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Dybala scores twice as Juventus ease into Champions League knockouts

Captain Paulo Dybala’s brace helped Juventus to a 4-2 win over Zenit Saint Petersburg on Tuesday as the Turin side secured their place in the last 16 of this season’s Champions League with two group games to spare.

Juve kept up their 100 percent record in Group H, which they top by three points from European champions Chelsea, who were 1-0 winners at Malmo in Sweden earlier.

Massimiliano Allegri’s side are also nine points clear of third-placed Zenit, meaning their place in the knockout phase is secured.

Dybala hit the post shortly before firing home the opener in the 11th minute, although Zenit drew level before the half-hour mark when Leonardo Bonucci headed a Vyacheslav Karavaev cross into his own net.

However, Dybala restored Juve’s lead in the 58th minute, converting a penalty after initially missing only to be granted a retake because of encroachment.

Federico Chiesa, who had won the penalty, made it 3-1 for the two-time European Cup winners in the 73rd minute and Alvaro Morata got their fourth.

Iran’s Sardar Azmoun then pull one back in stoppage time for Zenit, who still maintain a slim chance of pipping Chelsea to second place.

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