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Juventus 3-0 Sampdoria: Five talking points as new manager Andrea Pirlo makes a winning start | Serie A 2020-21

Andrea Pirlo
Andrea Pirlo's Juventus made a positive first impression.
Sachin Bhat
ANALYST
Modified 21 Sep 2020, 05:50 IST
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Juventus began the quest for an unprecedented 10th consecutive Scudetto with a 3-0 win over Sampdoria in an electric performance at the Allianz Stadium. Debutant Dejan Kulusevski, Leonardo Bonucci and Cristiano Ronaldo all bagged a goal apiece as the Bianconeri cruised to all three points on the opening day.

Andrea Pirlo, in his first match as the Juventus manager, already seems to have had a positive impact on the side as the reigning champions looked completely transformed from the listless, unappetising and laborious outfit it often seemed under Maurizio Sarri last season.

On that note, here are the five major talking points from the match:

#1 Cristiano Ronaldo's persistence pays off

Ronaldo huffed and puffed but eventually found his goal.
Ronaldo huffed and puffed but eventually found his goal.

Having not scored in a season's first game since 2014, Cristiano Ronaldo's opening day hoodoo appeared to continue after the star desperately struggled to hit the barn door of a banjo despite being at the receiving end of some good chances.

He came close on multiple occasions, but his efforts were pftem wayward. Too often, they sailed wide off the post while even set-pieces attempts didn't bear fruit much to his dismay. However, he isn't one to give up, is he?

Ronaldo persisted as he continued to probe the Sampdoria defence by running into tight spaces in the box or flexing his aerial prowess with high jumps before he was finally rewarded with a goal in the 88th minute that made it 3-0 on the night for Juventus.

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Drifting out wide, he collected a pass from Aaron Ramsey and rifled an unstoppable effort into the bottom corner beyond Emil Audero to open his account for the 2020-21 season. After netting 31 times last season, it'd be interesting to see how many he gets this time around.

#2 Juventus new boy Dejan Kulusevski is off and running

Dejan Kulusevski opened his account for Juventus in spectacular fashion.
Dejan Kulusevski opened his account for Juventus in spectacular fashion.

A lot is expected from summer recruit Dejan Kulusevski who lit up the league in the previous campaign with his precocious talent. Kulusevski, who was adjudged Serie A's best young player of the 2019-20 season for his blistering exploits, is now off and running after a goal-scoring debut for Juventus.

Signed for just €35 million from Parma, the Swede took only 13 minutes to make his first real impression, latching on to Ronaldo's backpass with a deft first-touch before curling the ball into the bottom corner for his first Bianconeri goal.

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The 20-year-old was positive throughout, turning in an encouraging performance with his eagerness, tremendous burst of energy and link-up play with Ronaldo, something that will only develop going forward.

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Published 21 Sep 2020, 05:50 IST
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