New Coach, Old Juve! Bianconeri Put Three Past Sampdoria


Andrea Pirlo Juventus’ are scary: The Bianconeri sent a clear warning to those who wish to break their Serie A domination as they crushed Sampdoria in their seasonal debut at the Allianz Stadium with a sounding 3-0 score.

This new version of the Old Lady seemed to be even more impressive than those seen in the past couple of seasons, as not only Juventus took a quick lead with Dejan Kulusevski and then slowed down the match pace in the second half – as Max Allegri and even Maurizio Sarri’s black-and-white outfit used to do.

Pirlo’s Bianconeri also came up with a strong acceleration later in the game which enabled them to put two more past Claudio Ranieri’s side, with Leonardo Bonucci’s goal and then with Cristiano Ronaldo’s usual stamp on the proceedings.

Andrea Pirlo started to impress even before the kick-off as he placed unknown 21-year-old left-back Gianluca Frabotta in his starting XI. With Alex Sandro out for an injury and Luca Pellegrini on the market, Pirlo decided to rely on the Roman defender who only had minimal Serie A playing time on his back rather than on the more experienced Mattia De Sciglio.

New arrivals Weston McKennie and Dejan Kulusevski also found a slot in the former Maestro‘s first official lineup in his coaching career. The Swede was Cristiano Ronaldo’s attacking partner in absence of Paulo Dybala in Pirlo’s 3-5-2 formation.

Danilo joined Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci at the back as he made up for Matthijs De Ligt’s injury-induced absence.

Among the Blucerchiati lines, coach Claudio Ranieri left Fabio Quagliarella on the bench and put all his offensive stakes on Federico Bonazzoli. But one striker only was definitely not enough to break through Juventus’ granitic defense.

Thirteen minutes into the game, Kulusevski introduced himself to the returning attendance of the Allianz Stadium – as up to 1000 people were allowed on the stands – with his first Juventus goal as he pounced on the ball after Sampdoria had somehow managed to stop a Ronaldo progression and whipped it past Emil Audero with a beautiful curling effort.

It took only 13 minutes for Dejan Kulusevski to score his first Juventus goal as the Swede wrapped the Bianconeri’s opener in Sunday night’s win over Sampdoria

Ronaldo made Audero’s crossbar rattle six minutes later, trying to make the best out of a Gianluca Frabotta service. It was the second scoring attempt for the Portuguese, who had been denied by Sampdoria’s goalkeeper earlier in the game.

Pirlo’s two-man attack was definitely working well and the pair showed how they can work together in the 32nd minute as Kulusevski served CR7 from the left and the five-time Ballon d’Or winner went for a shot that ended just a few inches out of the target.

Sampdoria looked helpless as they struggled to put their heads past the midfield line for the whole first half while also scrambling to contain Juventus’ offenses. The Old Lady would not have stolen anything if they went for the break on a bigger lead.

Ranieri knew he had to change something and came up with a triple substitution after the restart: Quagliarella replaced midfielder Mehdi Léris to increase the offensive power, while Maya Yoshida replaced a nervous Lorenzo Tonelli in defense. Gastón Ramirez took Fabio Depaoli’s place.

The match did get more balanced for a while, also because Juventus seemed to slow down the pace. Frabotta concluded his game in the 66th minute as Mattia De Sciglio was sent in by Pirlo in his place. Surely an interesting performance on the part of Juventus’ U-23 side prospect.

In the 78th minute, however, Juve scored the second as Leonardo Bonucci made it to the scoresheet for the first time since December. From a corner kick, Bonucci and McKennie almost bumped into each other as they went for a header conversion. Audero pushed their challenge away, but Sampdoria’s defense was slow to react and thus Bonucci could go for an easy tap-in.

Juve’s number 19 would soon score again but in his own goal, if it weren’t for Wojciech Szczesny’s save from his unlucky deflection on an Albin Ekdal header. That would have also made for Sampdoria’s most dangerous chance in the whole game, but Quagliarella eventually managed to test the Polish goalie on purpose at least once, offering him another chance to shine.

Two minutes before full time, Aaron Ramsey and Cristiano Ronaldo joined the party as the Welshman served CR7 a fine filtering pass that the Genius of Madeira could not but convert with a diagonal shot into the bottom right corner. All perfect. Andrea Pirlo couldn’t have asked for a better start.



September 20, 2020 – Serie A 2020-2021 Round 1

SCORERS: 13′ Kulusevski, 78′ Bonucci, 88′ Cristiano Ronaldo

JUVENTUS (3-5-2): Szczesny; Danilo, Bonucci, Chiellini (82′ Demiral); Cuadrado (77′ Bentancur), Rabiot, McKennie, Ramsey, Frabotta; Kulusevski (82′ Douglas Costa), Cristiano Ronaldo (Buffon, Pinsoglio, Rugani, De Sciglio, Portanova, Arthur, Vrioni, Nicolussi Caviglia) Coach: Pirlo
SAMPDORIA (4-5-1): Audero; Bereszynski, Tonelli (46′ Yoshida), Colley, Augello; Ekdal, Depaoli (46′ Ramirez), Thorsby (68′ Damsgaard), Jankto, Léris (46′ Quagliarella); Bonazzoli (68′ Verre) (Ravaglia, Chabot, Regini, Ferrari, Vieira, Capezzi, La Gumina) Coach: Ranieri

REFEREE: Mr. Piccinini from Forlí
NOTES: Yellow Cards: Frabotta (J), Tonelli (S); Extra Time: 1st Half 0′; 2nd Half 2′

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