Juventus weren’t really made to work for their 29th consecutive league win at home in what was a calmly inflicted romp of relegation-destined Palermo.
A hoard of changes, all justifiable from Max Allegri, saw starts handed to Kwadwo Asamoah, Claudio Marchisio Stefano Sturaro , who all made the line-up along with AFCON returnee Mehdi Benatia.
The ‘Rosanero’ were handed an early warning sign of what was to come when Dybala’s free-kick struck the outside of the post and set the tempo for what was cruise control for The ‘Old Lady’.
They opened the scoring on 13 minutes, when Dybala’s set-piece was scrambled so kindly into the path of Claudio Marchisio, the Italian bagging just his 2nd goal of the season by firing into an empty net. Interestingly, Marchisio now has more club goals against Palermo than any other team (8).
One slight improvement obvious from Diego Lopez’s intuition, is the team’s fresh willingness to break with impetus when in the opposition half and will in future matches, be able to hit teams on the counter.
It was 2nd time lucky for Dybala, who moments before half-time was able to double the lead with a cracking set piece, coming back to haunt his former club and more obviously pushing for that new contract that is now undoubtedly waiting on the table.
The second-half saw more of the same, slow build-up play from the home side, and clear inferiority from the visitors to challenge them, The gulf in class could not be more outstanding.
Things were wrapped up on the 63rd minute, when Dybala played the precision pass through to Higuain, who had struggled to impact the game up until this point, having played possum to the offside trap on more than one occasion. It was the trademark dink finish we’ve been accustomed to witnessing, almost on a weekly basis as the Argentine resorted himself at the summit of the Serie A goal-scoring standings.
There was a late sickening collision between goalkeeper Josip Posavec and centre-half Sinisa Andjelkovic which raised a few concerns. Should Posavec have continued? The Croatian was clearly knocked unconscious after some desperate defending from his Slovenian counterpart, although wearily allowed to carry on after momentary medical treatment.
Higuain was again put through, Goldaniga escaped late dismissal, despite tugging and hauling back at the striker’s shirt, he still found the pass to Dybala with an intricate back-heel which his fellow Argentine slotted past a helpless Posavec to round-off the perfect performance.
There was a late consolation however, Buffon was left livid when his left-back Asamoah was caught daydreaming and Palermo punished them, Ivaylo Chochev heading in from the corner to score in back-to-back league games, for the first time this season.
Juventus now lead this fixture by 22-1 on aggregate, over the last 10 games with Palermo remaining rooted to the relegation-zone. Juve go 10 points clear for now, with their nearest challengers, Roma and Napoli not in action until Sunday.