'The Jewel' shines again ... Juve's Dybala finds form ahead of Roma clash
Paulo Dybala is back, or at least that's what Juventus are embracing ahead of their showdown against Roma tomorrow.
After being benched for the previous two Serie A matches, Dybala, called 'La Joya' (The Jewel), returned to the starting line-up on Wednesday and provided a goal and an assist in a 2-0 win over Genoa in the Italian Cup.
"Paulo played well, as did the whole team," Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri said. "He's an extraordinary player and I'm happy with his performance; he showed some good touches. He needed a goal, and we hope it will help him to relax a little.
"He only needs to focus on training, keeping calm, and doing what he does best. We all want to see him get back to being the real Dybala again. But it's not as if the player lost himself in one month, this is something which happens to everyone, especially a 24-year-old."
Dybala had an astonishing start to the season, netting 10 goals in the opening six league matches, just one less than he scored in the whole of the last campaign.
However, going into Wednesday's match, the Argentina forward had scored just twice since the end of September and hadn't found the back of the net in his previous six matches.
Dybala's celebrations after scoring three minutes from half-time showed just how much the goal meant to him.
He normally celebrates with his hand over part of his face - the so-called 'Dybala mask.' This time there was pure joy as he beat his hand on his chest over the Juventus badge and cupped his ear as if in response to his critics.
Dybala also raced toward the stands, pointing his finger at the media section following weeks in which his form has been analysed and criticised.
Allegri's new tactics helped Dybala, placing him in a center-forward role in a 4-3-3 system. He dropped back when Higuain was brought on, to play second striker as the formation switched to 4-4-2.