Paulo Dybala ended a six-match barren streak with a wonderful freekick to help Juventus to a 2-0 win over Brescia on Sunday afternoon.
In the absence of Cristiano Ronaldo, who was rested, Dybala stepped up to get Juventus back to winning ways following two Serie A defeats in their last three matches.
Juventus missed a host of chances after Brescia were reduced to 10 men when Florian Aye picked up two yellow cards in the space of four minutes, with Dybala bagged the resulting freekick from second foul. Juan Cuadrado then grabbed with second with 15 minutes left to play.
Giorgio Chiellini also made it onto the pitch after recovering from a serious knee injury which had limited him to just one appearance this season against Parma back in August 2019.
As a result, Juventus move three points clear of Inter at the top of Serie A, with the Nerazzurri taking on Lazio in Sunday evening’s late match.
It was all Juventus early on, and a Rodrigo Bentancur cross palmed out by Enrico Alfonso, but he had to go off after picking up a head injury in a clash with Jhon Chancellor.
Alfonso’s replacement, Lorenzo Andrenacci gave the ball away to Juan Cuadrado with his first kick of the ball, but the Colombian couldn’t make anything of it.
A Mario Balotelli free kick was placed high and wide, then Paulo Dybala swung a nice ball in for Cuadrado but he could only fire wide.
Juventus should have been a goal up just after the half hour when Gonzalo Higuain collected a cross in the six-yard box, before cutting back to Dybala whose shot was way off target.
Despite being pinned back for the majority of the opening half, Brescia were dangerous on the counter-attack with Birkir Bjarnason heading straight at Wojciech Szczesny.
Brescia were reduced to 10 men when Aye was given his marching orders for foul on Aaron Ramsey just outside the penalty area, collecting his second yellow of the game.
Dybala then stepped up and curled a brilliant freekick into the far left corner, with Andrenacci rooted to the spot.
Moments later Dybala took on a long ball first time and volley into the arms of the Brescia goalkeeper, then Daniele Rugani hit the crossbar with a header.
After the break, Higuain brought a great save from Andrenacci before Stefano Sabelli cleared off the line, then Dybala put a freekick over the crossbar.
Higuain and Dybala showed great understanding the the latter fed the former, only for the Juventus No.10’s shot to be blocked by Bjarnason on the penalty spot.
Miralem Pjanic last just seven minutes after coming on as a substitute before being replaced by Blaise Matuidi after picking up an injury.
The second goal did come for Juventus when Cuadrado played a neat one-two with Matuidi and wriggled through the Brescia defence before firing low into the bottom corner.
Emanuele Ndoj flashed a low drive just wide and in the dying seconds at the other end Dybala smashed the ball off the bar.