TURIN – Juventus forward Paulo Dybala, surprisingly preferred to Gonzalo Higuain, scored twice in three minutes late in the game as the Turin side came from behind to beat a defiant Lokomotiv Moscow 2-1 in the Champions League on Tuesday.
Despite enjoying 69 percent of possession over the 90 minutes, Juventus trailed to Aleksei Miranchuk's first-half goal and appeared to be heading for their first defeat under coach Maurizio Sarri until Paulo Dybala curled in an exquisite goal in the 77th minute.
The Argentine, who has started only five of Juve's 11 matches this season, then pounced to drive home a rebound and give his side a 2-1 win which kept them level with Atletico Madrid on seven points at the top of the Group D.
“I’m very happy, I really needed two goals like this,” said Dybala. “It was a difficult game but tonight you could really see the level of experience of our team. We always remained calm until we finally scored.”
Sarri sprung a couple of surprises with his lineup as he chose Dybala to partner Cristiano Ronaldo in attack and fielded Rodrigo Betancur in a new position behind the attacking duo.
However, the Serie A leaders produced a lacklustre first half and rarely looked like piercing injury-ravaged Lokomotiv's blanket defence.
Instead, Lokomotiv, whose 72-year-old coach Yuri Semin is in his fourth stint at the club and was also in charge when they met Juventus in the 1993/94 UEFA Cup, went ahead when Portugal midfielder Joao Mario's shot was saved by Wojciech Szczesny and Miranchuk followed up to score.