Juventus 4-2 Zenit: Dybala brace helps Bianconeri secure last-16 spot

By Sports Desk November 02, 2021

Paulo Dybala scored twice as Juventus confirmed their place in the Champions League round of 16 with a 4-2 victory over Zenit.

The Bianconeri had suffered consecutive domestic defeats but Dybala's first-half finish edged them ahead before Leonardo Bonucci's own goal.

Dybala restored the hosts' lead in contentious fashion after the break. The Argentina international dragged a first penalty wide but converted after a retake was ordered, with goalkeeper Stanislav Kritsyuk adjudged to be off his line.

Federico Chiesa then scored for a fourth consecutive home game in the competition and Alvaro Morata got in on the act as Massimiliano Allegri's men maintained their perfect record in Group H and claimed their spot in the knockout stages.

Sardar Azmoun's late strike was too little, too late for third-placed Zenit at Allianz Stadium.

Dybala drilled against the post from outside the area in the opening stages but the forward was on target after 11 minutes, capitalising on a loose clearance to steer a left-footed strike into the top-right corner.

The lively Dybala then set up a chance for Morata, who blasted over, and that miss proved costly when Bonucci looped a header into his own net following Vyacheslav Karavaev's cross.

Juve had a goal from Morata ruled out for offside on the stroke of half-time and the lively Dybala whipped narrowly wide after the interval, but Juve did not have to wait much longer to regain the lead.

Claudinho's foul on Chiesa gave them a penalty, which Dybala skewed wide before rolling into the bottom-right corner with a retake after Kristyuk had moved too early.

Wojciech Szczesny pushed away from Malcom as Zenit attempted to respond, while Weston McKennie fired against the crossbar at the other end.

Chiesa added a third when he latched onto Federico Bernardeschi's throughball and drilled into the right-hand corner before Morata sealed the victory with a low finish following Dybala's pass.

Azmoun poked home a late second for Zenit, but that could not stop Allegri's side from coasting through.

Related items

  • Reported Arsenal and Liverpool target Yeremi Pino could be sold by Villarreal, Emery admits Reported Arsenal and Liverpool target Yeremi Pino could be sold by Villarreal, Emery admits

    Villarreal boss Unai Emery has acknowledged the Yellow Submarine may be forced to sell young winger Yeremi Pino, amid reports linking him with a move to Arsenal.

    The Gunners have reportedly been in the market for another versatile attacker since top target Raphinha opted to join Barcelona earlier in the transfer window, while the Spanish press has also touted Liverpool as potential suitors for Yeremi.

    The 19-year-old played a key role as Villarreal made the Champions League semi-finals last season, making 40 appearances for Emery's team in all competitions.

    Yeremi recorded seven goals and four assists in a strong campaign, also creating 32 chances for LaLiga's seventh-placed finishers.

    But Emery told reporters on Friday the club may be powerless to keep him in the face of Premier League interest, acknowledging: "If an offer arrives for players like Yeremi Pino, then he will have to leave.

    "We have a responsibility with the club. It is what it is."

    Villarreal go to Real Valladolid for their first outing of the 2022-23 LaLiga season on Saturday.

  • Arsenal and Liverpool target Yeremi Pino could be sold by Villarreal, Emery admits Arsenal and Liverpool target Yeremi Pino could be sold by Villarreal, Emery admits

    Villarreal boss Unai Emery has acknowledged the Yellow Submarine may be forced to sell young winger Yeremi Pino, amid reports linking him with a move to Arsenal.

    The Gunners have reportedly been in the market for another versatile attacker since top target Raphinha opted to join Barcelona earlier in the transfer window, while the Spanish press has also touted Liverpool as potential suitors for Yeremi.

    The 19-year-old played a key role as Villarreal made the Champions League semi-finals last season, making 40 appearances for Emery's team in all competitions.

    Yeremi recorded seven goals and four assists in a strong campaign, also creating 32 chances for LaLiga's seventh-placed finishers.

    But Emery told reporters on Friday the club may be powerless to keep him in the face of Premier League interest, acknowledging: "If an offer arrives for players like Yeremi Pino, then he will have to leave.

    "We have a responsibility with the club. It is what it is."

    Villarreal go to Real Valladolid for their first outing of the 2022-23 LaLiga season on Saturday.

  • 'Anything can happen' – Xavi not ruling out De Jong and Aubameyang Barca exits 'Anything can happen' – Xavi not ruling out De Jong and Aubameyang Barca exits

    Barcelona coach Xavi refused to rule out exits for Frenkie de Jong and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on the eve of their LaLiga opener, acknowledging "anything can happen".

    Manchester United's interest in De Jong has evolved into one of the longest-running sagas of the transfer window, while Chelsea are being strongly linked with both the Netherlands midfielder and Barca striker Aubameyang.

    Although Xavi and president Joan Laporta have expressed confidence Barca will overcome their financial woes to register a host of new acquisitions ahead of Saturday's fixture against Rayo Vallecano, they are trying to offload players and reduce the wage bill.

    While Xavi still considers both men key players, he made it clear they may depart before the transfer window closes.

    "From here until August 31 a lot can happen, but I like Aubameyang a lot," Xavi told a news conference on Friday.

    "He helped us a lot, he's an important player for me, he arrived here with a lot of humility, a good work ethic, so we'll see what happens."

    On De Jong's future, the Blaugrana boss added: "It's the same as Aubameyang, he's an important player and he's part of the squad. 

    "If I can use him, great. From now until the 31st we will see what possibilities there are and where we are with regards to our participation in the market. 

    "From now until August 31, anything can happen with Frenkie and with any players in the squad."

    Reports have suggested tensions are high between De Jong and the club after he appeared to be jeered by a group of supporters while arriving at training earlier this week.

    But Xavi denies there is any ill-feeling towards De Jong, who joined from Ajax for a reported fee of €75million in 2019.

    "I didn't hear whistles, I heard applause," Xavi claimed. "People are able to express how and when they want, I'm here to try to improve the squad and make a cohesive unit. 

    "It depends on how you perform on the pitch whether they support you or whistle. I think Frenkie can help the squad very well, he's helped the club also and I have no complaints."

    One player who is set to leave Barcelona is young midfielder Nico Gonzalez, who declared on Wednesday he would be joining Valencia on a season-long loan.

    Nico made 37 appearances for Barca last season – although only 17 were starts – and Xavi revealed the 20-year-old asked to leave.

    "He came to me three weeks ago. I insisted that he continue because he would have minutes. I like Nico," Xavi said. "But a few days ago, he came back and told me that there was a team where he would play. 

    "He has been brave and is going to Valencia. I hope he comes back more mature because it will be important for the future of Barca. 

    "For the midfield we have Busquets, [Miralem] Pjanic, [Franck] Kessie, Frenkie, Sergi Roberto, and even [Andreas] Christensen who can play there."

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.