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24 Aug 2013 - in: Serie A

Tevez strike secures winning start

The Argentine ensures the Bianconeri launch their Scudetto defence on a winning note after downing Sampdoria with a second half effort at the Luigi Ferraris

A solitary Carlos Tevez effort was enough to secure the Bianconeri a victorious start to this season's Serie A campaign and bring an end to a seven-year winless league run against Sampdoria at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris.

The Argentine, making his Serie A debut, rounded off a slick passing move involving Arturo Vidal and Paul Pogba on 58 minutes to guarantee Antonio Conte’s men a third opening day triumph in as many years.

Juventus started strongly in the driving rain and brought Junior Da Costa into action within the opening three minutes, Andrea Pirlo forcing the goalkeeper to push over the top following a well-directed strike from just outside the area.

The Brazilian shotstopper continued to deny the Bianconeri from breaking the deadlock as the first half progressed, stretching high to deny Kwadwo Asamoah after the midfielder had bravely forced his way through a pack of bodies to meet a header before pushing Tevez’s close range drive away from danger.  

Despite dominating possession and making frequent inroads into the hosts’ final third, Conte’s side were prevented from finding a way through by a team who remained deep and compact throughout the majority of the first 45 minutes.

It seemed a moment of class was required to prise open a closely-contested battle in Genoa and this proved the case when Vidal’s pinpoint pass found Pogba, who drew the goalkeeper off his line before squaring for Tevez to tap home just ahead of the hour mark.

Not content to settle for their narrow advantage, Juventus probed to extend their lead, and Stephan Lichtsteiner guided his header just wide of the target after making a trademark run towards the near post to meet Asamoah’s left-sided delivery.

With the visitors pushing forward in search for a second, Sampdoria attempted to strike back on the counter, only to find Gigi Buffon equal to efforts from Eder and Pedro Obiang.

Yet any Blucerchiati hopes of frustrating Juventus once again were dealt a final blow when Paolo Castellini was given his marching orders in the closing stages after a late challenge on Lichtsteiner.

Conte’s charges will now look to build on their positive start to the 2013/14 campaign when they meet recent Super Cup opponents Lazio on Saturday night at Juventus Stadium.

SAMPDORIA 0-1 JUVENTUS

GOALS: Tevez 58

SAMPDORIA

Da Costa; Gastaldello (Mustafi 72), Palombo, Costa; De Silvestri, Eramo (Soriano 72), Krsticic, Obiang, Berardi (Castellini 88); Eder, Gabbiadini.

Substitutes not used: Tozzo, Gavazzi, Fornasier, Salamon, Gentsoglou, Rodriguez, Wszolek, Pozzi, Sansone.

Manager: Rossi

JUVENTUS

Buffon; Barzagli, Bonucci, Chiellini; Lichtsteiner, Vidal, Pirlo, Pogba, Asamoah; Tevez (Giovinco 89), Vucinic (Llorente 89).

Substitutes not used: Storari, Caceres, De Ceglie, Marrone, Ogbonna, Peluso, Isla, Padoin, Matri, Quagliarella.

Manager: Conte

REFEREE: Banti

ASSISTANTS: Bianchi, Dobosz

FOURTH OFFICIAL: Tonolini

BOOKED: Eramo 51, Gastaledello 59, Vidal 64, Lichtsteiner 81, Vucinic 81

SENT OFF: Castellini 90