x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

European football round-up: Tevez on target for Juventus, Milan beaten

Former Manchester City stroker scores on Serie A debut but AC Milan lose opener. Plus news from other football leagues.

Juventus believe Carlos Tevez, left, will be even more dangerous as he gets used to the way his new club side play.
Juventus believe Carlos Tevez, left, will be even more dangerous as he gets used to the way his new club side play.

MILAN // Carlos Tevez, the Argentine striker, scored on his Serie A debut for Juventus in a 1-0 win at Sampdoria as AC Milan stumbled on the opening day of the new campaign with a 2-1 away defeat to new boys Verona.

Tevez, who scored when the champions secured the Italian Super Cup with a 4-0 rout of Lazio last weekend, was partnered up front by Mirko Vucinic as Spaniard Fernando Llorente was left on the sidelines.

And the former Manchester City striker, one of the few big names to make his way to Italy's top flight over the summer, made the most of his few chances when he tapped home a Paul Pogba ball just before the hour.

"It was the perfect night, especially as it's not an easy stadium to come to," said Tevez. "I still don't know my teammates well enough but I'm trying."

Antonio Conte, the Juve coach, said: "The more Carlo plays, the more he will get used to our way of playing, along with the other new players. They will all struggle at the start because our game is based on the collective and everyone has his part to play."

Sampdoria were the only team last season to beat Juventus both home and away, making sure the defending champions' 29th league crown came with a bitter aftertaste on the final day of the season.

However Delio Rossi's side ultimately failed to threaten in an encounter plagued by torrential rain at the Luigi Ferraris stadium.

Montenegrin Vucinic came close for Juve inside three minutes and the visitors were almost given a 19th-minute lead when Kwadwo Asamoah's header from Andrea Pirlo's corner bounced and forced Angelo Da Costa to tip the ball over the crossbar.

Tevez was gifted a chance in the 21st minute when a long midfield ball made its way through the Sampdoria defence but Da Costa parried the Argentine's effort.

Shortly after the break Stephan Lichsteiner's cross from deep on the right was too far forward for Vucinic.

Juve then won a freekick when Tevez fell to the ground under a challenge from Eramo but Pirlo's effort from 30 metres was a metre over the crossbar.

Sampdoria pressed, but Giorgio Chiellini did well to head away a dangerous looking cross just before the hour.

Moments later Juve broke the deadlock, Tevez tapping home into a virtually empty net from Pogba's unselfish square ball after the Frenchman had been set up deep by Chilean Arturo Vidal.

Sampdoria finished the match with 10 men when substitute Paolo Castellini was shown a direct red card for a nasty foul on Lichsteiner.

It means Verona, thanks to a brace from former Italy striker Luca Toni, are the leaders on the first day, 11 years after dropping out of Serie A, with Juventus in second place ahead of the rest of the programme on Sunday.

Milan had opened the scoring inside the opening quarter of an hour when midfielder Andrea Poli finished off a smart pass from Mario Balotelli, the Italy striker.

But the visitors were pegged back by Toni on the half hour, and left stunned when the former Fiorentina striker scored with his second header eight minutes after the restart.

Massimiliano Allegri, the Milan manager, only hung on to his job by the skin of his teeth after pushing his team to a third place finish following a disastrous first half of last season.

And he warned: "We had the totally wrong attitude tonight, and we're not going to make much progress if it continues.

"We made a series of technical and tactical errors and once we were a goal down there was little we could do to turn things around."

Allegri said he is hoping Milan improve ahead of the second leg of their Champions League playoff against PSV Eindhoven on Wednesday, a week after their 1-1 draw in The Netherlands.

"Now we have to focus on the most important game of the season so far, against PSV."

Bayern Munich 2 Nuremberg 0

Bayern Munich earned their third straight win at the start of the season, beating Nuremberg 2-0 on Saturday, but still found themselves third in the Bundesliga on goal difference.

French winger Franck Ribery's header on 69 minutes broke the deadlock before Dutch star Arjen Robben scored for Pep Guardiola's European champions, who earlier had a first-half penalty saved.

"We allowed them only a few chances, which I liked, and we played better in the second-half," said Guardiola as Bayern set a new club record of 28 league games without defeat.

"We attacked fast through Ribery and Robben and I am happy with how we controlled the game."

"Nuremberg were very compact and organised, it's always hard to play against a team like that."

Only goal difference leaves Bayern third behind leaders Borussia Dortmund, who beat Werder Bremen 1-0 at home on Friday, and second-placed Bayer Leverkusen.

Schalke suffered another confidence-sapping defeat as they lost 2-1 at Hanover and finished with nine men.

Leverkusen earned their third straight win with a 4-2 victory at home to Borussia Moenchengladbach with Germany winger Sidney Sam scoring twice in front of Joachim Loew, the national coach.

Villarreal 1 Real Valladolid 1

A goal by Ruben Cani six minutes from time was enough to guide Villarreal to victory as they came from behind to take all three points as Spanish Primera Liga football returned to El Madrigal following a 15-month absence.

The Yellow Submarine had enjoyed a decade of unprecedented highs following their team before the club's shock relegation from the top flight at the end of the 2011/12 season – having finished fourth the previous season.

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