Juventus begin Serie A title defense with win in Allegri's debut
AUG 30, 2014 2:01p ET
An own goal by goalkeeper Franceso Bardi in the sixth minute of the game was ultimately all that was between the two sides at the Stadio Bentegodi, but new Juve coach Massimiliano Allegri could draw many positives from his side's performance.
Kingsley Coman put in a stirring performance on his debut, with Arturo Vidal also showing no ill-effects of a knee injury which had seen him miss most of preseason.
The defending champions were straight on to the front foot, with Paul Pogba sending the first shot wide of the Chievo goal. A corner then led to them opening the scoring, with Carlos Tevez swinging the ball to the far post where Martin Caceres headed against a combination of Christian Biraghi and Bardi with the ball ricocheting into the goal.
Five minutes later, a determined run from Pogba led to the ball falling out to Claudio Marchisio, whose shot from 20 yards just spun over the crossbar. Vidal saw his first chance of the game saved in the 16th minute, with Bostjan Cesar clearing his second effort off the line. From the resulting corner, Vidal hit the near post as Juve closed in on a second goal.
Tevez then hit the crossbar in the 42nd minute from Stephan Lichtsteiner's cross and the bar was rattling again just a few minutes later when Caceres rose to meet a corner. Juve's pressure persisted in the second half, with the livewire Coman curling a shot just wide of the far post.
The 18-year-old was showing no signs of nerves on his debut following a summer switch from Paris St Germain and he was given a standing ovation, even by a large section of Chievo fans, when he left the field to be replaced by Fernando Llorente midway through the second half.
Llorente nearly made an immediate impact on the game when he had a shot pushed round the post by Bardi. Juve were almost made to pay for wasting so many chances when Chievo's moment came in the 77th minute.
Maxi Lopez suddenly found himself with the ball at his feet just eight yards from goal and with only Gianluigi Buffon to beat, but he slipped slightly when shooting and the Italy goalkeeper fulfilled his only duty of the evening, making the save low to his left to help preserve the points.