Paulo Dybala quikfire brace secures victory for Juventus after trailing Lokomotiv Moscow (Match Report)

Paulo Dybala scored twice in two minutes to rescue a victory for Juventus, who had been trailing to injury-hit Lokomotiv Moscow at home.

CR7 was hoping to set a new record, as he had scored against 33 different Champions League clubs, on a par with Raul, but was yet to find the net with Loko.

These sides had met in the 1993 UEFA Cup Final, when remarkably their coach was also Yuri Semin, now 72 years of age.

Vedran Corluka risked an own goal in the opening minutes, deflecting Dybala’s strike on to the side-netting, while Ronaldo’s blushes were spared by the offside flag when he ballooned over from Juan Cuadrado’s cross.

However, Juve were made to pay for a sluggish tempo and poor defending, as Lokomotiv took a shock lead. Alan Miranchuk shrugged off a timid Leonardo Bonucci challenge, spread the play for Joao Mario and was then on the end of the rebound after Wojciech Szczesny’s parry.

Dybala had the ball in the net, but only after Cristiano Ronaldo had acrobatically clattered into goalkeeper Guilherme, so play had been stopped.

After the restart, Dybala volleyed over from close range on a Miralem Pjanic assist, but moments later Higuain replaced Khedira for a 4-3-3 formation.

Cuadrado flashed another dangerous ball across the face of goal, but again nobody was ready to make the most of it. Higuain turned Benedikt Howedes well, only to fire just wide of the post, then a looping header also skimmed the upright.

It was Dybala who got the equaliser with a moment of magic, curling a remote-controlled left-foot strike from the edge of the box into the far top corner with Guilherme helpless.

Less than two minutes later, La Joya had turned the game around completely for Juve to lead 2-1. Alex Sandro’s scorcher from distance forced a one-handed save and Dybala was ready to tap in.

Juventus: Szczesny; Cuadrado, Bonucci, De Ligt, Alex Sandro; Khedira (Higuain 48), Pjanic, Matuidi (Rabiot 65); Bentancur; Dybala (Bernardeschi 82), Cristiano Ronaldo

Lokomotiv Moscow: Guilherme; Ignatyev, Howedes, Corluka, Idowu; Murilo; Al Miranchuk, Barinov, Krychowiak (Kolom)

Photo credit: T witter

Ross Barkley, N’Golo Kante, others ruled out of Ajax showdown

Reports in England claim Chelsea boss Frank Lampard faces Ajax in the Champions League with Ross Barkley struggling to be fit.

The England midfielder turned his ankle against Newcastle on Saturday and joins N’Golo Kante, Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger on the injured list.

A slight groin problem picked up while warming up for France a week ago has sidelined Kante, much to Lampard’s frustration.

The Blues coach blamed a lack of communication between the player’s club and country for the injury, describing it as “no laughing matter”.

Mateo Kovacic was fit to come off the bench for the win over Newcastle after a fitness issue of his own and is well placed to come in for Barkley on Wednesday.

That gives Lampard the opportunity to keep disruption to a minimum and play an otherwise unchanged XI.

The trip to Amsterdam promises to be the toughest of the Champions League group stage, unbeaten Ajax sitting top of both Group H and the Eredivisie.

Chelsea picked up a vital victory away at Lille last time out and Lampard could replicate the 3-4-2-1 formation he deployed in northern France.

Given his lack of centre-backs, that would likely see Cesar Azpilicueta play in the middle with Reece James coming in down the right, report The Sun.

Kovacic and Jorginho are primed for the central midfield roles and a decision would have to be made in attack, Mason Mount vying with Willian and Callum Hudson-Odoi.

Photo Credit:

Ajax star warns teammates against Chelsea star’s threat as two teams clash on Wednesday in Champions League

Ajax defender Joel Veltman has warned his teammates to be wary of Tammy Abraham, saying the gangling Chelsea striker is his biggest concern tomorrow.

The Dutch side face Chelsea in the Champions League on Wednesday night in the third group game.

Ajax are occupying the top spot in Group H having won their two matches so far in the competition, while Chelsea are second with three points having lost their home match to Valencia and defeated Lille on the road.

The defender told NUSport: “There will be no underestimation. Chelsea remains Chelsea. They certainly have some good players. I mainly looked at their striker, the 22-year-old Tammy Abraham. He has been loaned out a few times, but is now doing very well.

“I don’t know if we are obliged to continue in this position, that pressure is mainly imposed from outside, but of course we want to. Certainly after last season, you don’t want to be eliminated in the group stage.”