Paulo Dybala

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Lazio beats Juventus 3-1 to win Italian Super Cup in Riyadh

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RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) Lazio beat Juventus 3-1 on Sunday to win the Italian Super Cup for a fifth time amid a background of protests and political outrage at the game being held in Saudi Arabia.

Senad Lulic scored in the 73rd minute for Lazio after Juve’s Paulo Dybala had canceled out Luis Alberto‘s opener at Riyadh’s King Saud University Stadium.

Danilo Cataldi sealed the result in stoppage time with a free kick. That was conceded by Juventus midfielder Rodrigo Bentancur, who was shown a second yellow card and sent off.

It was the second time in three years that Lazio had beaten Juventus in the Super Cup. The capital side had also won 3-1 when the two clubs met in Serie A two weeks ago in what was Maurizio Sarri‘s only previous defeat as Juventus coach.

Amnesty International and the journalists union for Italian state TV RAI had written a joint letter to the presidents of Juventus and Lazio. The letter asked the clubs not to play the Italian Super Cup in Saudi Arabia because of the country’s human rights record.

Italian politicians and human rights activists also objected to last season’s game being played in Saudi Arabia, citing the assassination of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.

The Italian league has a contract with Saudi Arabia to play three Super Cups in the country over five years and – just like last year – the match went ahead.

Lazio took the lead in the 16th minute when Lulic crossed for Sergej Milinkovic-Savic at the back post, and he cut it back for Luis Alberto to fire into the roof of the net.

Sarri had again started with the superstar trident of Cristiano Ronaldo, Dybala and Gonzalo Higuain and the first two combined for the equalizer on the stroke of halftime.

Dybala turned in the rebound from close range after Lazio goalkeeper Thomas Strakosha could only parry Ronaldo’s effort.

But Lazio captain Lulic helped to win the match with a splendid volley at the back post after Marco Parolo had nodded on Manuel Lazzari’s cross.

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

Juventus draws after winning bid blocked by Ronaldo; Inter can go 1st

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Inter Milan could finish the day above Juventus with a win at 9 a.m. ET after Cristiano Ronaldo scored a penalty to level Sunday’s match against Sassuolo but also blocked his side’s match-winning attempt in the 70th minute.

Comically, the shot was taken by Paulo Dybala, who also won the penalty. The jokes are there for the taking when it comes to Ronaldo’s perceived jealousy of the Argentine playmaker, though Sassuolo goalkeeper Stefano Turati was well-positioned to catch the ball had it reached him.

[ MORE: Watford fires Sanchez Flores ]

Juve had led 1-0 through Leonardo Bonucci, but Sassuolo struck on both sides of halftime to put the hosts behind.

Ronaldo converted Dybala’s penalty, the 116th of the Portuguese’s amazing career, but then couldn’t get out of the way on the below shot (few could).

The megastar was apparently attempting to not interfere with the play, knowing he was probably in an offside position.

UCL wrap: 4-goal Lewandowski just unfair; PSG comes back at Real

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Real Madrid, Tottenham Hotspur, and Manchester City joined Paris Saint-Germain, Bayern Munich, and Juventus in the knockout rounds at the conclusion of Tuesday’s action in the UEFA Champions League.

[ RECAPS: Man City-Shakhtar | Spurs-Olympiacos ]

Paulo Dybala scored a gorgeous goal, PSG erases a 2-goal Real Madrid lead in 3 minutes, and Robert Lewandowski is currently the best center forward on Earth.

Read on…


Red Star 0-6 Robert Lewandowski Bayern Munich

Robert Lewandowski only had an assist in Bundesliga play this weekend, so you kinda figured something special was headed to Serbia.

Red Star Belgrade trailed 1-0 at the break when the powerful Polish forward took control with a haul of four goals (Corentin Tolisso scored the sixth marker).

This man is insane. It takes a lot to put up a UEFA Team of the Year worthy performance in a world with Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Kylian Mbappe (Lewandowski has never claimed a First Team spot), but look at these numbers in all competitions:

20 matches
27 goals
1 assist

So selfish. Ten of those goals have come in five UCL matches, as he’s scored multiple times against every team in the group.

Real Madrid 2-2 Paris Saint-Germain

A thriller here, with controversy to boot.

Karim Benzema completed a brace in the 79th minute to put the hosts, seemingly, in control of the match.

Unfortunately for the Bernabeu, it was just cruise control and PSG tapped the brakes via two goals in four minutes.

