MILAN, Italy, January 15 – Paulo Dybala was on target as Juventus beat Udinese 2-0 on Saturday and appeared to send a message to the club over contract talks, while Ciro Immobile leads the Serie A goalscoring charts after his first brace helped the Lazio to a 3-0 win at Salernitana at rock bottom.
Argentina striker Dybala earned a classy finish after Moise Kean was sacked to put Juve ahead in the 19th minute of a largely lackluster game at the Allianz Stadium in Turin, but that was his reaction to the strike that raised eyebrows.
He did not celebrate his seventh Serie A goal of the season and cast a stern look at the stand where Juve’s hierarchy sat, with observers suggesting he was making clear his displeasure at the delay in renewing his contract.
Dybala explained the glare, saying he was looking for “a friend I invited to the game”.
When asked by Sky Sport Italia if fans should believe him, Dybala replied: “I don’t know, it’s up to you.”
The 28-year-old’s current contract expires at the end of the season and he is waiting to sign an extension which Italian media say will take his annual salary to eight million euros per season ($9.1 million). , plus another two million euros. bonuses.
Gazzetta Dello Sport report that the tentative agreement had already been agreed for some time but Dybala was frustrated with the club’s continued blockage.
“A lot of things happened that I would rather not talk about,” said Dybala, pressed to renew.
Weston McKennie sealed the win 11 minutes from time to take Juve level on 41 points with fourth-placed Atalanta, who have played two fewer games and host Inter Milan on Sunday.
– Motionless defiant –
Udinese had nine players out of action with Covid-19 infections and struggled to put a glove on a disappointing Juve side who lacked central defensive pair Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci.
They sit in 14th place, four points above the relegation zone alongside Sampdoria, who lost 2-1 to Torino in Saturday’s opener.
Italian striker Immobile scored twice in the opening 10 minutes at Salernitana to give the away side a lead they never seemed to relinquish and take their league tally to 17, one more than the Fiorentina rising star Dusan Vlahovic, in 18 appearances.
After scoring his 140th league goal with Lazio, where he has played since 2016, Immobile has hit back at criticism of his displays for the national team, where he has been far less prolific in front of goal.
“I’m a European champion and my stats speak for themselves, I don’t need to respond to this stuff on TV or social media,” said Immobile, who has scored 15 times in 54 caps for Italy.
“I scored twice at the Euros, scored 140 goals in Serie A with Lazio, I won the European Golden Boot… these are things that speak for themselves, I don’t have nothing to say.”
Manuel Lazzari scored the other goal in a win that lifted Lazio to sixth place, six points off the Champions League positions after playing two more games than Atalanta.
Salernitana, who announced three new cases of Covid-19 shortly before kick-off, remain in last place after their 15th defeat of their first Serie A season in more than two decades.
They are six points adrift of 17th-placed Venezia after losing to a side owned by Claudio Lotito, whose also ownership of Salernitana almost led to the promoted club being kicked out of Serie A until they were saved at last minute by new owner Danilo Iervolino. .