Goals in each half from Carlos Tevez and Claudio Marchisio made it a victorious debut for Massimiliano Allegri in the home dugout as the reigning champions continued their winning start to the season with tonight’s 2-0 success over Udinese at Juventus Stadium.
Just eight minutes had elapsed when Tevez collected Stephan Lichtsteiner’s pass to slot home into the bottom corner, while Marchisio extinguished any hopes Udinese may have had of taking something from the game with a purposeful drive on 75 minutes.
The Bianconeri could and perhaps should have had more to show for their evening’s work but Allegri will nonetheless be pleased with the way his men stuck to the task and ground out their second triumph of the current Serie A campaign.
For the visit of the Zebrette, the Tuscan tactician made three changes from the side that beat Chievo 1-0 two weeks ago. The light hamstring strain sustained by Arturo Vidal during the international break meant Roberto Pereyra was handed his first Juventus start against his former employers, while there was also a debut for summer arrival Patrice Evra, who stepped in for Kwadwo Asamoah on the left flank. In attack, Fernando Llorente returned to partner Tevez in place of Kingsley Coman.
In a riproaring start to the game, the Zebrette found themselves immediately pegged back by the energetic hosts who soon got the goal their efforts deserved with just eight minutes played.
The winning move stemmed from a typically lung-busting Stephan Lichsteiner run deep into the channel, with Tevez finding himself in the right place at the right time to connect with the Swiss international’s cutback before sweeping the ball emphatically past Orestis Karnezis for his 20th goal in Italy’s top flight.
Moving the ball around freely and with plenty of confidence, Juventus kept pushing for the second and after Paul Pogba saw a penalty appeal fall on deaf ears, Peyrera blazed over the bar from just inside the area following good work by Llorente.
The midfielder’s fellow South American, Tevez, had the bit firmly between his teeth and will feel he should have done better after steering his shot over the top from the fringes of the area on 33 minutes.
Also keen to inflict further damage on the Zebrette following a famous blockbuster double in January 2013 was Pogba, who found Karnezis equal to his two shots as the clock ticked down towards the end of the first half.
There was to be more of the same just minutes into the restart as Pogba renewed his duel with the Udinese shotstopper, this time seeing his 30-yard free-kick palmed away to safety.
As the second-half wore on, the visitors grew in confidence and thought they had found a leveller when Igor Bubnjic prodded the ball over the line from a matter of inches on 65 minutes, only for the linesman’s flag to rule it out for offside.
But the Bianconeri soon regained their stride and found the all-important second ten minutes later when Marchisio picked up the ball on the edge of the area and lashed an unstoppable strike into the corner which left Karnezis with no chance.
With any hopes of a Udinese revival now firmly extinguished, Allegri opted to introduce Coman and Simone Padoin to the action in place of Tevez and Pereyra, before Llorente made way for debutant Alvaro Morata in the final minute of normal time.
Morata almost put the icing on the cake with a shot on the turn that drew a diving save in injury time, but Juventus were ultimately left to settle for a two-goal win that puts them joint top on six points with last season’s main challengers Roma.