Paulo Dybala stepped up in the absence of the suspended Cristiano Ronaldo in the Champions League as his hat-trick helped Juventus coast to a 3-0 win over 10-man Young Boys.
With Ronaldo watching on at the Allianz Stadium as he served out a one-game ban following his red card against Valencia, Dybala was the star turn in helping the Serie A champions make it two wins from two in Group H.
His first goal was the pick of the bunch, a wonderfully timed volley from Leonardo Bonucci long pass as the centre-back’s inch-perfect delivery dropped over the head of Mohamed Ali Camara, allowing his team-mate to steer the ball in with his left foot.
The second was more about attacking instincts than technical ability, the forward tapping home the rebound after Young Boys goalkeeper David Von Ballmoos failed to steer Blaise Matuidi’s powerful drive from the edge of the penalty area away from danger.
Dybala could have completed a first-half treble had he made better contact with a first-time effort from Federico Bernardeschi’s cut-back cross, while a right-footed finish when through on goal soon after the break was kept out by a post.
However, his third eventually arrived in the 69th minute when he stretched out to poke home into an unguarded net, converting Juan Cuadrado’s square pass from the right.
As well as conceding three goals for a second successive outing in the competition, Young Boys had to play out the closing stages a man down after defender Camara picked up two yellow cards in the space of three minutes, the second for a foul on Dybala.
Hat-trick hero! Paulo Dybala becomes the 4th Argentinian in #UCL history to score a treble.pic.twitter.com/ZoKK6dcb6d
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) October 2, 2018
What it means: Bianconeri about more than one man
Who needs Ronaldo, right? Juventus signed the Portugal forward in the hope he can help them end a run of near misses in Europe, including losing two of the last four Champions League finals.
Yet while having Real Madrid’s all-time leading scorer will no doubt come in handy, the Italian side once again demonstrated they can prosper just fine without him. Against Valencia they rolled up their sleeves and found a way to win when down to 10 men, while they were ruthlessly efficient in dismissing Young Boys on home soil.
Dybala takes centre stage
The Argentina international found the net just once in the competition last season as Juventus reached the quarter-finals but has already trebled that tally. While no longer the centre of attention following Ronaldo’s arrival at the Allianz Stadium, the 24-year-old remains a key part of Massimiliano Allegri’s squad.
Von Ballmoos offers helping hand
Young Boys travelled to Turin knowing they faced a tall order, particularly after they were easily outclassed by Manchester United on home soil in their opener. There was little they could do to deny Juve’s opener but goalkeeper Von Ballmoos gifted Dybala a second, allowing the hosts to coast to victory.
Key Opta stats: Dybala joins elite company
– Dybala has become the fourth player to score a hat-trick for the club in the Champions League, following Filippo Inzaghi (x2), Alessandro Del Piero and Arturo Vidal.
– Juventus have won all their first nine games of the season, their best run since 1929-30 (the first Serie A season).
– They are now unbeaten in their last 19 home Champions League group-stage games (W11, D8).
– Dybala has scored four goals in his last three games in all competitions, as many as in the previous 14.
– Bonucci made his 50th Champions League appearance and delivered his first assist in the competition.
Juventus will have Ronaldo available again in Europe for their mouth-watering doubleheader against his former club, Manchester United, but first up is a Serie A trip to Udinese on Saturday. Young Boys, meanwhile, will hope to open their account in the competition when they host Valencia next, with the return fixture taking place on Spanish soil on November 7. They host Luzern in domestic action on Saturday.