An important win on opening day for the Old Lady

Posted by Mina Rzouki

Claudio Villa/Getty ImagesCarlos Tevez's second half goal earned Juventus their first win in seven years at Sampdoria.

It's been seven long years since Juventus won a match away to Sampdoria. A result that seems almost impossible to predict, twice the Blucerchiati defeated the Bianconeri last season as Delio Rossi demonstrated his tactical knowledge of the game to source the weaknesses within the opponent.

- Match report: Sampdoria 0-1 Juventus

In the same fixture at the end of last season, Juventus created an abundance of chances with most of them either going wide or being saved by the goalkeeper as the rain poured heavily. If there was ever a time they needed a striker to convert, it was in the matches against the Blucerchiati. Now with Carlos Tevez among their ranks on Saturday, there was a player who finally could do what they others struggled to do -- finish effectively.

The pitch was heavy due to the rain, much like it was in the last game of the season last year. A sublime move that showed Juve's excellent understanding in the final attacking third resulted in a beautiful goal with so many different players involved. With Tevez actually scoring, the Argentine turned into a hero as the Old Lady could finally sing at the Marassi to celebrate her victory.

Credit must go to the home side as Sampdoria played a tenacious game and at a high tempo. Each one of their players demonstrated hunger and motivation as they challenged for every ball and made incisive runs to the top when the chance to counter attack was afforded to them. Fouling a tad too much, they were instructed to overwhelm the Old Lady with their physicality and constant pressing.

The Bianconeri found it difficult to display fluidity with their rhythm constantly interrupted. The famed cohesive Juve unit was almost non-existent in the first half with the Blucerchiati effectively robbing them of possession and quickly imposing their pace to counter to effect.

Citadin Eder, in particular, proved a constant thorn to the Bianconeri side. Every time he received the ball, he looked to do something, demonstrating great pace as he dribbled in hopes of penetrating the Juve defence. He wasn't, unfortunately for him, afforded the necessary service to make the difference.

While Rossi's men demonstrated great tactical intelligence to halt Juve's game, it was the champions' intellectual play in the box that finally produced the desired result. The intricate passing, the clever positioning and the wonderful link-up play overwhelmed the Sampdoria squad who, up until that point, had proved so effective defensively.

In games like these it's to be expected that Paul Pogba's ability would be highlighted. His athletic physique, coupled with his ability to keep possession, proved vital for Juventus especially in the first half. However, it's his composure and ability to handle the ball well under pressure that made him a standout performer in the match. The manner in which he squared the ball for Tevez to score was mesmerising to watch and his overall team play and attitude made the difference.

Meanwhile, Tevez acted like a leader and continued to seek opportunities in which he could make a difference, even managing to recover more balls than any other player on the pitch. Dropping deep, looking for the right pass and positioning himself accurately to construct chances, his debut was impressive -- even though Mirko Vucinic alongside him was especially imprecise in his play on the night.

Nonetheless, despite the horrendous weather conditions, Juventus managed a win at a difficult stadium. While Sampdoria punished them with their clinical attitude in front of goal last season, Juve's secure defending and the lack of service offered to the Blucerchiati forwards saw them unable to put Juve under any real danger this time around. Meanwhile, the Old Lady plugged away until a well-worked move finally pulled off, scoring a precious goal to achieve three points on the opening day.


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