So much of this season has been about Paulo Dybala’s ever-changing role within the starting lineup, one that has seem rarely find the net instead of lighting things up like some thought he would when teamed with Cristiano Ronaldo up front. It’s not that Dybala has played poorly this season, really, it’s just that his role within this team, at least in the first half of the season, had been different than in years prior.
With all that being said, it would be perfectly acceptable if you couldn’t remember off the top of your head the last time Dybala had scored a league goal this season. Heck, he has scored on the international level more recently than he had found the back of the net in Serie A — and that’s something I know because I looked it up.
All of that, my friends, is a thing of the past.
Dybala didn’t just end his drought in Serie A that dates back to the first days of November, but he ended his goalless streak in league play with absolute authority. Dybala’s brilliant left-footed strike in the sixth minute from just outside of the 18-yard box pretty much set the tone for the rest of Juventus’ 3-0 win over Frosinone at Allianz Stadium on Friday night.
And let me tell you, Dybala’s first goal in nearly four months was quite the peach.
I mean, it’s just a beautiful thing. When Dybala gets it right with his left, it can be simple poetry in motion. And this thing was an absolute work of art that Marco Sportiello had absolutely no chance in getting the second Dybala made contact with the ball.
And as we went on to see, it was more about just a beautiful goal from Dybala. It was probably one of his best games of the season as well.
The goal will obviously be the thing that people will take out of this win — and rightfully so seeing as the last time Dybala scored a domestic goal — but it was the overall performance from Juve’s No. 10 that should really be the encouraging thing. Dybala basically took the positive showing off the bench against Sassuolo over the weekend and just expanded on it in his return to the starting lineup. Dybala was creating chances for himself, creating chances for his teammates and was just about everywhere in Frosinone’s third of the field as Max Allegri continued the trend of giving his front trident plenty of freedom to move about wherever they so please.
And knowing who Juventus have next up on the schedule and the magnitude of that game, seeing Dybala really resemble the dangerous Dybala who’s a threat whenever the ball is at his feet simply brought a smile to my face. I’m sure I’m not the only one.
Say what you want about the opposition, but Dybala being Dybala is good.
Juventus being the Juventus that doesn’t mess around against relegation battlers is also good.
So much of this win was very good.
Juventus could have easily had half their collective brain cells off in Madrid thinking of red-and-white thoughts. They didn’t, however, and they took care of business Friday night.
And they looked pretty good while doing so, too.
RANDOM THOUGHTS AND OBSERVATIONS
- I wonder what the ad people at both Adidas and Nike are thinking now that they see Dybala and Ronaldo combining their respective celebrations with one another.
- Consider me surprised when I saw the starting lineup and there was both Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci in the heart of Juve’s defense. We knew Bonucci was a go, but Chiellini was a different matter since Allegri himself called his captain a doubt at his pre-match press conference.
- Now just wrap them in bubble wrap for the next four days so there’s no problems heading into Wednesday’s trip to Atletico Madrid.
- Ronaldo has 19 goals in 24 Serie A appearances. He’s played more minutes than anybody on the team and also has a league-leading eight assists. Decent return.
- Also, Ronaldo had one of his free kicks skim the bottom of a jumping wall and be saved then saw another just go over the bar. Based on how the season has gone from dead ball situations for Juve’s No. 7, I’d say that’s good progress.
- You wanna know how close Bonucci’s goal was to being Sami Khedira’s goal? Take a look.
- I know it’s Frosinone. I know it was already 2-0. I know the game was already over. But man, for the second straight game we saw Juventus put together a damn nice team goal.
- Wojciech Szczesny pulled a Gigi Buffon and didn’t really have to do much of anything.
- Emre Can has gotten a lot of gruff from folks around here in recent weeks with how he’s played, but against Frosinone he led the team in tackles (6), led the team in interceptions (3), had a pair of clearances and was as involved as anybody in a black and white jersey. That’s much, much better.
- I love how casual Joao Cancelo makes crosses with the outside of his boots. It’s like nothing to him.
- I am sad that Allegri didn’t give Moise Kean some minutes. This was the kind of game — especially with an early-game lead — where a second-half appearance would have made so, so much sense.
- Counterpoint: Using one of your subs to make sure Giorgio Chiellini stays 100 percent healthy ahead of Atletico Madrid is also something I’m perfectly fine with.
- Juve are going to have a 14-point lead in Serie A for at least 48 hours. That is hilarious.