Juventus strolled into the quarter-finals of the Coppa Italia with a comprehensive 4-0 win over Udinese on Wednesday night.
Skipper for the night Paulo Dybala bagged a brace, with Gonzalo HiguaÍn and Douglas Costa also adding their names to the scoresheet in a convincing 4-0 win for the home side.
Juventus looked lively early on, with Higuaín scoring a rather sublime goal inside the opening 15 minutes. It was poetry in motion as he combined with his compatriot Dybala.
Juve soon doubled their lead, Higuaín slipped in Federico Bernardeschi who was upended by the keeper and Dybala duly smashed home the resulting spot-kick.
Higuain was denied by VAR shortly after half-time, his rebound ruled out after Matthijs de Ligt was adjudged to be offside, but Dybala's dipping shot soon made it three.
Douglas Costa then converted a penalty to make it four three minutes later, after Udinese defender Bram Nuytinck had handled in the area.
Defender Daniele Rugani then hit the post with a free header late on, but the scoring was over as the Bianconeri sailed into the next round.
Key Talking Point
Cristiano Ronaldo's absence dominated the talk prior to kick-off. The Portuguese star had been ruled out through illness, but how would Maurizio Sarri's side cope without him?
The answer? Quite comfortably.
It’s not often you say it, but Cristiano wasn’t missed.
With Ronaldo sidelined, Dybala and co. took centre stage and played with real zip and purpose – the first goal, a shining example of Sarriball.
Patient build-up led to no less than three consecutive one-twos between Higuaín and Dybala, ending in the former showing composure to slot past the keeper.
Perhaps a goal that may not have been scored had Ronaldo been spearheading the home attack - a man who often expects a far more direct style of football.
And that was the feature throughout, quick passing and intricate link-up play helped the Old Lady dispose of their opponents with consummate ease - one-touch football at it's finest.
Starting XI: Buffon (6); Danilo (7), De Ligt (6), Rugani (6), Alex Sandro (7); Bernardeschi (7), Bentancur (7), Rabiot (7); Dybala (9*), Higuaín (8), Douglas Costa (7)
Subs: Cuadrado (6), Ramsey (6), Piazza (6)
Dybala took over the captain’s armband and really came to the fore as the focal point of Juventus’ attack, providing one and scoring two.
He was the creator of his side’s opener, assisting Higuaín with great combination play that culminated in one of the goals of the season.
Dybala is sensational right now. He has definitely got quicker this season. Whatever physical work Sarri has done with him has worked. I always considered Dybala slightly on the slow side but he’s so sharp now with his little bursts wherever he is on the pitch #JUVUDI— Carlo Garganese (@carlogarganese) January 15, 2020
Paulo Dybala has been directly involved in 7 GOALS in his last 4.5 games for Juventus. pic.twitter.com/2iK0B4JBsS— Forza Juventus (@ForzaJuve2017) January 15, 2020
Juventus 3-0 Udinese— Juventus News - Juvefc.com (@juvefcdotcom) January 15, 2020
That goal was filthy. Dybala double, what a diamond
The 26-year-old then grabbed Juve’s second, dispatching the penalty with ease into the side netting, giving Nicolas no chance in the Udinese goal. He then produced a sumptuous curling finish for Juve's third, provided by Higuaín, with whom he had a telepathic understanding all night.
Popping up all over the pitch, Dybala gave a real captain’s performance on Wednesday evening and led from the front.
Even on a hat-trick, Dybala was thinking of his team and handed the ball to Douglas Costa when Juventus were rewarded their second penalty of the game.
A fantastic all-round display from La Joya.
The Old Lady turn their attention back to league matters at the weekend when they entertain Parma in Serie A on Sunday night.
As for Udinese, they are on the road again as they travel to face AC Milan in the league on Sunday.