With two ferocious strikes, Paulo Dybala single-handedly silenced those in the Stadio Olimpico crowd who were donned in sky blue and white.
That's the kind of night it was for Juventus' new star striker. At the tender age of 22, Dybala is now the leader of Juve's new-look strikeforce. That lofty price tag that was agreed upon with Palermo over the summer, that's looking like money incredibly well spent at this point. He's the future of Juve's attack, but also proving to be so important in the present.
It's the movement. It's the creativity. It's the goals. It's the assists. Dybala is the total package when it comes to a striker. And as we're seeing now, the young Argentine is just getting better by the week, with his impact growing exponentially as the games go by. His first shot — one that had so much velocity behind it — deflected off Lazio defender Santiago Gentiletti for what is officially an owl goal and gave Juventus the lead.
Then, midway through the first half, that goal to put Juve up 2-0. Oh, what a pretty, pretty, pretty goal that was.
Did I mention he's only 22? Because he is.
Even in a game where Lazio had the far and wide advantage in possession, Juventus' opponents could hardly do anything with it. Was it caused by Juve taking a 1-0 lead so early, leaving Lazio shellshocked in the process? Maybe. It's not like Lazio are flying high and full of confidence at the moment with all of their struggles in the last six games. But even with a healthy advantage in possession, Gigi Buffon was essentially just standing there and barking orders to his teammates for most of the game. Only a few second-half saves to be made. That's it.
Instead of many a typical Juventus strugglefest at the Olimpico, Juve stormed right on through the Italian capital and pulled even with Roma in the standings once the final whistle sounded. I like those kinds of games.
It's safe to say that when that second goal went in past Federico Marchetti, the only people you could hear were Juventus tifosi screaming at the top of the lungs. That's what Paulo Dybala did on Friday night. Not bad, kid.
Random thoughts and observations
- Juventus is fun to watch again. What a fantastic development that is.
- Juventus has four clean sheets in their last five games. What a fantastic development that is.
- Kwadwo Asamoah got the start as a midfielder and played nearly 70 minutes. What a fantastic development that is.
- Alex Sandro, once again, played a pivotal role in a Juventus goal.I said it after the Manchester City game and I will repeat it again: Sandro is pushing the issue when it comes to getting more playing time. And if he continues to play like he is right now, Max Allegri will have a lot more decisions to make.
- Speaking of Allegri here are the three players he subbed on in the second half: Patrice Evra, Álvaro Morata and Juan Cuadrado. That's not just a third of his starting lineup from the opening couple of months this season, but also a sign of just how good and deep Juve's bench is.
- In case opposing teams still don't know by now, directing your shots on goal right at Buffon probably isn't the best way to beat the best in the world. All of Buffon's second-half saves were basically right down the pipe, with the veteran goalkeeper barely having to move to make the save. Just another day for Buffon where he gets another much deserved shutout in what was his 400th Juventus appearance in Serie A.
- Do you dare break up the Dybala-Mandzukic partnership against Sevilla on Tuesday night? The top spot in the group is still on the line, so it's not like squad rotation is really in the cards because of the fact there's still something to play for. I guess playing Alex Sandro isn't the only decision Allegri has to make in the next couple of days.
- Juventus' defense eased off the gas a little bit in the last 20 or 25 minutes, but how good was Giorgio Chiellini in that game? That was a classic, take-no-prisoners kind of game from King Kong.
- Paulo Dybala is really, really good. Just thought I'd throw that in there.