13 September 2014 23:41
Juventus overcame a trio of key absentees to beat Udinese 2-0 in Massimiliano Allegri’s first competitive home game at the helm.
Operating without Andrea Pirlo, Giorgio Chiellini and Arturo Vidal, Juventus claimed an eighth-minute lead as Carlo Tevez swept home a cutback from Stephan Lichtsteiner.
The champions’ defence, featuring Patrice Evra at left-back for the first-time, quelled in-form veteran Antonio Di Natale and breathed a sigh of relief when Igor Bubnjic’s close-range strike was ruled out for offside midway through the second period.
It was left to Claudio Marchisio to seal the points with a fine 20-yard strike 15 minutes from time.
In Saturday’s other game, last season’s runners-up Roma laboured to a 1-0 win over Empoli.
Francesco Totti, Gervinho, Juan Iturbe and Davide Astori sat out the match with an eye on the midweek UEFA Champions League clash against CSKA.
The result was a far-from-fluent performance and there was a touch of fortune about the winner, as Radja Nainggolan’s shot on the stroke of half-time came back off the base of the post, then hit goalkeeper Luigi Sepe on the head and crossed the line.