19.11.2016 22:55 - in: Match report S

    Pescara swept aside at Juventus Stadium

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    Goals from Sami Khedira, Mario Mandzukic and Hernanes seal a comfortable 3-0 victory over Pescara at Juventus Stadium

    A goal and assist apiece for Sami Khedira and Mario Mandzukic and a long-range screamer from Hernanes ensured a trouble-free return to Serie A action on Saturday night, the reigning champions running out comfortable 3-0 winners against Pescara at Juventus Stadium.

    Restricted to just a handful of openings in the game’s early exchanges, the Bianconeri accelerated away from their lowly opponents either side of half-time thanks to Khedira’s precise finish and Mandzukic’s close-range tap-in.

    With Pescara on the ropes, Hernanes was the man to wrap up the points late on from distance before Moise Kean, the first player born after 2000 to feature in the Italian top-flight, made history by replacing Mandzukic for the closing stages of the match.

    Things would not come easy for Juventus early on however, with Massimiliano Allegri’s men finding themselves thwarted by a well-organised and lively Pescara in a first half-hour that did not reflect the visitors’ poor league position.

    Gradually though, the Bianconeri began to take control. Neto’s accurate throw out released Khedira down the right who turned his marker inside out before crossing for Gonzalo Higuain only for the Argentine’s touch to scupper a shooting chance at the last moment.

    The number 9 almost made amends seconds later on 17 minutes, glancing Alex Sandro’s inviting delivery inches past the upright with goalkeeper Albano Bizzarri beaten.

    As the home side, victorious in all 22 of their previous league matches at Juventus Stadium, began to grow in confidence so too did their shot tally, Hernanes and Higuain both taking turns to fire efforts narrowly wide of the target from the edge of the penalty area.

    Just as it was starting to look as though the plucky Pescara defence would be keeping their clean sheet intact at least until half-time, Juve’s territorial dominance finally told ten minutes before the break.

    Collecting the ball in the inside right position, Khedira darted into the area, exchanged passes with Mandzukic and poked firmly past Bizzarri into the far corner for his third league goal of the campaign and first since September.

    The Bianconeri continued in the same vein after the interval, Higuain almost netting a superb second goal after pouncing on a defensive error to smack against the post from long range and Mandzukic losing his footing when attempting to turn in Juan Cuadrado’s drilled cross from the right.

    The big Croatian however would make no mistake of the second chance that came his way, showing the purest of attacking instincts to divert Khedira’s goalbound header into the opposite corner just after the hour mark to all but wrap up the points.

    Two soon became three within less than 25 minutes of the restart as Hernanes strode forward to score the goal of the night with a thunderous right-footed drive from distance.

    With the victory all but secured, there was even time for a full Juventus debut for Moise Kean, the Italian becoming the Bianconeri’s youngest ever appearance-maker.

    Next up, Sevilla and the Champions League…

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