Carlos Tevez netted on his debut as Juventus started the defence of their Serie A title with a hard fought 1-0 win over Sampdoria.
The result means the Old Lady already hold an advantage over rivals on the opening day of the league season, with AC Milan suffering defeat at Verona earlier this afternoon.
Antonio Conte’s side took all three points against a team they failed to beat in the league last season, with Tevez justifying his starting spot for the champions by scoring the winner.
Challenging conditions made the opening exchanges somewhat laboured, with Andrea Pirlo striking at goal within the first few minutes, forcing Angelo Da Costa into a good save over his own crossbar.
Kwadwo Asamoah was next to come close for the visitors, with Da Costa once again denying the winger by turning the header over the bar after poor marking by Verona.
The former Manchester City forward was used alongside Mirko Vucinic in attack and after the half Tevez was on hand to turn home into an empty net after neat exchange play between Arturo Vidal and Paul Pogba, opening up a spirited Sampdoria backline.
Sampdoria had the ball in the net after 62 minutes when Costa latched on to a dangerous cross into the opposition box, sliding the ball past Gianluigi Buffon from a matter of yards, but the defender was correctly flagged offside.
Lively forward Eder came close to catching out Buffon at his near post, but the veteran keeper scrambled across his touchline to save the powerful shot.
Juventus started to take control of possession as the second half wore on and Stephan Lichtsteiner was unlucky not to double his side’s advantage, flashing a header wide of the target after meeting a staged ball at the back post.
However, despite their superior share of possession Sampdoria came within a few inches of restoring parity when Pedro Obiang unleashed a ferocious drive just past the Juve goalframe.
Goalscorer Tevez was withdrawn with just minutes remaining and replaced by another debutant, Fernando Llorente as Conte set up his side to hold the ball higher up the field.
The hosts were reduced to ten men in stoppage time at the end of the tie but the contest had already been won by the time substitute Paolo Castellini was shown a straight red card.
Sampdoria – Da Costa 7, Gastaldello 5, Palombo 6, Costa 6, Obiang 5, Eramo 5, De Silvestri 7, Krsticic 5, Berardi 6, Eder 7, Gabbiadini 6. Subs – Soriano 4, Mustafi 4.
Juventus – Buffon 6, Barzagli 6, Bonucci 6, Chiellini 7, Vidal 7, Pogba 7, Lichtsteiner 6, Pirlo 6, Asamoah 7, Tevez 8, Vucinic 6.
Man of the match – Carlos Tevez: Juventus appear to have found the creative forward they lacked so often this season. His understanding with Mirko Vucinic may be in its early stages but he was on hand to provide the finishing touch on a wonderful passing move.
- Sports & Recreation
- Carlos Tevez
- Andrea Costa
- Antonio Conte
- Andrea Pirlo
- Angelo Palombo
- Mirko Vucinic
- Gianluigi Buffon