Juventus keep Lazio at bay with Genoa stroll

An ecstatic Dybala celebrates scoring his goal. (AP pic)

ROME: Juventus maintained their four-point lead at the top of Serie A on Tuesday after strolling to a 3-1 win at Genoa that keeps chasers Lazio at bay despite their comeback triumph at Torino.

Three stunning individual goals from Paulo Dybala, Cristiano Ronaldo and Douglas Costa downed relegation-threatened Genoa and kept Maurizio Sarri on course to deliver Juve’s ninth straight league title in his first season as coach.

Andrea Pinamonti pulled one back with 14 minutes left for the struggling hosts, who stay just one point above the drop zone and third-from-bottom Lecce, who host Genoa’s local rivals Sampdoria on Wednesday.

Pinamonti’s strike was the first goal Juve have conceded since losing at Lyon in late February, but it wasn’t enough to stop the champions from cruising to their sixth straight league win.

“It was a good team effort and we scored three brilliant goals,” said Sarri.

“The team has recovered well after the disappointment of losing the Italian Cup final, it was only a matter of time.”

The victory at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris showcased the firepower Sarri has at his disposal, with Genoa goalkeeper Mattia Perin making five saves in the goalless first half as Juve pushed early to win the match.

Dybala put his side in the lead in the 50th minute with a beautiful finish following a snaking dribble, a strike that set the tone for the rest of the match.

Ronaldo, who had looked off the pace following the league’s restart from the coronavirus shutdown, showed that he was back to his best seven minutes later when he charged towards goal before letting off a rocket of a shot that Perin could only grasp at as it fired into the net.

That settled the result, but substitute Costa then made his own case for goal of the match when he collected the ball towards the right side of the area and unleashed a curling, dipping shot that again left Perin bewildered.

“They (Dybala and Ronaldo) have learned to look for each other more often,” Sarri said of a blossoming partnership.

“They have realised that by benefitting from each other, both reap the rewards. It’s something I have noticed in training too.”