As it turned out, Paulo Dybala’s goal-scoring “slump” lasted all of one game.
Yes, Dybala was up to his “old” tricks again, setting an early tone to Saturday night’s Derby Della Mole with what proved to be the game-winning goal and then capping things with stoppage-time finish to get his latest multi-goal game in Juventus’ 4-0 win over city rivals Torino at Allianz Stadium.
So, basically, normal service has been restored, folks.
You don’t need Google Translate or anything close to it for that one. With the way things are going for Dybala these days, I guess not scoring in every single game is something to talk about. But don’t worry, Paulo, you don’t need to apologize for not scoring a goal against Fiorentina. I think you’ve earned a day where you’re not amazing.
But when it comes how things went on Saturday, it wasn’t just Dybala being Dybala. It was Juventus putting forward arguably their best showing of the young season.
Sure, it helped that Torino played about two-thirds of the game down a man. But even before then, Juventus were showing that they brought the good to the Turin derby. Mario Mandzukic, playing in Gonzalo Higuain’s usual spot atop the 4-2-3-1 formation, was pressing the living hell out of Torino’s backline. And once Toro did go down a man after Daniele Baselli was sent off midway through the first half, Juventus turned up the heat.
It was just the kind of performance Juventus would put forth in a derby — and they did.
Just in case you forgot, here’s what Paulo Dybala has done in Serie A this season:
Games played: 6
Goals scored: 10
Is that good?
And just in case you forgot, TORINO È BIANCONERA.
RANDOM THOUGHTS AND OBSERVATIONS
- My new favorite sign at J Stadium...
- Daniele Baselli comes in flying with a knee right into Miralem Pjanic’s chest and is somehow upset that it’s deserving of a card? Ah, that side of Turin is funny sometimes.
- Obviously going down a man midway through the first half had a lot to do with how Torino was forced to play, but that might have been the quietest game I’ve seen from Andrea Belotti in a while. He did next to nothing. He might be sitting in Giorgio Chiellini’s back pocket for all we know.
- Miralem Pjanic against Torino: One goal, two assists. If there ever was a performance to give Paulo Dybala a run for his money for Man of the Match, it was what Mire did on Saturday night.
- I had a laugh in the second half when Lorenzo De Silvestri took a bunch of open space and then, suddenly, tried to uncork a shot from the right wing. It basically ended up being a grass-cutting shot that Gigi Buffon had absolutely no trouble with. That turned out to be the only save Buffon had to make all game. Pretty good.
- And while Buffon was pretty much standing around doing a whole lot of nothing all game, Salvatore Sirigu was putting in a Buffon-like performance on the other end of the field. Imagine what this final score would have been if Sirigu hadn’t made some of those saves in the second half...
- Federico Bernardeschi got to play more than 15 minutes. That’s cool.
- Rodrigo Bentancur got to play in another game. That’s also cool.
- I believe I had that, by the way.
- I was pretty much in the wait-and-see camp when it came to how Blaise Matuidi would do as a Juventus player. But since he’s been put into the starting lineup due to injuries to Claudio Marchisio and Sami Khedira, he’s been playing quite well. The interesting dilemma when those two come back into the squad. But for now, the main combo of Pjanic and Matuidi seems to be developing a nice little rapport with one another.
- With how close some of these derbies have been over the last handful of years, I appreciate Juventus having a relatively easy time with Torino this time around.
- In closing: Paulo Dybala is good. Very, very good.