Giorgio Chiellini scored the only goal of the game as Juventus started the 2019-20 Serie A campaign with a deserved win over Parma.
Juventus started their bid for a ninth consecutive Serie A title with a narrow, but thoroughly deserved, 1-0 win over Parma at Stadio Ennio Tardini on Saturday.
New boss Maurizio Sarri was absent from the dugout as he is recovering from pneumonia, but he will be buoyed by a performance that suggested they will once again be the team to beat this season.
Giorgio Chiellini scored the only goal of the game after 21 minutes, while Cristiano Ronaldo saw a goal ruled out for offside before the interval.
Juve were unable to add a second despite dominating throughout, although it mattered little as they comfortably kept Parma at arm’s length to start the season in familiar fashion.
The visitors started with a spring in their step and should have gone ahead after 12 minutes, Ronaldo’s header from 10 yards fizzing narrowly over.
Wojciech Szczesny pawed away Roberto Inglese’s instinctive effort at the other end before Chiellini opened the scoring, the veteran defender diverting home Alex Sandro’s scuffed volley from 10 yards.
Ronaldo should have doubled their advantage eight minutes later but flashed wide after being played in by Gonzalo Higuain.
There was more frustration for the Portugal international before the break when he saw a goal disallowed by VAR for offside. He lashed home superbly from a tight angle but replays showed he was marginally offside as he raced to collect Douglas Costa’s pass.
Parma started the second half with more intent than they had shown in the opening 45 minutes, although they struggled to breakdown Juve’s resolute defence.
Ronaldo clipped over from Costa’s pull-back on the hour mark before Parma goalkeeper Luigi Sepe kept out the former Real Madrid’s star’s powerful drive from 20 yards.
The Bianconeri eased up in the closing stages, rarely looking like they would add a second, but the damage had been done by their defensive colossus in the first half.
What does it mean? Juve pick up where they left off
Juve were not at their very best but they scarcely needed to be to cruise past a limited Parma outfit. If Sarri was watching, he will have seen a team that looks solid at the back and lively in attack – the perfect combination for yet another title tilt.
— JuventusFC (@juventusfcen) August 24, 2019
Any thoughts that the 34-year-old’s powers might be diminishing were dispelled in a performance brimming with swagger and skill. He missed two clear chances in the first half and saw a goal ruled out, but he can reflect on a showing that bodes well for the season ahead.
Higuain fails to take chance
Few expected the Argentina international to be given a chance at Juve this season, which is why it was such a surprise to see Gonzalo Higuain starting in attack. He did little to suggest he will stay there, though, with a display every bit as listless as those he produced on loan at Chelsea last season.
Juve welcome last season’s runners-up and Sarri’s former club Napoli to the Allianz Stadium next Saturday, while Parma travel to Udinese a day later.