Juventus responded to their shock Champions League defeat to Villarreal by beating Salernitana 2-0, as forwards Paulo Dybala and Dusan Vlahovic starred in Turin.
Dybala’s early strike set the tone for a routine victory, and Vlahovic doubled the lead after twice being denied by visiting goalkeeper Luigi Sepe.
The home defence was untroubled during a quiet second half, with Juve’s win meaning they are unbeaten in their past 33 Serie A outings against teams starting the game in the bottom three.
Massimiliano Allegri’s team also extended their unbeaten league run to 16 games, remaining in the hunt for a 10th Scudetto in 11 years.
Dybala required just five minutes to open the scoring, latching onto Vlahovic’s pass in the area before rifling a left-footed shot past Sepe at his near post.
The Argentine should have doubled his tally on 13 minutes, chipping over the bar when through on goal, before Vlahovic was denied by a superb Sepe save after Dybala’s unselfish cut-back.
Sepe made another excellent save just moments later, clawing Vlahovic’s goal-bound flick away from the bottom-right corner, but the Serbia star did net on 28 minutes when he headed home Mattia De Sciglio’s cross from inside the six-yard box.
The Bianconeri did not concede a single shot on target during a dominant first-half display and went close to a third on the hour when Sepe almost spilled Matthijs de Ligt’s volley to Vlahovic.
Lively substitute Simone Verdi drew Wojciech Szczesny’s first save with a long-range strike, and the Poland keeper made a superb stop from Federico Bonazzoli’s volley, as the hosts continued their fine league form.
— JuventusFC (@juventusfcen) March 20, 2022
What does it mean? Bianconeri maintain excellent Serie A run
As well as providing the perfect tonic to their 3-0 Champions League last-16 second-leg defeat, Juve’s win moved them back to within seven points of Serie A leaders Milan and maintained their fantastic run of league form.
The Bianconeri are one of just two teams in the big five European leagues, the other being Sevilla, to be unbeaten in league action since the start of December. Allegri’s men have taken 35 points from their past 15 games, having collected just 24 from their first 15 this season.
Fast start for Dybala
Dybala’s early strike set Juventus on their way to a routine win and marked the fifth time that the 28-year-old has opened the scoring in a Serie A match this season.
He has now scored eight league goals for Juventus this term, more than any other player has managed for the Bianconeri.
Vlahovic eyeing Stankovic record after bullying promoted outfit
Having failed to score in his first 12 Serie A games against promoted sides, Vlahovic’s first-half header was his 11th goal in his past nine such contests.
With his 48th strike in the competition, Vlahovic has equalled Adem Ljajic as the second-highest scoring Serbian in Serie A history, with only Dejan Stankovic (51 goals) ahead of him on that list.
Title-chasing Juve are back in Serie A action after the international break, hosting Inter in a crucial Derby d’Italia clash over the first weekend of April, when Salernitana host Torino.
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