Old Lady given new hope in Sassuolo slaughter

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Dušan Vlahović scored a brace as Juventus started their Serie A campaign in perfect fashion, strolling to a 3-0 win over Sassuolo at the Allianz Stadium.

Despite being clear favourites, Juventus failed to land a shot inside the opening 20 minutes, and were also left feeling grateful that Grégoire Defrel spurned a huge chance to open the scoring, as the Frenchman failed to properly connect with his volley at the far post. In ruthless fashion, the Old Lady then scored with their very first effort of the contest, when Alex Sandro’s defence-splitting cross found Ángel Di María on the right, allowing the Argentinian to volley into the ground, with the ball eventually looping over a helpless Andrea Consigli.

Juventus rediscovered their swagger after taking the lead, and were able to double that advantage before HT, after Vlahović backed his way into the box before being felled by Gian Marco Ferrari to earn a penalty. The Serbian international stepped up himself, and blasted a fierce spot-kick down the middle, opening his account for the season in emphatic fashion.

Massimiliano Allegri’s men continued in a similar vein after the restart, moving three ahead after a Sassuolo blunder on the ball at the back gave Di María the time and space to find Vlahović, and the forward made no mistake in slotting the ball into the back of the net. The result was sealed once and for all, ensuring that 2022/23 would go down in history as only the second season in the post-war era to produce no draws in the first round of Serie A fixtures – the other being 1971/72.

With Juventus aiming to make amends after the club’s first trophyless season in over a decade, this was a vital result for them, especially after watching all of their main rivals for the Scudetto win their opening games. After one matchday, the Bianconeri sit second by virtue of their three-goal success, only behind Napoli on goals scored.

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