x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

European football round-up: Tevez on target as Juventus rout Lazio again

Argentine striker continues goal-scoring form at his club in Italian Serie A. Plus news from other leagues around Europe.

Carlos Tevez scored his second Serie A goal in as many weeks for Juventus. Di Marco / EPA
Carlos Tevez scored his second Serie A goal in as many weeks for Juventus. Di Marco / EPA

MILAN // Carlos Tevez scored his second Serie A goal in as many weeks as champions Juventus thumped Lazio 4-1 to sit second in the early standings behind Napoli, 4-2 winners earlier at Chievo.

Juventus put four unanswered goals past Lazio on their way to winning the Italian Super Cup two weeks ago, when Tevez scored his maiden goal for the Bianconeri.

Having secured all three points for Antonio Conte's side in a 1-0 win over Sampdoria last week, the Argentine capped a dominant display by the hosts – marked notably by a brace from Chilean Arturo Vidal – with a fine individual effort in the 80th minute.

"Putting four goals past Lazio again is a sign that our form is getting better, both on a collective and individual level," said Antonio Conte, the Juventus manager.

"We were spectacular in the first 25 minutes in terms of intensity and execution of our gameplan. We were unlucky to concede the goal when we were leading 2-0."

Lazio started in positive fashion, Hernanes picking up a loose ball from Juve defender Andrea Barzagli to test Gianluigi Buffon with the 'keeper parrying for a corner.

But it served only to waken Juventus from their slumber and until Vidal's 14th minute opener they consigned the visitors to their own third of the pitch as they launched assault after assault.

Vidal broke the deadlock in style, timing his run onto Paul Pogba's sumptuous ball perfectly to beat a poor Lazio offside trap and then flick the ball past onrushing goalkeeper Federico Marchetti.

Barely 10 minutes later the Chilean attacking midfielder, Juve's top scorer last season, doubled the hosts' lead thanks to another well-timed move as Lazio's defence fell asleep.

This time, defender Leonardo Bonucci hit a long diagonal ball from midfield and Vidal, deep on the right flank, controlled with his right foot before sending the ball under the flailing Marchetti with his left.

Lazio reduced the arrears barely a minute later when Gianluigi Buffon pushed Hernanes's fierce 25-metre drive into the path of Miroslav Klose.

The big German striker rushed to get to the ball first ahead of Bonucci to shove it home and open his account for the season.

Minutes later Buffon was forced to punch the ball out for a corner after a stinging shot from Stefan Radu and Juve had the 'keeper to thank on the stroke of half-time when he parried another on-target effort from Hernanes.

Juve edged closer to sealing their second win of the campaign when Vucinic latched on to another inch-perfect long ball from Bonucci, beating Marchetti with a deft touch at the 'keeper's left-hand post.

Lazio's chances of taking anything from the match faded in the 63rd minute when Hernanes saw red for a second bookable offence, a blatant handball in the Bianconeri area.

Although Lazio produced several half-chances, Vladimir Petkovic's men never really threatened and Tevez virtually sealed the win 10 minutes from time.

A great pass from Vidal on the right flank was dummied by Vucinic and when Tevez took possession he turned Lorik Cana on the edge of the area before beating Marchetti with a well-placed low shot.

Earlier, Marek Hamsik scored his second brace in as many Serie A games and Gonzalo Higuain netted his first goal for Napoli as Rafael Benitez's side won 4-2 at Chievo.

Benitez hailed the "character" of the side he took charge of after new Walter Mazzarri left for Inter in the close season.

"The key to our success was the boys' character. This team has the strength to make amends for mistakes they make because, up front, we have huge potential," said the Spaniard.

On Sunday, Roma entertain Verona before Inter travel to Catania, Genoa face Fiorentina and AC Milan host Cagliari in the pick of the later matches.

Schalke 2 Leverkusen 0

Bayer Leverkusen blew their chance to go top of the Bundesliga on Saturday as they lost their 100 per cent record with a 2-0 defeat at resurgent Schalke.

Bayern Munich, the defending champions. stay top of the league despite dropping their first points of the season with a 1-1 draw at Freiburg on Tuesday before their dramatic 5-4 win on penalties over Chelsea in Friday's Uefa Super Cup final.

In the battle between the Bundesliga's other two Champions League representatives, Schalke hauled themselves up into mid-table and left Leverkusen joint-third behind Bayern and second-placed Dortmund, who are at Eintracht Frankfurt on Sunday.

PSG 2 Guingamp 0

Paris Saint-Germain, the Ligue 1 champions, needed two stoppage-time goals to claim a 2-0 win over Guingamp at the Parc des Princes on Saturday, while Evian moved off the bottom of the table with a shock 2-1 victory over Lyon.

Having drawn with Montpellier and Ajaccio, Laurent Blanc's PSG side could ill-afford to fall further behind leaders Marseille, who host fellow title contenders Monaco on Sunday evening.

They left it late but finally prevailed thanks to strikes from Adrien Rabiot and Zlatan Ibrahimovic against their recently promoted visitors.

Osasuna 0 Villarreal 3

Villarreal continued to make a positive impression following their return to the Spanish Primera Liga, brushing aside Osasuna to maintain their 100 per cent start to the season.

Goals from Jeremy Perbet, Javier Aquino and Ikechukwu Uche made it three wins from three for the Yellow Submarine to lift the top-flight newcomers to the top of the standings.

PSV Eindhoven 0 Cambuur 0

PSV Eindhoven passed up the chance to move top of the Eredivisie standings on Saturday night as they were held to a 0-0 home draw by newly promoted Cambuur.

With surprise early leaders PEC Zwolle not in action until Sunday, when they host FC Utrecht, Phillip Cocu's second-placed side had the opportunity to steal a march.

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