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Serie A

Juve Begin Serie A Defence With Narrow Win

Serie A

Result: Parma 0-1 Juventus

Date: 24 August 2019

Venue: Stadio Ennio Tardini 

Defending champions Juventus opened their 2019-20 Serie A campaign with a laboured 1-0 victory over Parma on Saturday evening at Stadio Ennio Tardini.
 
Bianconeri were without new coach Maurizio Sarri in the dugout as the Italian recovers Pneumonia and was side-lined. There was no space in the line-up for off-season signings as Cristiano Ronaldo started alongside Gonzalo Higuain upfront, who returned from his loan-spell at Chelsea..
 
The game had sparks in the opening exchanges as Ronaldo came close to opening the scoring in the 12th minute with a header that sailed over the bar while goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny had to be at his best a minute later to deny Roberto Inglese who volleyed an effort that was parried away.
 
Giorgio Chiellini eventually opened the scoring for Juventus in the 21st minute with a glancing header inside the box following a cross from Alex Sandro.
 
Ronaldo found the back of the net in the 34th minute with a strike from the edge of the box, but the goal was chalked off after consultation with the Video Assistant Referee, with the Portuguese deemed offside when he received the ball.
 
Bianconeri were patient on the ball after the break but they lacked their usual rhythm, which resulted in debutant Adrien Rabiot coming on for Sami Khedira.
 
Ronaldo had a chance to finally double the lead for Juventus in the 73rd minute after finding space at the near post but his low strike was smothered by shot-stopper Luigi Sepe.
 
Juventus were probing for the insurance goal in the closing phases and they brought on Federico Bernardeschi with seven minutes remaining, in place of Higuain to stretch Parma on the wings.
 
The hosts were suddenly springing forward in stoppage time, desperate to salvage a point but Szczesny was dominant in aerial challenges as Bianconeri held on for all the three points.

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