What a difference a day makes.
Before Juventus’ match with Genoa, Bianconeri coach Maurizio Sarri bemoaned the Cristiano Ronaldo-Paulo Dybala partnership and the difficulty in getting it firing.
Fast forward two special goals from each striker at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris, and Sarri now believes they can play together.
It has always been the toughest of puzzles for the ex-Napoli boss as without a more traditional striker – see Gonzalo Higuain – the Ronaldo-Dybala pairing never really looked lethal.
There would be flashes, though individual, from both as they powered Juventus to the top of Serie A, and again that brilliance was there to see in Genoa.
However, there was more combination play between the stars, as Ronaldo operated a lot more centrally firing four blistering shots at Mattia Perin’s goal, and was served by Dybala on a number of occasions who was also a lot closer to goal.
The main problem for Sarri has been Ronaldo’s reluctance to play at an out-and-out striker, preferring to drift in from the left, coupled with Dybala’s natural game being to drop deep. Juventus all too often are lacking bodies in the penalty area, or are dependant on a midfield threat which is lacking.
In fact, if you go back to December of 2019, the new trident of Ronaldo, Dybala and Higuain was hailed as the future of Juventus’ attack and there will be a clamour to have it back before the end of the season.
Despite this apparent lack of cohesion, Ronaldo has 14 more goals than any other Serie A player in 2020 and seven of Dybala’s last 10 goals have come when the score is 0-0. The pair are decisive.
Moreover, Juve have scored at least twice in each of their last six Serie A matches, and for a team which is also conceded much less, the Scudetto signs are ominous.
Genoa offer nothing
While Andrea Pinamonti score what was mere a consolation, and the first time he has scored in two consecutive Genoa games, the Grifone were a mere defensive training exercise for Juve.
Two shots on target over the 90 minutes, and just 36 percent of the ball, Genoa spent most of the game camped in their own half waiting for Juventus to strike.
The only saving grace being that it took the Bianconeri until the second half to do so, and that was mainly due to some good stops from Perin.
Genoa sit perilously close to the relegation zone – one point – and if they are to keep their Serie A status, they will have to step their game up in the final third.