Paulo Dybala and Miralem Pjanic starred for Juventus as the Serie A holders cruised to a rampant Derby della Mole victory over Torino.
Paulo Dybala continued his scintillating form as his double helped Juventus thrash 10-man rivals Torino 4-0 in the first Derby della Mole of the Serie A season.
Juve’s mercurial number 10 got his first 16 minutes into Saturday’s encounter at the Allianz Stadium, guiding home the opener in typically composed fashion.
With Torino’s misery compounded by Daniele Baselli’s dismissal midway through the first half, Massimiliano Allegri’s men were soon hitting their stride – Miralem Pjanic’s exquisite strike doubling their tally prior to the interval.
Alex Sandro was the next to get in on the act with a powerful header early in the second half, before Dybala made it 10 goals in six league matches this season with a stoppage-time strike that put the icing on the cake.
Salvatore Sirigu had tried to keep the scoreline respectable with a string of quality saves, though it was merely a matter of damage limitation as the defending champions continued their 100 per cent start in the league.
It is a win that keeps Juve level with pace-setters Napoli at the top of Serie A and Allegri’s focus will now switch to getting his side’s Champions League campaign back on track against Olympiacos on Wednesday.
This guy #Dybala10#ForzaJuvepic.twitter.com/k6qlpVRwSE
— JuventusFC (@juventusfcen) September 23, 2017
Juve wasted no time in getting on the front foot, as Mario Mandzukic – replacing the out-of-form Gonzalo Higuain up front – was denied by Lyanco’s last-ditch tackle inside 30 seconds.
The visitors’ centre-back was in the thick of the action again moments later with a slack back-pass that almost caught out Sirigu, before Juan Cuadrado went close at the culmination of a driving run from the right.
Torino threatened when a desperate block from Giorgio Chiellini prevented Iago Falque’s strike reaching its target, but parity did not last much longer as the hosts took the lead.
Pjanic nipped in to rob Baselli of possession – Dybala latching onto the loose ball and proceeding to drill a low finish into the bottom-right corner from the edge of the area.
Matters went from bad to worse for Baselli and Torino just eight minutes later, the midfielder picking up his second yellow card for a ridiculous lunge on Pjanic, having earlier been booked for tugging back Dybala.
Juve did not let up, and after Lycano’s goal-line clearance denied Cuadrado, the hosts had their second five minutes before the break – Pjanic curling in a sublime 20-yard strike that gave Sirigu no chance after being teed up by the Colombia international.
Pjanic turned provider for the second time 12 minutes after the restart, whipping in a wonderful corner that Alex Sandro turned home with a thumping header.
3 – Miralem Pjanic has been directly involved in each of Juventus’ 3 goals: one scored, two assisted. Protagonist. #JuveTorino
— OptaPaolo (@OptaPaolo) September 23, 2017
Medhi Benatia should have added a fourth as Juve teased Sinisa Mihajlovic’s deflated side, but Sirigu pulled off a superb stop to deny the defender from close range.
Sirigu had to be at his best again with Juve bombarding his goal, managing to keep out a flurry of attempts from substitute Federico Bernadeschi, Mandzukic and Douglas Costa.
But Torino’s goalkeeper would be beaten four a fourth time in the first minute of stoppage time, Dybala lofting in a delicate finish after connecting with a flick from Higuain, who had come off the bench, as Juve added further gloss to an emphatic victory.
Key Opta Stats:
– For the first time in Serie A history, two sides – Juventus and Napoli – have won each of their opening six fixtures.
– Since 1994-95, Paulo Dybala is the first player who has managed to score 10 goals in the first six games of a Serie A season.
– Juventus have won each of their opening six Serie A games for the eighth time – in the previous seven occasions they ended the season top of the table (including season 2005-06, when the title was then revoked).
– Juventus’ last home defeat against Torino in Serie A came in April 1995 – since then, they have won nine times and drawn three.
– The last time Juventus won a derby in Serie A by a four-goal margin was in November 2002.
– Miralem Pjanic ended a 23-game scoring drought in Serie A: his previous goal also came against Torino, in December 2016.
– In fact, Torino are Pjanic’s favourite opponent in Serie A (four goals scored).
– There have been four red cards in the last five Turin derbies in all competitions – three of these were for Torino players. This was Daniele Baselli’s first red card in Serie A.