Juventus thrash Palermo to go 10 points clear in Italy
Issued on: Modified:
Juventus warmed up for next week’s Uefa Champions League last 16 clash against Porto with a convincing 4-1 win over Serie A strugglers Palermo. Former Palermo star Paulo Dybala bagged a brace in the victory on Friday night to send the champions 10 points clear of Roma who host Torino on Sunday.
"We ended the first half at 2-0 despite not playing well," said Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri. "It's one game less to winning the Scudetto and I congratulate the players for the way they approached the game."
Palermo started the day eight points from safety and they were immediately under pressure.
Dybala moved to Turin in 2015 after three seasons at Palermo. The 23-year-old Argentina international almost opened the scoring after five minutes when he clipped the post with a left-footed free-kick.
But the Sicilians' rearguard was breached eight minutes later. Claudio Marchisio stabbed home after Palermo goalkeeper Josip Posavec could only parry Gonzalo Higuain's shot. Five minutes before the pause, Dybala curled in a free-kick to make it 2-0.
Higuain added a third - his 19th league goal of the season - in the 63rd minute, latching onto Dybala's pass between two defenders. Higuain repaid the favour to his international teammate one minute from time with a neat backheel allowing Dybala to slot the ball home.
Palermo scored an injury-time consolation through an Ivaylo Chochev header.
Juventus will go to Porto for the first-leg clash in buoyant mood following the victory. But they will face equally ebullient hosts. Porto thrashed bottom of the table Tondela 4-0 on Friday night to go two points clear of Benfica who play at Braga on Sunday.
Daily news briefReceive essential international news every morningSubscribe