Paulo Dybala scored within the first minute as Juventus beat Cagliari 3-1 to maintain their six-point cushion in Serie A on Saturday ahead of Inter Milan and Napoli who both won their matches by five goals.
Dybala scored his second Serie A goal of the season after just 44 seconds, with a Filip Bradaric own-goal accounting for Juventus’ second after 39 minutes, two minutes after Joao Pedro had pulled the Sardinians level.
Cristiano Ronaldo failed to add to his seven-goal league league tally with the Portuguese star hitting the woodwork before next week’s Champions League visit by former club Manchester United.
But the Portuguese superstar’s pass across goal set up Colombian Juan Cuadrado for his first of the season three minutes from time in the Allianz Stadium.
Earlier Inter Milan crushed Genoa 5-0 to reclaim second spot on goal difference ahead of Napoli, who had eased past Empoli 5-1 on Friday, and keep the pressure on the seven-time reigning champions.
Juventus have 31 points from 11 games with Inter and Napoli both on 25 points.
It is the best start to a season for the Turin giants who have drawn just one game against Genoa.
“You can’t lower your guard for a minute, because everyone wants a result against us,” said Cuadrado.
The wins were a boost for the top three before next week’s Champions League fixtures with Inter Milan at home against Barcelona and Napoli hosting Paris Saint-Germain.
In Turin, Massimiliano Allegri gave Douglas Costa just his second start this season up front alongside Dybala and Ronaldo, who was presented with a special jersey before the match after last week becoming the first player to break the 400-goal mark in Europe’s top five leagues.
The champions were soon off the mark as Rodrigo Bentancur weaved his way through for Dybala, who beat two defenders and the offside trap, squeezing the ball in despite a slip, past a shocked Alessio Cragno in the Cagliari goal.
The goal was validated after a long consultation of the video assistant referee.
Costa threatened with a shot that flashed just past Ronaldo’s head, and Cagliari had penalty appeals dismissed after Medhi Benatia nodded the ball onto his own arm.
Cagliari pushed forward with Artur Ionita setting up Leonardo Pavoletti but Wojciech Szczesny cleared, before Pedro broke through.
Juve were soon back in command when Bradaric accidently turned a low Costa cross into his own net from close range.
Ronaldo smashed a powerful effort on to the post from a tight angle in first half stoppage time.
Cagliari had chances to pull level in the second half, before Ronaldo surged forward with a counter-attack from a corner and rolled the ball across for Cuadrado to finish off.