Rome, Jun 26 (efe-epa).- Paulo Dybala broke a 0-0 deadlock seven minutes into the second half to spur leaders Juventus 4-0 over 18th-place Lecce on Friday as Match Day 28 of the pandemic-disrupted Serie A season got under way in Turin.
The victory lifted Juve to 69 points, 7 more than second-place Lazio, who have a game in hand.
Lecce, meanwhile, remain mired in the drop zone with 25 points.
The visitors managed to hold their own against the mighty Bianconeri until going down to 10 men in the 31st minute with the expulsion of Fabio Lucioni on a straight red card for bringing down Rodrigo Bentancur in the box.
Even with the man advantage and 64 percent possession, Juventus struggled in the final third.
After missing with an acrobatic bicycle kick, Cristiano Ronaldo inexplicably failed to score on a header. Federico Bernardeschi later fired wide for the hosts.
Dybala finally solved the puzzle in the 52nd minute with a perfect left-footed strike from close range. Ronaldo, who assisted on Dybala’s goal, made it 2-0 in the 62nd, converting from the spot after drawing a penalty.
It was the Portuguese superstar’s 23rd goal of the season and he is 16 for 18 from the spot since joining Juventus in 2018.
Gonzalo Higuain, who came on in the 77th minute as a sub for Argentine compatriot Dybala, scored in the 83rd with help from Ronaldo’s great back-heel pass.
Matthis de Ligt added a fourth goal with five minutes left in regulation.
Juventus goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny posted a fifth consecutive clean sheet and the team won for the second time in two outings since the Serie A re-start.
The outcome at Allianz Stadium shifts the pressure to Lazio, who must beat Fiorentina on Saturday to stay within striking distance of the Bianconeri as they pursue a ninth consecutive Serie A title. EFE