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Serie A: Sampdoria 0 Juventus 1

Carlos Tevez scored his first Juventus goal as the Serie A champions started their title defence with a 1-0 win at Sampdoria on Saturday.

The striker – who joined from Manchester City in the close-season – found the net just before the hour mark to give Juventus all three points at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris.

Antonio Conte handed a league debut to Tevez, the Argentinian partnering Mirko Vucinic in the Juventus attack, while Paul Pogba started in midfield in the absence of Claudio Marchisio.

Juventus came close to taking the lead after just two minutes, Andrea Pirlo’s superb long-range strike tipped over the bar by Brazilian goalkeeper Angelo Da Costa.

Sampdoria responded well, pressing Conte’s men back into their own half, but they could not take advantage of that period of supremacy and almost fell behind when Da Costa produced another fine save as Kwando Asamoah met a Pirlo corner with a powerful diving header.

The visitors attacking quality was evident, and Sampdoria were again grateful for the reflexes of Da Costa as he denied Tevez his first goal in Italian football with a great stop at the near post.

Asamoah fired a swerving effort over the bar from the edge of the area seven minutes before the interval, but despite an array of chances Juventus were left frustrated as they failed to find a breakthrough before the interval.

Sampdoria looked to have deflated Juventus in the early stages of the second half, but after 57 minutes the visitors sprung back into life in spectacular fashion, Vucinic, Arturo Vidal and Pogba combining excellently in a wonderful team move, with the latter pulling back for Tevez to tap into an empty net with Da Costa stranded.

The hosts almost crafted an instant response, defender Andrea Costa converting from an inswinging free-kick only for the assistant referee to disallow the goal for offside.

Pogba, afforded too much time and space by Sampdoria, continued to exert his influence on the game, and he was heavily involved again as Juventus looked to close the game out, crossing for Stephan Lichtsteiner, only to see the Swiss head wide.

Juventus took their foot off the gas in the dying embers of the game, with Sampdoria lacking the ability to turn the deficit around.

The game ended on a sour note for the hosts, substitute Paolo Castellini sent-off for a lunging tackle on Lichtsteiner, the dismissal extinguishing any hope of a late comeback.

Sat 24 August, 2013
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