Carlos Tevez scored on his Serie A debut to give Juventus a hard-fought 1-0 victory away to Sampdoria, including a straight red card.
The reigning champions started the defence of their title against a side that beat them twice last season. Confidence was sky high after last week’s 4-0 thrashing of Lazio in the Italian Super Cup, though Claudio Marchisio was ruled out for a month. Samp had to do without the suspended Renan and Vasco Regini, but had Juve-owned Manolo Gabbiadini leading the attack.
It was raining very heavily in Genoa, but within three minutes Junior Da Costa had fingertipped an Andrea Pirlo strike out from under the crossbar.
A brave Kwadwo Asamoah header was also palmed over from a corner, while Da Costa had to parry a Carlos Tevez shot out from the near bottom corner.
Asamoah also blasted off target from the edge of the box, but Sampdoria held out well under pressure. After the restart Paul Pogba knocked down a Pirlo free kick, but once again the Blucerchiati scrambled clear.
Juventus finally broke through with a very well-worked goal. Pogba sprung the offside trap on an Arturo Vidal first time pass and rolled across for Tevez to tap in from six yards. It was the former Manchester City striker’s goal on his Serie A debut.
There was a scare for the visitors on 63 minutes when Sampdoria finally threatened and indeed had the ball in the back of the net, but Andrea Costa had wandered offside to volley in a free kick at full stretch.
Moments later Eder tested Gigi Buffon with a powerful cross-shot at the near post, but Stephan Lichtsteiner couldn’t keep his header on target from a tight angle on Pogba’s chipped cross.
Pedro Obiang’s screamer flashed across the face of goal, whistling past the far post and Andrea Barzagli almost scored an own goal, kicking his clearance straight at Vidal.
Fernando Llorente was given his Serie A debut in the final minute, but Paolo Castellini’s opening game lasted just eight minutes, as he was shown a straight red card for his sliding tackle on Lichtsteiner.
Sent off: Castellini 90 (S)