SERIE A MATCH REPORT

Serie A Week 21 - 22 Jan 2017 (11.30 UK)
Juventus 2 - 0 Lazio
Dybala 5 (J), Higuain 16 (J)
Juventus Stadium

An audacious new Juventus system got the job done within 16 minutes, as Paulo Dybala and Gonzalo Higuain swept Lazio aside 2-0.

The Serie A leaders were smarting after a defeat to Fiorentina, while Claudio Marchisio, Patrice Evra, Mario Lemina, Medhi Benatia and suspended Alex Sandro and Stefano Sturaro missed out. On his 300th Serie A game as a Coach, Max Allegri threw caution to the wind with a new system starting his top attacking stars together, including Miralem Pjanic in midfield. Lazio were on fine form, but had Senad Lulic banned, Dusan Basta injured and Keita Balde Diao at the Africa Cup of Nations.

The Aquile have now lost their last nine meetings with Juve, home and away in all competition.

It took just five minutes to break the deadlock with the first genuine attempt, as Mandzukic knocked it down on the edge of the box for Dybala’s splendid half-volley off the outside of the left boot into the far bottom corner.

Lazio were utterly shell-shocked and went 2-0 down when Cuadrado crossed from the right and Gonzalo Higuain got in front of his marker to tap in from six yards. It was Pipita’s 13th goal in the last 11 games against favourite targets Lazio.

Sergej Milinkovic-Savic attempted a reaction, his daisy-cutter drilled just wide of the near post, but Higuain had another goal ruled offside for his glancing header on a free kick.

Despite all the forwards, Leonardo Bonucci almost scored when meeting a Higuain low cross to turn wide from six yards.

Lazio started the second half more aggressively, Felipe Anderson firing at Gigi Buffon, but Dybala drilled off target when he should’ve set up Mandzukic.

Kwadwo Asamoah ran a huge risk, barging Cristiano Lombardi over with a shoulder-to-shoulder challenge, and Lucas Biglia fired wide as Juve rested on their laurels.

Dybala spurned another chance to finish it off, springing the offside trap on a Higuain through ball only to turn inches wide of an open goal.

Marco Parolo, Higuain and late substitute Marko Pjaca failed to make the most of promising opportunities, as the Bianconeri shut up shop. In stoppages Pjaca went down under a Felipe Anderson nudge, but again the referee waved play on.

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Juventus: Buffon; Lichtsteiner (Barzagli 74), Bonucci, Chiellini, Asamoah; Khedira, Pjanic; Cuadrado, Dybala (Rincon 81), Mandzukic; Higuain (Pjaca 87)
Lazio: Marchetti; Patric, De Vrij, Wallace, Radu (Lukaku 60); Parolo, Biglia (Djordjevic 60), Milinkovic-Savic; Lombardi (Murgia 66), Immobile, Felipe Anderson
Ref: Massa