Ronaldo and Dybala have learned to work together – Sarri hails Juve duo

By Sports Desk June 30, 2020

Cristiano Ronaldo and Paulo Dybala have learned to work together following their goalscoring displays, according to Juventus head coach Maurizio Sarri.

Ronaldo and Dybala both scored stunning individual goals as defending champions Juve stayed four points clear atop the Serie A table with a 3-1 win at Genoa.

There have been doubts over whether Ronaldo and Dybala are compatible in Juve's starting XI, but the star duo starred on Tuesday.

Sarri hailed the pair post-match, telling Sky Sport Italia: "Something has changed in terms of movements, but they have learned to look for each other more often.

"They have realised that by benefitting from each other, both reap the rewards. It's something I have noticed in training too."

After a dominant first-half display failed to produce the goods, Dybala broke the deadlock in the 50th minute before Ronaldo made it 2-0 six minutes later with a thunderous long-range effort.

Juve substitute Douglas Costa then put the visitors out of sight with an equally impressive strike, while Andrea Pinamonti drilled in a 76th-minute consolation for Genoa.

Ronaldo equalled his tally from last season across all competitions with his 28th goal in 2019-20.

The five-time Ballon d'Or winner has scored 14 goals in 2020, more than any other Serie A player this year.

"In the first half he went for the shot five times, so it means he was doing more than he should," Sarri said. "Cristiano often plays to free himself to finish, but when he decides to move the ball quickly, he is the best of them all.

"Honestly, I was going to replace Dybala, then I chose Ronaldo, who has played many minutes. We discussed it over the last days, he knew that he would go off at 3-0 and he did it with serenity."

"I think the team did well, even in the first half. We had clear chances, without conceding any," Sarri said. "It was a good team effort and we scored three beautiful goals.

"The team have recovered well after the disappointment from the Coppa Italia, but it was only a matter of time before we were physically well."

Miralem Pjanic was in Juve's line-up after confirmation of his transfer to Barcelona at the end of the season, with Arthur moving in the opposite direction.

Pjanic played 74 minutes and Sarri added: "I haven't even talked to Miralem these days. I often did it after the suspension, after the lockdown, because he had these 20 to 25 days in poor shape.

"We asked ourselves the reason and we tried to find the solution. It was a drop in the mental condition more than anything else. I'm sure he will do well in this period. I find him happy and calm. I have no worries."

Related items

  • Alli was missing for Tottenham due to injury, insists Mourinho Alli was missing for Tottenham due to injury, insists Mourinho

    Jose Mourinho has clarified Dele Alli was only left out of the Tottenham squad against Sheffield United due to injury.

    The absence of Alli from the matchday squad in Spurs' 3-1 away Premier League win last Sunday was another talking point in a turbulent season for the attacking midfielder.

    Alli has only started one Premier League game this season and has been linked with a move away from Spurs, with Paris Saint-Germain a mooted destination.

    Mourinho insisted a tendon injury was the reason Alli was left out and listed him among the injury doubts for Monday's FA Cup fourth-round tie at Wycombe Wanderers.

    "The reason he did not play or was not selected for Sheffield is everything in relation to the injury that he has," Mourinho told reporters when asked about Alli.

    "It's not an injury that will keep him out for weeks and weeks like Giovani Lo Celso.

    "But is an injury that doesn't allow him to train fully with the team and like in the last couple of days, no chance for him even to train. So that's the situation for now.

    "The injuries that have no doubts about playing or not playing is still Gio, who will be a couple more weeks. We have two or three players who have small injuries.

    "Matt Doherty, who was not involved at Sheffield [is a doubt], Dele Alli has not been training in recent days with small problem in the tendon but not sure that he can [play], and Serge Aurier, not really well. 

    "We still have three days before the match though and the only one I can say is out is Gio."

    Mourinho recently praised the turnaround in midfielder Tanguy Ndombele’s Tottenham career, hailing his attitude.

    But he insisted that should not have been perceived as a direct comparison with Alli ahead of what he expects to be a tough test against Championship outfit Wycombe.

    Mourinho said: "I don't like to go in that direction, I was speaking specifically about Tanguy. 

    "I didn't want to accept any responsibility in the change. That's the way I look at things. We are an external source of motivation. The real source is the player himself. 

