Paulo Dybala does not believe in rust after a 17-day break between games. Paulo Dybala does not believe in taking it lightly on teams that have yet to win a game this season. Paulo Dybala, above all else, does believe in continuing this awesome run of form he's in for as long as it is humanly possible. And, let's see here, I don't think I've got any objection to it.
The Paulo Dybala Destruction Tour continued Wednesday afternoon in Turin, as the young yet oh-so-deadly Argentine striker scored a beautiful free kick and then sent in a just as lovely cross on Leonardo Bonucci's header in the first half as Juventus beat last-place Hellas Verona 3-0 at Juventus Stadium.
It was just the latest and greatest game for Dybala, who is shooting up the Serie A scoring chart just as fast as Juve has risen up the league table since the end of October. He's got nine goals in league play this season and 10 in all competitions. In 34 Serie A appearances with Palermo last season, he scored 13 goals. So, to say that he's having one hell of a first half of the season with Juventus would probably be pretty on point right now.
And just for a little bit of context, let's go back to something along the lines of what I brought up in the match preview: Dybala has scored nine Serie A goals this season. Hellas Verona has scored 12 Serie A goals this season.
Paulo Dybala: Has now directly contributed to 12 goals in 13 starts in Serie A this season (8 goals, 4 assists) #JuveVerona— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) January 6, 2016
Is that good? Because I feel like that's good.
Yeah, it's good, Really, really good.
But for Dybala right now, it just seems like it's the norm. The hype machine will only continue to grow and churn out talk of how good Dybala can be, and just about all of the praise the young man will get in Thursday's papers in Italy will be wholeheartedly deserves. When you play this well and play such a crucial role in your team's success, you get put under the microscope.
And Dybala seems totally comfortable with that. The boy just continues to shine like the nickname says he should.
Random thoughts and observations
- Here's something we say after just about every game these days: Gianluigi Buffon had to make one save. That save was really, really good. And on a historic day for San Gigi, he got the perfect gift — a clean sheet. Well deserved.
- I'm happy that Juventus' defense decided to give Buffon most of the game off as he became the first player in club history to ever surpass the 50,000 minutes played mark in Serie A. Think about that for a second. Five-hundred-thousand minutes. And he's not exactly slowing down this season. Buffon has plenty of more minutes left in the tank despite the fact he's well into being a 37-year-old goalkeeper.
I love that guy.
- Juventus did get bad news on Wednesday, and it involves Claudio Marchisio's availability for the weekend fixture. With his yellow card in the first half, there will be no Marchisio in Sunday's game against Sampdoria. I am quite interested to see who Max Allegri decides to fill Marchisio's absence with. If Sami Khedira slides into the center of the midfield and is flanked by Stefano Sturaro and Paul Pogba, i would totally be okay with that. Don't mess with Hernanes, Max. Keep it simple.
- If it wasn't for Patrice Evra being on the Juventus roster, I would demand Allegri makes Alex Sandro a full-time starter and not look back one bit. He seems to be getting better and better. Maybe it's because we're not seeing him in the same kind of frequency as somebody like Dybala, but it just seems like Alex Sandro is one of Juve's best players whenever he does get a start.
- Many of us were hoping Daniele Rugani would get the start in place of Andrea Barzagli. Instead, it was Martin Cáceres who made his long-awaited return to the Juventus starting lineup. There will be plenty of speculation about what it means for the high sock-wearing defender's future with the club because of the rumors surrounding his future at Juve, but it was nice to see Cáceres out there again. We tend to forget with all the talk of him being injured all the time that he is quite good at his job when he's actually healthy.
- Álvaro Morata couldn't help but shake his head a little bit as he was subbed off for Simone Zaza with around 10 minutes to go in the second half. You can tell he's visibly frustrated out on the field right now. He knows he can do better, and so do we. But until he gets that incredibly elusive second Serie A goal of the season, frustration will continue to mount. The boy needs some confidence, and it seems like the only thing that will solve that straight away is seeing a shot of his ripple the back of the net.
- Simone Zaza scored again in a substitute appearance. The assist by Pogba on the goal ... wooo, that boy good.
- That's eight in a row in Serie A for Juventus. While Roma were doing all sorts of Roma things against the other team from Verona, Juve were doing exactly what they should have done against a Hellas team that doesn't have a league win this season. That's how it's done, gentlemen. Now go and dab all you want in the locker room.