Conor Clancy Date: 7th April 2018 at 5:01pm
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Despite battling bravely throughout, Benevento came up short as Juventus visited the Stadio Ciro Vigorito on Saturday afternoon and a Paulo Dybala hat-trick helped seal the points in a 4-2 victory for the Bianconeri.

The Serie A leaders did need two penalties to see off the division’s bottom side, who went toe-to-toe with their visitors for most of the 90 minutes.

It didn’t take long for Juve to lead and Paulo Dybala put his midweek woes behind him with a delightful finish.

Alex Sandro carried the ball in from the left and found Juan Cuadrado on the opposite side of the box with the outside of his foot. The Colombian knocked the ball back to Dybala on the edge who picked out the far corner with an elegantly controlled finish.

Rather unexpectedly it was not Juventus who then took control, but Benevento who responded well and looked to get at the Bianconeri and Wojciech Szczesny was forced to deny Sandro shortly after.

Szczesny was then involved again as the hosts drew level. The Polish international saved well from Filip Djuricic but Alin Tosca pounced on the rebound and his volley was going just wide of the far post when Cheick Diabate slid in and converted into the roof of the net.

Dybala had a chance to restore the lead on the half-hour mark with a free-kick but Christian Puggioni was equal to his tame effort. Cuadrado then should have put the Old Lady back in front as he got on the end of a long ball but scuffed his effort wide.

Juve thought they had retaken the lead through Mario Mandzukic, who had the ball in the net only for VAR to be consulted and the goal to be ruled out because the Croatian used his hand to control the ball, which then saw him booked.

VAR did come to Juventus’ rescue right on half-time as Miralem Pjanic went down in the area only for referee Fabrizio Pasqua to wave away their appeals for a penalty. He did then review the decision and award a spot kick that allowed Dybala to send the leaders in at the break with a lead.

Remarkably, the hosts refused to accept their fate and responded again through Diabate with just five minutes of the second half played. This time, Nicolas Viola whipped in a corner and Diabate rose highest to head back across goal and beyond Szczesny to level the scores once more.

After the hour mark Juve looked to take control of things and introduced both Douglas Costa and Gonzalo Higuain.

Juventus were gifted the opportunity to take the lead for a third time when Higuain appeared to go down rather easily in the box only for Pasqua to award a penalty. Dybala stepped up again and, once more, sent Puggioni the wrong way to complete his hat-trick.

Douglas Costa put the game beyond doubt in the final ten minutes as he cut in from the right and unleashed a fierce curling strike into the far top corner of Puggioni’s goal.

The win gives Juventus a seven point margin at the top of the table ahead of Napoli’s game against Chievo on Sunday.