Arturo Vidal’s brace helped Juventus to a routine 3-0 win over Cesena as the Serie A champions maintained their perfect start to the season.
The Chilean broke the deadlock from the spot after 17 minutes on Wednesday when Emmanuel Cascione was adjudged to have handled in the area.
Vidal’s second was an emphatic effort from the edge of the area just after the hour, before Stephan Lichtsteiner wrapped up the win with a smart finish in the 85th minute.
In truth, the scoreline barely reflected the chasm between the two sides as the champions dominated throughout to extend new boss Massimiliano Allegri’s record to five wins from five competitive fixtures, with zero goals conceded.
Cesena’s attacking threat was virtually non-existent, with Gianluigi Buffon easily thwarting their only real attempt on goal – a Guido Marilungo long-range effort in the first half – as Juve eased to a staggering 21st consecutive home Serie A victory.
Allegri opted to rest Carlos Tevez and Paul Pogba, with Roberto Pereyra and Sebastian Giovinco coming in.
And it was Giovinco who made the first significant contribution of the game after nine minutes when his stunning volley was superbly tipped over by Nicola Leali.
The early exchanges resembled a training exercise, such was Juve’s dominance, and Angelo Ogbonna should have done better with a free header after 15 minutes.
But the pressure told shortly after as Cascione was penalised for handling Pereyra’s shot in the area, leaving Cesena’s players furious.
And Vidal tucked the penalty into the bottom-left corner, although Leali will be disappointed after getting a hand to it.
Cesena finally gave Buffon something to do on the half-hour mark when Marilungo let fly from long range but the Juve captain was well positioned to palm it away.
But that chance was an exception to the rule of a first half controlled by the champions, with Fernando Llorente and Giovinco going close before the interval.
The pattern continued in the second half as Giovinco’s shot from a narrow angle forced a low save from Leali and Vidal couldn’t keep the rebound down.
Leali frustrated the Italian forward yet again after 60 minutes by tipping away a free-kick destined for the top corner.
But Juve finally made the game safe after 63 minutes when Vidal controlled well and advanced towards the area before firing a fierce 20-yard drive past the despairing dive of Leali.
And Lichtsteiner gave the scoreline a more accurate look by calmly slotting home from Simone Padoin’s pass late on.
- Soccer News Like
- Be the first of your friends!