ROME (AP) — Paul Pogba produced a spectacular late strike as Juventus beat visiting Sassuolo 1-0 Monday to extend its lead in Serie A to 11 points, ending a two-match winless streak for the Bianconeri.
Juventus drew 1-1 with second-place Roma in its last league match then was beat 2-1 at home by Fiorentina in the first leg of the Italian Cup semifinals last week.
It looked like the three-time defending champion was in for another disappointing night until Pogba broke the deadlock with his first goal since January.
In the 82nd minute at the Juventus Stadium, Pogba took a pass from Simone Pepe, used one touch to control the bouncing ball and then pounded it into the back of the net from beyond the area with his next touch.
"It was a very, very difficult match," the 21-year-old Pogba said. "I can still do more. I've got to continue working hard to become a great player."
Juventus had drawn three of its last five matches in Serie A and was in need of a confidence boost ahead of its return match at Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League next week.
But in the first half, Juve had only one shot on goal, and second-half chances from Carlos Tevez and Leonardo Bonucci were deflected by goalkeeper Andrea Consigli before Pogba's winner.
The only negative note for Pogba was that he picked up a yellow card four minutes before he scored and will miss Juve's next match at Palermo. With Andrea Pirlo out injured, Pogba's absence could provide problems in midfield.
Earlier, Martin Caceres underwent surgery to repair a left ankle injury that will keep the Juventus defender out for the rest of the season.