Dybala double helps Juve book spot in Champions League knockout stage

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Juventus booked their spot in the Champions League last 16 with two group games to spare after a double from Argentine striker Paulo Dybala steered them to a 4-2 win over Zenit St Petersburg on Tuesday.

Knowing they only needed a point against Zenit to be assured of a knockout-stage spot in Group H, Juve raced into a deserved early lead through Dybala, who hammered the ball into the roof of the net in the 11th minute.

The hosts had several chances to make it 2-0 before Italy defender Leonardo Bonucci put through his own net in the 26th minute to draw Zenit level.

Dybala benefited from a slice of good fortune to put Juve back in front in the 58th minute, as he converted a penalty at the second attempt, after the referee had ordered his first effort, that he dragged wide, be retaken.

Goals from Federico Chiesa and Alvaro Morata made sure of the victory late on as Juve made it four wins from four in this season’s competition to top Group H, three points ahead of holders Chelsea in second.

Sardar Azmoun netted a stoppage-time consolation for Zenit, who must win both of their remaining group matches to have any hope of reaching the knockout stages.

helsea beat Malmo 1-0 in Sweden thanks to a Hakim Ziyech strike but an expected glut of goals never materialised against the defensive-minded hosts in Champions League Group H on Tuesday.

Chelsea, who hammered Malmo 4-0 when the sides met in London two weeks ago, remain second in the standings.

Reuters

Photo Juventus’ Paulo Dybala (2-L) celebrates after scoring the 2-1 goal during the UEFA Champions League group H soccer match Juventus FC vs Zenit St. Petersburg at the Allianz Stadium in Turin, Italy, 02 November 2021. EPA-EFE/ALESSANDRO DI MARCO

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