BOLOGNA, Italy, Feb 24 (Reuters) – Paulo Dybala came off the bench to give unbeaten Serie A leaders Juventus a 1-0 win away to a brave Bologna side who had the better of the match and hit the post in stoppage time on Sunday.
Dropped from the starting line-up, Dybala was brought on in the 59th minute and settled the game eight minutes later as the Turin side bounced back from Wednesday’s Champions League defeat at Atletico Madrid.
Juventus, who have won all but three league games this season, have 69 points from 25 games, 16 ahead of Napoli who were away to Parma later on Sunday.
Relegation-threatened Bologna, who are 18th in the 20-team table, had the better of the first half with Nicola Sansone and Federico Santander both going close with low shots from the edge of the penalty area.
Federico Bernardeschi had Juve’s best effort, curling a shot just past the crossbar after cutting inside.
Alex Sandro rescued Juventus after halftime, blocking Ibrahima Mbaye’s goal-bound shot on the line, before making way for Dybala, who quickly made his mark.
Filip Helander tried to intercept Blaise Matuidi’s low cross but succeeded only in teeing the ball up for Dybala who stroked it into the corner from 12 metres.
Bologna were out of luck again in stoppage time when Sansone’s brilliant curling effort was tipped onto the post by goalkeeper Mattia Perin. (Writing by Brian Homewood)