Just days after netting the winner against Tottenham in the Champions League, Paulo Dybala continued his fine run of form with both goals in Juventus’ victory over Udinese on Sunday.
With Napoli drawing a little later against Inter, Juventus are now a point clear at the top of Serie A and Dybala proved instrumental against Udinese.
The 24-year-old’s stunning free-kick broke the deadlock during the first half and although Gonzalo Higuaín missed the chance to double the lead from the penalty spot, Dybala wrapped up the points with a smart finish.
Four goals in his last three matches has been a great response to not being in Jorge Sampaoli’s Argentina squad and aside from sending Juve through in the Champions League, the Bianconeri are now in pole position to retain their Serie A title.
Nicolás Tagliafico celebrated his call-up to the Argentina squad with his first goal for Ajax in a 4-1 win over Heerenveen.
The score was level when the former Independiente captain volleyed Ajax back in front following a goalmouth scramble and it set up a comfortable win for the Amsterdam giants, who closed the gap on leaders PSV to seven points.
A consistent performer for more than a year, Tagliafico has proved an instant hit in Holland and is the clear choice at left-back for Argentina.
Another player enjoying a fine debut season in Europe is Lucas Alario as the former River Plate striker scored his eighth of the campaign in Bayer Leverkusen’s 2-0 win over Borussia Monchengladbach.
Alario turned in from close range to open the scoring shortly before the break and while the 25-year-old may need to wait until after the World Cup for another chance at international level, El Flaco is certainly proving his class in the Bundesliga.
With a hand in seven of Leverkusen’s last ten goals (four goals, three assists), Alario has an impressive eight goals and five assists in his debut season and is looking to be the astute buy for Leverkusen that most who watched the striker at River Plate thought he would be.
Ángel Correa could only earn a place on Sampaoli’s stand-by list for the upcoming friendlies against Italy and Spain but the 23-year-old capped off a 3-0 Atlético Madrid victory only a few minutes after coming on as a substitute.
Antoine Griezmann and Vitolo already had Atleti two-up against Celta Vigo when Correa made his appearance on the hour mark. Three minutes later and the youngster bundled his way through to fire a third past Celta goalkeeper Rubén Blanco.
With seven goals and two assists, Correa is enjoying his best season in Spain since his move and remains a genuine attacking option for Argentina ahead of the World Cup.
Lucas Ocampos scored twice in midweek as Marseille won in the Europa League and on Sunday the Argentinian was on target again in a Ligue 1 victory over Toulouse.
A predatory close range finish gave Marseille an early lead and although Toulouse swiftly equalised, Rudi Garcia’s side won it late on to remain in third.
Elsewhere in France, Emiliano Sala scored his twelfth goal of the season, heading an 86th minute winner for Nantes against Troyes.
And finally in China, Ezequiel Lavezzi scored twice as Hebei China Fortune secured a 3-2 win over Guizhou Zhicheng.
Javier Mascherano provided the assist for Lavezzi’s first which re-established Hebei’s lead just after the hour mark and although the home side equalised for the second time, Pocho struck again in stoppage time to seal all three points.
Mascherano’s 1st assist to Lavezzi in Hebei’s game vs Guzihou Hengfeng during their 3-2 win. pic.twitter.com/GFZL1rXgUk
— MascheranoStats (@MascheranoStats) March 11, 2018