 25 games unbeaten in the league this season against a struggling Bologna side who have claimed just one win in 2019, leaving them three points from safety.

Bologna began brightly with Federico Santander and Nicola Sansone both threatening early on, although both efforts were off target.

Juventus struggled to get going but almost took the lead just before the half-hour mark as Lukasz Skorupski had to be alert to push away a header from Cristiano Ronaldo.

Shortly afterwards, Federico Bernardeschi was inches away from curling a shot into the top corner of the net but his strike sailed just too high.

Bologna’s best chance to score arrived 10 minutes into the second half when Juventus failed to clear a corner and the ball dropped to Ibrahima Mbaye. However, Alex Sandro was on hand to make a last-ditch block to deny the defender.

It proved pivotal as Juventus were soon in front. Blaise Matuidi surged forward down the left and his cross was touched into the path of Dybala, introduced after 59 minutes, by a Bologna defender. The Argentinian controlled the ball before coolly slotting his shot into the bottom corner of the net.

The goal really took the wind out of Bologna’s sails and the hosts were unable to mount a threat thereafter as Juventus confidently knocked the ball around, content to see out the match.

However, Allegri’s team survived a scare in injury time when Sansone’s 20-yard strike needed a fingertip save from Mattia Perin, who deflected the ball on to a post. The goalkeeper then reacted quickly to deny Santander on the rebound.

The was still time for Ronaldo to go close at the other end but Skorupski made a solid block to push away the shot from a tight angle.