Serie A topcorer Paulo Dybala grabbed a hat-trick as champions Juventus won 3-1 at Sassuolo yesterday to stay top of the Italian Serie A.

The Bianconeri have a maximum 12 points and lead on goal difference from Inter Milan, who won 2-0 at Crotone while Napoli thumped debutants Benevento 6-0 to also sit on 12 points.

Dybala has eight goals this season for a total of 52 from 100 overall games with Juve.

The Argentina ace beat Andrea Consigli in the 16th minute, firing a first time shot into the net from 25 metres from Mario Mandzukic's assist.


Juventus flew out of the traps in the second period and doubled their advantage courtesy of another brilliant Dybala strike. He then finished the job with a freekick from just outside the box.

"I am Dybala and I do not like to be compared to (Barcelona compatriot Lionel) Messi, who is one of the greatest players in the history of football. I just want to be myself," the rising young star said.

"Stop comparing me to Messi, I'm Paulo Dybala," he said. "Every player is himself. I'm Dybala. It's not that I don't like the comparisons with Messi, but Messi is a player who has won five Ballons d'Or.

Dybala now has eight goals in Juve's opening four league matches, just three fewer than he scored in the whole of last campaign.

Dries Mertens also netted a hat trick, including two penalties, as Napoli secured a club record ninth successive Serie A victory.

• Real Madrid put their title defence back on track with a comfortable 3-1 win over Real Sociedad yesterday, despite missing several key players.

Sociedad defender Kevin Rodrigues scored at both ends and Borja Mayoral and Gareth Bale netted Madrid's other goals to help them equal the consecutive scoring record of 73 games set by Pele's Santos between 1961 and 1963.

Madrid faced a tricky clash against an in-form side with Cristiano Ronaldo and Marcelo suspended and Karim Benzema and Toni Kroos injured but after disappointing consecutive league draws they made light work of Eusebio Sacristan's men.

The champions ended Sociedad's unbeaten start to the season and moved up to fourth place, cutting table-topping Barcelona's lead on them to four points.

Real Sociedad are third, on nine points, one ahead of Madrid and one behind Sevilla, who beat Girona 1-0 away to move second.

- AP