Tue, Mar 13, 2018 - Page 16 News List

Dybala fires Juve to top of Serie A as Napoli held


Paulo Dybala of Juventus, right, scores against Udinese in their Serie A match at the Allianz Stadium in Turin, Italy, on Sunday.

Photo: Reuters

Paulo Dybala on Sunday struck twice to send Juventus to the top of Serie A with a 2-0 victory over Udinese as title rivals SSC Napoli were held to a goalless draw at Inter.

Argentine Dybala followed last week’s UEFA Champions League winner over Tottenham Hotspur with a match-clinching brace as Massimiliano Allegri’s men moved a point clear of Napoli with a game in hand.

Gonzalo Higuain missed a first-half penalty, but Juve took another comfortable step toward a seventh consecutive scudetto.

“After the drama of Wednesday night [against Tottenham], there was a risk that we might have gone into tonight’s match too relaxed, but instead we showed character and experience to seal all three points,” Dybala told Juventus’ Web site. “I’m happy to have helped the team with my goals. We’re putting pressure on our rivals and we keep moving forward. It all depends on us now.”

Napoli were looking to restore their one-point lead and bounce back after seeing a 10-match winning streak ended the previous weekend’s 4-2 home defeat by AS Roma, but they could not find a way past top-four hopefuls Inter.

“We’re just thinking of ourselves,” said Lorenzo Insigne, who went close for Napoli on several occasions at the San Siro.

“So many people, to put pressure on us, are saying that the title is gone, we just have to think about working. As long as we’re mathematically in it, we’ll fight to win, without ever letting our heads go down,” he said. “We have to stay calm... we didn’t win today, but we had a good performance and we have to start again from that.”

Napoli almost fell to a second successive defeat as Inter went closest to breaking the deadlock when Milan Skriniar headed a free-kick off the post early in the second half.

The Bianconeri could move four points clear of Napoli tomorrow if they beat Atalanta BC at home in a match which was rescheduled due to bad weather.

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