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Parma vs Juventus: Bianconeri begin title defence with a win | Serie A 2019/20

ANALYST
Feature
161   //    25 Aug 2019, 00:29 IST

Chiellini takes the plaudits after scoring the only goal of the game at Parma
Chiellini takes the plaudits after scoring the only goal of the game at Parma

Defending eight-time champions Juventus launched their title defence and life under new coach Maurizio Sarri on a winning note as they prevailed by a solitary goal at Parma.

In a cagey start to the first Serie A match of the season, both sides started on a cautious note at the Ennio Tardini. Roberto Inglese forced a save by the visiting keeper Wojciech Szczesny before Juve centre-back Giorgio Chiellini broke the deadlock at the other end in the 21st minute.

Cristiano Ronaldo squandered an easy opportunity to double the lead when he was sent clean through on goal by Higuain but shot wide with the keeper at his mercy. At the half-hour mark, the Portuguese did find the back of the net only for the video assistant referee (VAR) to cut short the Bianconeri's celebrations owing to a marginal offside.

Ronaldo looked vibrant in his first competitive game of the season and continued to be a threat for the home side as he blazed wide off a Douglas Costa cut-back at the hour mark and stung the palms of the Parma keeper Luigi Sepi with a rasping drive from outside the box.

The returning Gonzalo Higuain, though, was a largely peripheral presence in the centre of the Juve attack.

The Bianconeri failed to add to their first-half goal and eased out towards the closing moments of the game. Parma almost took advantage and could have forced a share of the spoils when midfielder Hermani Azevado's injury-time freekick fizzed narrowly wide of the Juve goal but the Bianconeri held for a first win and first clean sheet of the season. 

Juventus face a sterner test next weekend against last season's runners-up SSC Napoli, who visit the Allianz Stadium on matchday two.

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