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2016/17 UEFA Champions League, Group Stage
  • Miralem Pjanic (24')
  • Gonzalo Higuaín (31')
  • Paulo Dybala (57')
  • Dani Alves (85')

Miralem Pjanic stars as Juventus run riot in Zagreb

Miralem Pjanic pulled the strings as Juventus recorded their first victory in Champions League Group H by beating Dinamo Zagreb 4-0 at Stadion Maksimir.

The Bosnian playmaker opened the scoring in the Croatian capital before setting up Gonzalo Higuain for a quickfire second. Injury forced Pjanic to remain in the changing room following half-time but Paulo Dybala added gloss to the scoreline with a long-range contribution shortly after the restart.

Just to rub salt into Dinamo's wounds, home goalkeeper Adrian Semper managed to fumble Dani Alves' late deflected effort into his own net.

Juve -- the 2015 finalists -- reach four points after bolstering their opening-day draw with Sevilla with a maiden win while Zagreb are rooted to the bottom of the pool after losing back-to-back games.

Seeking his first away Champions League goal since 2011, when he scored for Real Madrid at Ajax, Higuain tried his luck early on but could only volley the ball over the bar.

Pjanic's first contribution in a dazzling first-half display saw him pick out the rampaging Alves on the right wing for a first-time shot that the Brazilian steered off-target under defensive pressure.

Hernanes and then Patrice Evra gave Zagreb goalkeeper Semper further food for thought with attempts, turning the screw as Juve probed for the inevitable opener.

That came in the 24th minute when the inspired Pjanic latched onto a poor headed clearance by Leonardo Sigali, taking one touch to round the keeper before slipping the ball in at the far post.

Dinamo hit back with Gordon Schildenfeld clattering the frame of the goal with a header from Domagoj Antolic's free-kick but five minutes later Pjanic was once again working his magic.

A perfectly weighted overhead through-ball met Higuain and the Argentinian controlled with his chest before beating Semper.

Pjanic would not return for the second half, though. A thigh problem necessitated his withdrawal for flying winger Juan Cuadrado, chosen for the time being ahead of local favourite Marko Pjaca.

Juve were not altogether poorer without their Bosnian schemer and had their third goal barely 10 minutes into the second half.

Sami Khedira was the provider for Dybala, who opened his account for the season from 25 yards.

Pjaca, who won consecutive domestic doubles with Dinamo before moving to Italy, made his return as a 68th-minute substitute, with another Zagreb hero, Mario Mandzukic, following close behind.

He caused no offence on his homecoming, however, with his stinging curler forcing a parry from Semper before Cuadrado spurned Juve's next chance when finding the keeper from close range.

The match was grinding to a halt when Alves took aim with a free-kick. The wall jumped and caused the ball to loop up above Semper's head, with the keeper then somehow punching it behind himself.