Tuesday October 22 2019
CL: Dybala double revives Juventus

Paulo Dybala scored twice in two minutes to rescue a victory for Juventus, who had been trailing to injury-hit Lokomotiv Moscow at home.

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The Bianconeri were still without Giorgio Chiellini, Douglas Costa, Aaron Ramsey and Mattia De Sciglio, but Rodrigo Bentancur was brought in as a trequartista, with Paulo Dybala preferred to Gonzalo Higuain. CR7 was hoping to set a new record, as he had scored against 33 different Champions League clubs, on a par with Raul, but was yet to find the net with Loko. The Russians had an injury crisis in Turin, missing Jefferson Farfan, Anton Miranchuk, Luka Djordjevic, Fedor Smolov, Rifat Zhemaletdinov and Maciej Rybus. Eder, the man who decided Euro 2016 in extra time, was the only fit striker with support from Grzegorz Krychowiak and Inter loan midfielder Joao Mario.

These sides had met in the 1993 UEFA Cup Final, when remarkably their coach was also Yuri Semin, now 72 years of age.

Vedran Corluka risked an own goal in the opening minutes, deflecting Dybala’s strike on to the side-netting, while Ronaldo’s blushes were spared by the offside flag when he ballooned over from Juan Cuadrado’s cross.

However, Juve were made to pay for a sluggish tempo and poor defending, as Lokomotiv took a shock lead. Aleksei Miranchuk shrugged off a timid Leonardo Bonucci challenge, spread the play for Joao Mario and was then on the end of the rebound after Wojciech Szczesny’s parry.

Dybala had the ball in the net, but only after Cristiano Ronaldo had acrobatically clattered into goalkeeper Guilherme, so play had been stopped.

After the restart, Dybala volleyed over from close range on a Miralem Pjanic assist, but moments later Higuain replaced Khedira for a 4-3-3 formation.

Cuadrado flashed another dangerous ball across the face of goal, but again nobody was ready to make the most of it. Higuain turned Benedikt Howedes well, only to fire just wide of the post, then a looping header also skimmed the upright.

It was Dybala who got the equaliser with a moment of magic, curling a remote-controlled left-foot strike from the edge of the box into the far top corner with Guilherme helpless.

Less than two minutes later, La Joya had turned the game around completely for Juve to lead 2-1. Alex Sandro’s scorcher from distance forced a one-handed save and Dybala was ready to tap in.

Juventus 2-1 Lokomotiv Moscow

Al Miranchuk 30 (L), Dybala 77, 79 (J)

Juventus: Szczesny; Cuadrado, Bonucci, De Ligt, Alex Sandro; Khedira (Higuain 48), Pjanic, Matuidi (Rabiot 65); Bentancur; Dybala (Bernardeschi 82), Cristiano Ronaldo

Lokomotiv Moscow: Guilherme; Ignatyev, Howedes, Corluka, Idowu; Murilo; Al Miranchuk, Barinov, Krychowiak (Kolomeytsev 83), Joao Mario; Eder

Ref: Sidiropoulos (GRE)

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