Kylian Mbappe — who else? — made it 2-1 in the 81st and Pablo Sarabia scored an incredible strike in the 83rd. Gareth Bale smashed the post with a gorgeous free kick in stoppage time, and the game ended at 2.

It could’ve been much worse for Real despite the blown 2-goal lead, as a red card to Thibaut Courtois was removed via VAR due to a touchy foul on Idrissa Gana Gueye in the build-up.

Juventus 2-0 Atletico Madrid

It takes a lot to break down a Diego Simeone defense. This, however, will do the trick. Paulo, Paulo, Paulo Dybala had himself a moment on a day.

Too hot for the keeper’s hands, apparently:

Galatasaray 1-1 Club Brugge

Amazing stuff at the end, and not just because Krepin Diatta scored a point-winning equalizer in the second minute of stoppage. Diatta was shown a second yellow card for taking off his shirt, while teammate Clinton Mata was shown a second yellow as well for snapping the corner flag pole with a celebration.

WATCH that here.

Elsewhere

Atalanta 2-0 Dinamo Zagreb
Lokomotiv Moscow 0-2 Bayer Leverkusen

Serie A Roundup: Higuain brace powers Ronaldo-less Juventus past Atalanta (video)

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Gonzalo Higuain’s brace in Juventus’ win to stay atop of the league highlights Saturday’s Serie A action.

 [ MORE: Serie A scores, schedule ]

Atalanta 1-3 Juventus

With Inter Milan at their heels and without Cristiano Ronaldo to rely on, Juventus was in dire for someone to commender the team and guide them to victory.

Scoring two, crucial goals towards the final stages of the Saturday’s game, it became clear that “someone” was Gonzalo Higuain.

Having not scored a league goal in nearly two months, the proven 31-year-old erupted for a brace in eight minutes. Following a series of missed clearances (and a missed attempt to strike the ball) inside the box, the Argentine’s turnaround left-footed strike opened the scoring for the visitors. Minutes later, following a run inside the box from Paulo Dybala, Juan Cuadrado‘s pinpoint service into the heart of the box was gently tapped into the back of the net by Higuain.

Robin Gosens opened the scoring for the home side in the 56th minute, connecting Musa Barrow’s lofting cross with a powerful header. In the first half, Barrow’s strike from the penalty spot rattled off the crossbar.

Late in stoppage time, Dybala sealed all three points for Juventus with a left-footed goal. The 26-year-old has scored in consecutive league games for the Old Lady.

Juventus hopes to have Ronaldo back for their Champions League showdown against Atletico Madrid on Tuesday, while Atalanta look for their first win in the same tournament as they host Dinamo Zagreb.

Elsewhere in Serie A

Torino 0-3 Inter Milan

AC Milan 1-1 Napoli

Serie A roundup: Juventus, Inter Milan succumb unusual draws (video)

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Abnormal draws from Juventus and Inter Milan on the same matchday highlight Saturday’s Serie A action.

 [ MORE: Serie A scores, schedule ]

Lecce 1-1 Juventus

With a couple of its stars resting – including Cristiano Ronaldo – Juventus traveled to Lecce to take on the recently-promoted club. Shockingly, the league leaders were stunned and walked out with only a point.

Powered by the Argentine duo of Paulo Dybala and Gonzalo Higuain, the Old Lady knocked, and knocked on the home side’s door. To be exact, Juventus took 15 shots in the first half, and even though the majority came inches from being on frame, only one resulted to be on target.

Close chances soon became a regular occurrence throughout the 90 minutes.

But early in the second half, Dybala finally broke the deadlock from the spot, following a hard foul on Miralem Pjanic on the edge of the 18-year-box. It was Juventus’ game to lose.

In a way, that’s exactly what happened when Lecce earned a penalty of their own only six minutes later. Marco Mancosu converted from 12 year out, putting the underdog leveled with the league’s most lucrative side.

Luckily for Maurizio Sarri and company, Parma’s two first-half goals were too much for Inter Milan to top, as the second-place side drew their first game of the season. Juventus, despite dropping two points on Saturday, remain one point ahead of Antonio Conte‘s Inter after nine games played.

With Ronaldo likely on the teamsheet, Juventus hosts Genoa midweek, while Inter Milan travel to Brescia.

Elsewhere in Serie A

Inter Milan 2-2 Lecce

Genoa 3-1 Brescia