MILAN (Reuters) - Juventus maintained their perfect start to the new Serie A campaign with a 3-0 home win over Chievo on Saturday capped by a superb individual goal from Paulo Dybala.
The 23-year-old also set up Juve’s second goal for Gonzalo Higuain after he came on as a second-half substitute and his performance earned glowing praise from coach Massimiliano Allegri.
“Dybala keeps getting better, both physically and technically, and he has all it takes to became the best in the world alongside Neymar when Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo stop playing,” Allegri told reporters.
The Turin side have taken nine points from their opening three games as they chase a seventh successive title, although Allegri warned there was a long road ahead.
“There are so many teams battling for the Scudetto that it will be really difficult and finely balanced,” he said.
The team known as the Flying Donkeys gave Juventus a helping hand when Perparim Hetemaj inadvertently headed Miralem Pjanic’s free kick into his own goal at the near post after 17 minutes. New Juventus signings Wojciech Szczesny, Blaise Matuidi and Douglas Costa were given their first starts as Allegri rotated his team ahead of Tuesday’s Champions League visit to Barcelona.
However, Juventus did not have it all their own way. Chievo’s Ivan Radovanovic forced a last-ditch save from Szczesny with a fierce drive and the visitors also made a bright start to the second half until Dybala entered the fray. The Argentine quickly inspired the hosts as he combined with Pjanic to set up Gonzalo Higuain for the second in the 58th minute. Dybala then provided the highlight of the match as he collected the ball near the edge of the penalty area, skipped past two defenders and slipped the ball through a forest of Chievo legs into the net.
Allegri pointed out that some of his international players returned only on Thursday from their World Cup qualifying matches, giving him little time to get his team ready.
“We only had one day to prepare for the match and it was all a bit improvised, but the lads did really well in administering the match,” he said.
The other game due to be played on Saturday, between Sampdoria and AS Roma, was postponed on Friday due to warnings of torrential rain in Genoa.
Reporting by Brian Homewood, editing by Pritha Sarkar, Neville Dalton