Juventus managed only one shot on target against Lazio and it was decisive, as Paulo Dybala marked his comeback with a last-gasp winner.
The Aquile had already beaten Juve twice this season in the Italian Super Cup and Serie A, but were fresh from Wednesday’s gruelling Coppa Italia penalty shoot-out defeat to Milan after extra time. Adam Marusic was suspended with Martin Caceres and Dusan Basta injured, so Jordan Lukaku came in. Juve missed Gonzalo Higuain, Federico Bernardeschi, Juan Cuadrado and Mattia De Sciglio, but Paulo Dybala made his first start in two months. For only the second time this season in Serie A, the Bianconeri used 3-5-2 to mirror Simone Inzaghi’s system.
The Bianconeri’s last Serie A defeat at the Olimpico was 2-0 in December 2013, followed by 10 wins and three 1-1 draws.
Dybala went down in the box during the opening minutes, but seemed to back into Lucas Leiva seeking contact and the referee waved play on. A long free kick found Mandzukic, but he needed to crouch and the header went over from five yards.
Sergej Milinkovic-Savic’s header was smothered on the line, but Gigi Buffon had harder work to do on an Immobile snapshot he turned round the base of the near post, then fingertipped an in-swinging Luis Alberto corner out from under the bar.
Jordan Lukaku accidentally put the ball in his own net, but only after play had already been stopped for a foul, while at the other end Sami Khedira’s effort was deflected wide from a corner.
There were some crunching tackles before half-time, most notably Marco Parolo on Medhi Benatia and a run-up high challenge from Stephan Lichtsteiner to take out Stefan Radu.
The hosts were keeping more of the ball after the restart and Buffon rushed off his line to clear from Immobile with his feet, but Lucas Leiva went down under a clumsy Medhi Benatia challenge from behind inside the penalty area and it was a huge risk, but the referee waved play on.
The second half was extremely quiet and Juve continued to not get a single shot on target, but Felipe Anderson’s through ball was cleared with immense difficulty. Benatia was also visibly limping in the final minutes, something the Bianconeri didn’t want ahead of the Champions League trip to Tottenham Hotspur.
However, Dybala took full revenge for that last-gasp defeat to Lazio in the Italian Super Cup. In the 93rd minute, he nutmegged a defender, resisted a shoulder-to-shoulder challenge from Parolo to burst into the box and steered his finish over Thomas Strakosha to win it for Juventus.
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