30 July 2014 22:48
Serie A champions Juventus were held to a dour 0-0 pre-season friendly draw by top-flight newcomers Cesena on Wednesday.
The stalemate means that Massimiliano Allegri’s reign as Juventus head coach is still winless.
Named as Antonio Conte’s replacement earlier this month, Allegri watched on as his side suffered an embarrassing 3-2 defeat at the hands of fifth-tier Lucento last week.
And his mood will hardly have been improved as his team failed to break down Cesena, who gained promotion back to Serie A with a 4-2 aggregate play-off success over Latina at the end of 2013-14.
Juve, champions of Italy for the past three seasons, were without Carlos Tevez for the clash, after the Argentinian’s father was kidnapped and then released on Tuesday.
Allegri’s men looked far from their fluent best in a game where goalmouth action was scarce.
Andrea Pirlo was the first to test either goalkeeper, bringing a sprawling stop out of Nicola Leali with a curling effort in the 10th minute.
Leali was called into action again shortly afterwards, but this time he was able to make a much more routine stop from a scuffed Pirlo volley.
In the Juve goal, Marco Storari was forced into one save of note, reacting well to tip Gregoire Defrel’s stinging strike from distance over the crossbar.
The second period saw the game follow much the same pattern, with neither team able to carve out any clear goalscoring opportunities.
And with a month until Juve kick off their Serie A title defence, Allegri will be aware that there is still plenty of work to do ahead of the opener against Chievo on August 30.