Friday
December 19, 2014

Italian League

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Allegri enjoys winning start at Juventus

MILAN — New Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri kicked off his time in charge with a victory as his team won 1-0 at Chievo Verona in the Serie A opener yesterday.

Roma, last year’s runner-up, won 2-0 at home to Fiorentina, with Radja Nainggolan and Gervinho scoring.

Juventus showed that little has changed from the spirit which drove it to three consecutive league titles as Martín Cáceres helped open the scoring in the sixth minute.

Cáceres headed Carlos Tevez’s corner toward goal, although it eventually went in off the back of Cristiano Biraghi.

Juventus had several chances to extend its advantage and hit the woodwork three times in the first half.

“There are good signs, I’m happy enough,” Allegri said. “But there is a lot to improve. I was more worried than angry at the end. We should have closed the match and instead we risked them equalizing.”

Allegri was hired by Juventus last month, replacing Antonio Conte, who resigned — and later became Italy coach.

For his first competitive match in charge Allegri was without the injured Andrea Pirlo, Álvaro Morata and Andrea Barzagli while Giorgio Chiellini was suspended.

Fernando Llorente and Sebastian Giovinco had been suffering from flu and were only fit for the bench, which meant that Kingsley Coman started and the 18-year-old impressed on his début.

In the capital, Roma was also struggling with injuries so Kostas Manolas — who only joined last week — was thrown straight into the back four along with fellow new signings Ashley Cole and Davide Astori.

The attacking pace of Gervinho and Juan Manuel Iturbe caused Fiorentina no end of problems.

Roma took the lead in a move started and finished by Nainggolan. He threaded the ball through to Gervinho and was on hand to smash the rebound into the bottom right corner after his teammate’s effort had been parried by Fiorentina goalkeeper Norberto Neto.

Gervinho sealed the result in stoppage time, beating the offside trap to race onto Nainggolan’s through ball, before rounding Neto and firing across into the back of the net.

Herald staff with AP

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