Juventus welcomed Young Boys at Turin for the Matchday 2 encounter of the Champions League. The main talking point before the game was the absence of Cristiano Ronaldo, who was serving a one-match ban after receiving a red card in Juventus’ first Champions League group game against Valencia.
Even though the Portuguese Superstar was an important member of the team, Juventus had the personnel around who could rise to the occasion in Ronaldo’s absence. The most vital among them was a young Argentinean who had been forced to play second fiddle this season. Paulo Dybala has always drawn comparisons with his countryman, the great Lionel Messi and on Tuesday, the Argentinean showed why he was still the main man at Turin.
This season, Dybala has scored just one goal from 6 appearances in the Serie A, as he still adjusts to life after the arrival of Ronaldo. It is a tad unfair to the player who was phenomenal last season, scoring 26 goals and registering 7 assists from 46 games. However, when his team needed him to stand up and be counted, the Argentinean showed his pedigree.
Dybala started the game strong, drawing a foul as early as the first minute. It was a sign of things to come. His first shot was blocked in the second minute, however, Dybala was relentless, he was determined to stamp his authority on the game and on the 5th minute, he had his moment.
Running on to a gorgeous Bonucci long ball, Dybala aimed a first-time shot to the right. 1-0 to Juventus. No Cristiano? No Problem!
Buoyed by his goal, Dybala started influencing the game from around the pitch. He dropped deep to help his defence, drawing fouls thanks to his nifty footwork and in the attack, also managed to draw a save from the opposition keeper.
By the 33rd minute though, he had taken the game away from Young Boys, efficiently putting the ball into the bottom left corner now, from a rebound. 2-0 to Juventus and 3 points all but assured. He continued to combine beautifully with Cuadrado and the two worked in tandem to give Young Boys a lot of headache. The first half ended 2-0 to Juventus.
Dybala resumed his hot streak in the second half. In the 48th minute, following a fast counter-attack, the Juventus No. 10 unleashed a gem of a shot from his right boot this time, which bounced off the left upright!
The Argentinean was nearing his hattrick and the crowd could sense it. Dybala continued to work the goalkeeper and was finally rewarded in the 69th minute. His brilliant combination with Cuadrado was on display again and the Columbian unselfishly set up his South American compatriot for his hattrick. With a clinical finish from close range, Dybala grabbed his first hattrick in the Champions League and earned Juventus 3 points.
In Cristiano Ronaldo’s absence, Paulo Dybala unfolded his wings, unleashed his lethal side and showed the world that he still is the main man at Turin. Massimiliano Allegri must have taken notice and will now be hatching a plan to efficiently use Dybala to ensure that the Argentinean’s world-class talent is fully utilized.Published 03 Oct 2018, 00:33 IST