Juventus got back to winning ways in Serie A with a routine 2-0 victory over bottom side Salernitana on Tuesday night.
Massimiliano Allegri ruled Juve out of the title race after their defeat to Atalanta on Saturday, which came after a 4-0 demolishing at the hands of Chelsea in the Champions League last week on Tuesday.
But Juve hit back on Tuesday, Paulo Dybala breaking the deadlock in the 21st minute, though he did send a stoppage-time penalty way over the crossbar to deny Juve a three-goal win.
Dybala’s penalty miss was never going to prove costly, however, with Alvaro Morata having already sealed the points in the 70th minute for the Old Lady.
Aiming to avoid a third successive defeat against newly-promoted sides in Serie A for the first time, Juve started well with Dejan Kulusevski shooting just wide.
Kulusevski turned provider as Juve’s pressure told in the 21st minute – Dybala exchanging a neat one-two with the winger before firing low beyond Vid Belec.
Giorgio Chiellini thought he had doubled the lead when he fired home the rebound after Juan Cuadrado’s free-kick was tipped onto the post, but he was denied a first league goal of the season following a lengthy VAR check, with Moise Kean deemed to have strayed offside.
Salernitana had a glorious opportunity to equalise when the ball broke kindly for Luca Ranieri in the 57th minute, but his effort crashed against the woodwork with Wojciech Szczesny beaten.
It proved costly as, just three minutes after entering the action, Morata was in the right place to flick home Federico Bernardeschi’s low cross.
Dybala had the chance to put the icing on the cake from the penalty spot with the last kick of the game, but slipped at the vital moment and sliced his effort high over the goal.
Juventus got back on track as they avoided a third successive defeat in all competitions for what would have been the first time since March 2011. The Bianconeri remain seventh in the table, while Salernitana is rooted to the bottom after a fourth defeat in five matches.
Introduced with a quarter of the contest remaining, Morata wasted no time in making a decisive impact for Juve, netting his ninth goal in 18 Serie A appearances against newly-promoted teams.
Dybala’s staggering first-half strike was his 24th Serie A goal from outside the 18-yard box since the start of the 2014-15 season, with no other player scoring more during that period. However, despite game-high tallies of nine attempts and four on target, his day ended in disappointment with the most untimely of slips as he stepped up to take that stoppage-time penalty.
Juventus look to build upon the winning streak on Sunday when they welcome Genoa to the Allianz Stadium a day after Salernitana travels to San Siro to face second-placed AC Milan.
Also, Read: Ruthless Chelsea demolish Juventus.