Cristiano Ronaldo combined with Paulo Dybala as Juventus moved points clear at the top of Serie A with a routine 3-0 victory over second-bottom Frosinone, extending their run to eight successive home matches without defeat
Dybala returned to Juve’s starting lineup after two games on the bench and drove home a 30-yard screamer his Portuguese assistant would have been proud of for the home side’s first.
Leonardo Bonucci put the finishing touches on a corner to poke home and double their lead, and Mario Mandzukic did well to craft the opportunity for Ronaldo to add a third with his last touch before being replaced.
Massimiliano Allegri’s Juventus side travel to Atletico Madrid on Wednesday in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie.
Allegri said any disagreement with Dybala—ignited after the forward left the bench early in a 3-3 draw against Parma—had been dealt with earlier in February after the player apologised.
“The team is growing from a physical point of view,” Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri said. “We struggled a bit after the winter break but now we’re ready to face this important period of the season, both in the league and in the Champions League.”
Dybala had played just seven minutes in the past two matches but was included in the starting lineup and the Argentina international curled a shot into the top right corner from 20 yards in the sixth minute for his first league goal since Nov. 3.
“I’m happy for Paulo,” Allegri said. “He had a great performance and a great goal. Forwards live for that.
“We need his work between the lines, all the more so this year that we’re playing with two forwards other than him. That has limited him a bit maybe in scoring but not in his movements and his performances, he’s still playing very well.”
Ronaldo arrived in Juventus as the £100 million marvel to play as centrepiece, but it’s also true his tutelage of Dybala—a player 10 years his younger—could be best served by the more seasoned star taking more of a backseat.
Ronaldo is Serie A’s top scorer with 19 goals, three more than Atalanta’s Duvan Zapata and Sampdoria’s Fabio Quagliarella.