Juventus light up new stadium in fine style

Juventus outclassed Parma 4-1 in their first Serie A match in their new stadium with several close-season signings impressing for new coach Antonio Conte on Sunday.

Swiss right back Stephan Lichtsteiner got the party started at the 41 000-seat arena, which still does not have an official name after a failure to find a sponsor, when he coolly finished off fellow new signing Andrea Pirlo’s great dinked pass.

Three excellent goals followed in the second half with Simone Pepe blasting home, new midfielder Arturo Vidal scoring spectacularly and ex-AC Milan playmaker Pirlo capping a wonderful debut by again expertly setting up Claudio Marchisio.

Once mighty Juve have finished a lowly seventh in the last two seasons as they struggled to recover from their 2006 match-fixing demotion but the new stadium, signings and coach have revived supporter hopes that their glory days could return.

Sunday’s performance bodes well with Parma’s Sebastian Giovinco only scoring from the spot late on after Juve’s Paolo De Ceglie was dismissed for a professional foul.

The only other downside for Juve was a bare-looking pitch in the packed new arena, built on the site of their former Stadio Delle Alpi home and the first ground to be owned by an Italian club.

Serie A’s first round of matches last weekend were postponed because of a player strike over contracts but the season got underway on Friday when champions AC Milan drew 2-2 at home to Lazio. The rest of the fixtures take place later. — Reuters

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