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Juventus ease to victory at Dinamo Zagreb

First-half goals from Miralem Pjanić and Gonzalo Higuaín were followed after the break by Paulo Dybala and Dani Alves strikes as Juventus cruised to a 4-0 win at Dinamo Zagreb.

Matchday 2 highlights: Watch Dybala's Juventus thunderbolt
Matchday 2 highlights: Watch Dybala's Juventus thunderbolt

Juventus earned their first victory in UEFA Champions League Group H thanks to a commanding performance against Dinamo Zagreb.

The Bianconeri dominated from the off but required a slice of luck to break the deadlock. What looked an innocuous forward ball by Leonardo Bonucci was deflected by Leonardo Sigali into the path of Miralem Pjanić, who found the bottom corner with a sweet touch beyond the outrushing Adrian Šemper.

Dinamo's response was immediate, Gordon Schildenfeld heading a Domagoj Antolić free-kick against the bar. Having survived that scare, Juve soon doubled their lead through Gonzalo Higuaín, who chested down and volleyed in a delicious long pass by Pjanić.

The Bosnian international was forced off by a knock at half-time but the Old Lady did not have to wait long for their third. Paulo Dybala delivered it, breaking his duck for the season with a ferocious strike from long range. A deflected free-kick from Dani Alves capped another heavy defeat for Dinamo.

©AFP/Getty Images

Key player: Miralem Pjanić
Though the midfielder played only 45 minutes, it was enough to inspire Juventus to a comfortable win. His creativity and technique were sorely missed when he was just a second-half substitute in the goalless draw with Sevilla. Here his intelligent touch gave Massimiliano Allegri's men the advantage, before a Pirlo-esque long ball for Higuaín provided arguably the highlight of his sublime display.

Relentless Juve
"We are still a work in progress," Allegri recently said of his side. This convincing success does not mean all of Juve's problems are solved, but it certainly is a big step forward, especially in terms of mentality. The Bianconeri continued to attack with authority, never slowing down until the final whistle. This is what top European teams do.

Petev appointment
Current Bulgaria coach Ivaylo Petev arrived in Zagreb today and was present to watch his future charges – so he may not be happy with this showing, which underlined the scale of the task the soon-to-be-appointed manager faces. This is Dinamo's seventh consecutive loss in the UEFA Champions League group stage. Petev has his work cut out to correct that unwelcome statistic.

©AFP/Getty Images

Reporter's views

Elvir Islamović, Dinamo (@UEFAcomElvirI)
The difference in quality was sizeable and Dinamo's main goal tonight was to defend. After ten minutes, though, the pattern was set. The hosts continually tried to extinguish fires all over the pitch on a night when the scoreline could have been a lot worse.

Paolo Menicucci, Juventus (@UEFAcomPaoloM)
Juventus's performance was very good overall, but it is difficult to say if the challenge was made easier by a young Dinamo team who probably started with too much respect for the Italian champions. The upcoming games against Lyon will probably tell us more. That Dybala ended his goal drought is certainly good news for the Serie A leaders.