Dybala screamer sees Juventus past Atletico Madrid
Champions League Group D, Juventus Stadium – Juventus 1 (Dybala 45) Atletico Madrid 0
Paulo Dybala clinched top spot in Group D for Juventus with a stunning free-kick winner, but Atletico Madrid still have work to do to secure their place in the Champions League last 16.
Cristiano Ronaldo returned to the Juve starting line-up having missed the win over Atalanta at the weekend, but it was Dybala who claimed the headlines for himself, smashing home what proved to be the winner right at the end of the first half.
The angle appeared to be too tight for the Argentine, who has recently become a key figure for Maurizio Sarri, but he lashed a finish past Jan Oblak, although the Atletico stopper will be disappointed he was unable to keep it out.
Atleti struggled to create much over the 90 minutes, but were presented with a golden chance in stoppage time, with Alvaro Morata failing to connect with a pass made right across the six-yard box.
That miss was enough to see Juventus claim the win and clinch top spot; Simeone’s side still need a result in the final round of group games.
Atletico just can’t get going at the moment. By their usual high standards, Atleti’s recent form represents something of a crisis. The Spanish side have won just one of their last six fixtures in all competitions. Worse than that, Simeone’s team are suffering something of an identity crisis. They have failed to keep a clean sheet in any of their last six outings, but are also struggling for firepower in the attacking third. Atleti just can’t get going at the moment. This was another meek showing.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Paolo Dybala (Juventus): The turnaround in Dybala’s fortunes since the summer has been remarkable and this was another demonstration of why the Argentine has become so important to Juventus. He already has seven goals for the season, but his winner tonight might be the pick of the bunch. Dybala outshone the returning Ronaldo. On current form, Dybala is Juve’s main man.
Paulo Dybala celebratesGetty Images
20’ - CHANCE! A glorious opportunity for Atletico Madrid! Saul got on the end of a cross into the middle, he was completely free, but could only guide his header over the crossbar! He should have hit the target!
46’ - GOAL! Juventus 1-0 Atletico Madrid (Dybala). What a stunning strike! It's Dybala! He has given Juventus the lead just before half time! The angle from the freekick looked to be far too tight, but Dybala somehow managed to get his strike past Oblak! Might the goalkeeper have done better? Maybe.
Dybala's goal v AtleticoGetty Images
69’ - POST! That was inches away from being a second Juventus goal. Bernardeschi cut a shot back himself and struck the base of the post. Oblak was completely wrong-footed by that effort!
90+4’ - WHAT A CHANCE! For the first time in the match Atletico Madrid cut open Juventus, with the pass played right across the face of goal, but Morata can't make a connection. Would he have been offside?
- Atletico Madrid have conceded at least once in their last six games in all competitions, equalling their worst defensive run under Diego Simeone.
- Paolo Dybala’s goal was the 10th freekick he has scored for Juventus, but the first he has scored since March 2018.
- Maurizio Sarri has now won nine out of nine at home as Juventus manager.