Juventus secured a narrow 1-2 away win against Società Polisportiva Ars et Labor (SPAL) tonight at the charged Stadio Paolo Mazza, Ferrera. The Serie A leaders fielded a strong squad despite a big Champions League fixture in mid-week and only made three changes to their squad from their win over Brescia last week.
Cristiano Ronaldo was named in the starting XI and proved decisive on his return to the squad in what was his landmark 1000th appearance for club and country.
Juventus never looked out of control against the league's bottom-placed side and despite conceding a goal in the second half, did not give many chances to the hosts to launch a comeback.
It was their first win against the home side in their backyard which they secured through goals from Cristiano Ronaldo and Aaron Ramsey. Ronaldo saw his first attempt at goal ruled out by an offside call in the fifth minute but got his goal in the 39th minute following an exquisite Juan Cuadrado cross, found the back of the net.
Ramsey doubled the lead in the 60th minute with a cheeky finish and it looked as though they were set for a comfortable 2-0 win over SPAL before on-loan Napoli striker Andrea Petagna pulled one back for the hosts from the penalty spot in the 70th minute, with VAR coming into play once again.
So as The Old Lady secured all the three points from the game to stay at the top of the Serie A standings for another week, here are the hits and flops form the game.
Hit: Paulo Dybala
Paulo Dybala has carved up a special place for himself in the Juventus squad under Maurizio Sarri. He has emerged as one of the key players for the Italian manager this season and proved his worth as the No.10 of the club with yet another inspiring performance.
Every time he had his ball in his possession in the opposition half, he always tried to make something happen and almost succeeded within five minutes of kick-off when his strike partner Ronaldo found the back of the net from his pass, only for it to be ruled out for offside.
He came tantalisingly close to making it two goals in two games in the 37th minute when he managed to beat Etrit Berisha from outside of the box, but his curling effort bounced off the inside of the post. Dybala did get the assist for Ramsey's second goal in the second half. He was extremely skilful and proved unplayable at times for the SPAL defenders.