    "I was speaking of course in a very happy way about the Tanguy transformation and the way he is playing.

    "With all the respect to Marine [in the last round], Wycombe is a different level, is a more difficult challenge. What we did well against Marine is not enough to win against Wycombe. 

    "They are fully professionals, they are talented people, they have ambitions. We need more than we gave against Marine. 

    "With all the professionalism the boys behaved there, but we need more because the game is going to be more difficult."

    After facing Wycombe, Tottenham have a huge Premier League match at home to champions Liverpool on Thursday.

  • Zidane 'feeling fine' as Madrid remain without Ramos for Alaves trip Zidane 'feeling fine' as Madrid remain without Ramos for Alaves trip

    Zinedine Zidane is in "good spirits" after testing positive for COVID-19 as Real Madrid get ready to take on Deportivo Alaves without their head coach.

    The Spanish club confirmed on Friday that Zidane is isolating after contracting coronavirus, meaning he will not be present for Saturday's LaLiga fixture.

    Having already lost to Athletic Bilbao in the semi-finals of the Supercopa de Espana, Los Blancos suffered a humiliating defeat to third-tier club Alcoyano to exit the Copa del Rey in midweek.

    With their title defence also stuttering, the pressure has increased on Zidane, whose absence this weekend means assistant coach David Bettoni will be in charge.

    "I spoke to him this morning, he's feeling fine," Bettoni told the media ahead of a trip to an Alaves side that won 2-1 in Madrid last season.

    "He's in good spirits. He won't be with us in person but we know he'll be supporting us. The important thing is that everyone knows he'll be there in spirit.

    "We're just finalising how we're going to do things."

    Zidane insisted he remained calm about his own future in the aftermath of the defeat to Alcoyano, having seen a strong Madrid side let slip a 1-0 lead to lose 2-1 after extra time.

    Bettoni insists the squad remain united with the focus now shifting back to LaLiga, where they quickly need to make up ground on leaders Atletico Madrid.

    "At Real Madrid, every defeat brings criticism, but we have enough experience to know we've got a chance against Alaves to show everyone we're a unit," he said.

    "We're all together in this and we're going to do all we can to take the three points. We work hard every day towards just that and we have another chance to show it."

    Sergio Ramos did not feature in the cup tie on Wednesday and will once again be absent this weekend, while fellow defender Dani Carvajal is not yet ready to make a return.

    "With Sergio Ramos, he is in his recovery process and he won't be with us tomorrow," Bettoni confirmed.

    "Dani Carvajal trained a little with us, but he won't be with us either and will be able to train normally from Monday."

    Madrid have lost just one of their previous 15 away games in LaLiga but have found goals hard to come by this season, managing 30 in 18 games. That is their second-worst tally at this stage in the past 14 campaigns.

  • Leicester City to lose Vardy for 'a few weeks' due to hernia operation Leicester City to lose Vardy for 'a few weeks' due to hernia operation

    Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy will be out for "a few weeks" as he needs a hernia operation, manager Brendan Rodgers has revealed.

    The 34-year-old has scored 11 goals in 18 Premier League appearances this season, with only Son Heung-min, Harry Kane and Mohamed Salah above him in the scoring charts.

    Vardy has averaged a league goal approximately every 134 minutes, a rate that only six players can better this term, although he has not found the net in any of his past five appearances.

    Rodgers is therefore confident Leicester's season will not be badly impacted by the loss of Vardy as they prepare for a run of matches that includes meetings with Everton, Leeds United, Wolves and Liverpool before the first leg of their Europa League last-32 tie with Slavia Prague.

    "Jamie Vardy will be out for a few weeks," Rodgers said on Friday. "As you know, we've been managing him over this last number of months, and he's been absolutely fantastic.

    "We have a window now that allows him to have a minor operation on his hernia and then he'll be back within a few weeks. He'll be out for that period.

    "It's one that doesn't keep him [Vardy] out for too long, but it's just a repair in and round that hernia area. It's one we feel he can't really put it off much longer.

    "We were hoping to do it a few weeks back, but this is a window where we can get it done and that will obviously leave him with a good part of the season where he can be really influential for us."

    Leicester, who are two points behind league leaders Manchester United, travel to Brentford in the FA Cup fourth round on Sunday.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.