Juventus thrash Lecce 4-0 to move seven points clear
Juventus 4-0 Lecce: Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 23rd goal of the season to move seven points clear at the top of Serie A with victory over 10-man Lecce.
Fabio Lucioni’s first-half dismissal left lowly Lecce, who had started brightly, facing a daunting task yet it needed a moment of brilliance from Dybala to open the scoring after 53 minutes.
Ronaldo and Federico Bernardeschi were guilty of woeful misses in the opening period but the former lashed home his 23rd Serie A goal of the campaign from the penalty spot before excellently setting up Higuain.
Andrea Rispoli flashed wide on the half-volley as Juve were carved open after four minutes.
Gabriel parried Adrien Rabiot’s long-range shot and Ronaldo drilled wide of the right post as Juventus came to life and soon found themselves a man up.
Rodrigo Bentancur caught Lucioni in possession 40 yards from goal and the center-back chopped down his opponent to earn the straight red.
Ronaldo incredibly put a close-range header from Dybala’s corner over the top when unmarked then teed up Bernardeschi, who missed an even bigger sitter when blazing high from inside the six-yard box.
Gabriel was in action again to keep out Leonardo Bonucci’s header just after the restart but was powerless to stop Dybala opening the scoring.
Evgen Shakhov’s careless pass was picked up by Ronaldo, who teed up Argentina forward to curl a sumptuous left-foot effort into the top-right corner from the edge of the area.
It was game over just after the hour when Ronaldo lashed home the penalty he won after being tripped by Luca Rossettini.
The Portugal superstar would have had another had Gabriel not kept out his point-blank header but his ingenious backheel after a fine run deflected into the path of Higuain, who drilled home the third.
De Ligt then nodded in Douglas Costa’s corner as Juve ultimately ran out comfortable winners.