Juventus returned to winning ways in Serie A with a routine 2-0 victory over bottom side Salernitana.
Massimiliano Allegri ruled Juve out of the title race after their defeat to Atalanta on Saturday, which followed a 4-0 thrashing at the hands of Chelsea in the Champions League.
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.
Dybala’s penalty miss was never going to prove costly, however, with Alvaro Morata having already sealed the points in the 70th minute.
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 tucked 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 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.
— JuventusFC (@juventusfcen) November 30, 2021
What does it mean? Bianconeri back in business
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 are rooted to the bottom after a fourth defeat in five matches.
Morata loves playing promoted sides
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.
Bittersweet for Dybala
Dybala’s wonderful first-half strike was his 24th Serie A goal from outside the 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 last-gasp penalty.
Key Opta Facts
– Juve have won two Serie A away games in a row without conceding goals for the first time since February 2019.
– Dybala’s opener was the first ever goal scored by Juve in an away Serie A match against Salernitana.
– Juve have kept clean sheets in three of their last four Serie A games, as many as in the previous 27 matches in the competition.
– Salernitana have lost four home games in a row for the first time in Serie A.
– Dybala has been directly involved in seven goals in the current Serie A campaign (four goals and three assists), equalling his tally from last season.
Juventus look to build on their momentum when they welcome Genoa to the Allianz Stadium on Sunday, a day after Salernitana head to San Siro to face Milan.