MILAN, Jan 16 — Juventus forward Paulo Dybala scored twice and was involved in a mesmerising exchange of passes to provide another for Gonzalo Higuain as the Turin side thumped Udinese 4-0 in the Coppa Italia yesterday.
AC Milan briefly forgot their Serie A troubles as they swept aside SPAL with a 3-0 victory in another last-16 match and Fiorentina ousted last season’s runners-up Atalanta 2-1, scoring the winner while down to 10 men.
Juventus, missing Cristiano Ronaldo with sinusitis, went ahead with a delightful goal after 16 minutes that had all the hallmarks of their coach Maurizio Sarri.
A long passing move ended with Dybala and Higuain exchanging three successive one-twos to slice open the Udinese midfield before Higuain slotted the ball past goalkeeper Nicolas.
Dybala got on the scoresheet 10 minutes later, converting a penalty after Nicolas fouled Federico Bernardeschi and the Argentine curled in the third in the 58th minute.
A Douglas Costa penalty just after the hour completed the rout.
Krzysztof Piatek, Samu Castillejo and Theo Hernandez scored for Milan, who are a modest 10th in Serie A after a miserable season, while veteran striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic stayed on the bench.
Piatek ran on to Ismael Bennacer’s pass to open the scoring after 20 minutes against Serie A’s bottom-placed team, and the Pole provided the pass for Castillejo to curl in the second just before halftime.
Piatek missed two good chances after the break but it did not matter as Hernandez rifled in the third.
“It was a positive evening because the team interpreted the match well and played with the right intensity and quality,” said Milan coach Stefano Pioli,
Fiorentina’s new signing Patrick Cutrone exchanged passes with Dalbert before firing them ahead after 11 minutes, his first goal since his move on loan from Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Josip Ilicic scored against his old club to equalise in the 67th minute and Fiorentina had German Pezzella sent off as he received a second yellow card for diving.
Even so, Fiorentina won the match with six minutes left after Erick Pulgar released Pol Lirola on the right and he fired into the bottom corner. — Reuters