Juventus loses opening match 1-0 at home to Udinese
ABS-CBN Sports on Aug 24, 2015 08:58 AM
Juventus' Paul Pogba reacts after missing a scoring chance during a Serie A soccer match between Juventus and Udinese at the Juventus stadium, in Turin, Italy, Sunday, Aug. 23, 2015. (AP Photo/Massimo Pinca)
DANIELLA MATAR, Associated Press
MILAN (AP) — Udinese stunned Juventus by winning 1-0 in Turin on Sunday as the Italian champions' bid for a record-equaling fifth successive league title started with its first loss in 48 Serie A home matches.
Juventus dominated but was unable to finish any of their many chances and Udinese made the host team pay when Cyril Thereau scored 12 minutes from time with one of his side's few opportunities.
The Bianconeri's last league defeat at the Juventus Stadium was on Jan. 6, 2013, against Sampdoria.
"The result leaves a slightly sour taste," Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri said. "We need to be more confident in our ability and to not lose heart when we don't score. The players did everything required of them for 70 minutes, apart from scoring."
It was Stefano Colantuono's first match in charge of Udinese — although his 200th as coach in the top flight.
"Juventus forces you to defend, you have to be good at hitting them on the few sniffs of a chance you get," Colantuono said. "That's what we did. It's not easy winning here ... Our spirit is to fight for every ball and you saw that."
In the evening matches, Fiorentina eased past 10-man AC Milan 2-0, while Sassuolo beat Napoli for the first time in Serie A, coming from behind to win 2-1.
Inter Milan snatched a 1-0 win over 10-man Atalanta when on-loan Manchester City striker Stevan Jovetic curled a stunning strike into the top right corner in the third minute of stoppage time.
Newly-promoted Carpi missed a penalty in its first ever match in Serie A as it lost 5-2 at Sampdoria, which had David Ivan sent off late on. Frosinone was also playing in the top flight for the first time in its history and lost 2-1 at home to Torino, despite taking the lead in the seventh minute through Danilo Soddimo.
Elsewhere, Chievo Verona won 3-1 at Empoli and Palermo beat Genoa 1-0 with a stoppage-time strike from Abdelhamid El Kaoutari.
Juventus won the domestic double of the Italian league and cup last season, and also got to the Champions League final. But it lost three of its star players in the offseason, with Andrea Pirlo, Arturo Vidal and Carlos Tevez leaving.
It has signed top names such as Mario Mandzukic, Paulo Dybala, Sami Khedira and Simone Zaza among others.
Khedira was out injured, along with Alvaro Morata, Claudio Marchisio and Kwadwo Asamoah but Mandzukic was fit to start, while Dybala came off the bench in the second half.
Udinese defender Ali Adnan became the first Iraqi to play in Serie A.
Juventus had already picked up its first piece of silverware this season, beating Lazio 2-0 in the Italian Super Cup, and the players paraded the trophy before kickoff.
Juventus started brightly and Udinese struggled to get out of its half, with the hosts enjoying 11 shots in the first half to just one effort by their opponents.
Promising young talent Kingsley Coman was at the heart of many of Juve's attacks, but it was Udinese which broke the deadlock in the 78th minute with its first shot on target. Panagiotis Kone put in a tantalizing cross from the right flank and Thereau escaped his marker to volley in low at the far post.
Both Fiorentina and Milan had new managers in Paulo Sousa and Sinisa Mihajlovic respectively.
The match turned in the 36th minute when Rodrigo Ely was sent off for two bookings — both for fouls on Nikola Kalinic.
Marcos Alonso scored from the resulting free kick, curling a sensational strike into the top left corner.
There was further nightmare for Milan as new signing Alessio Romagnoli, who was signed from Roma for 25 million euros ($28.5 million), gave away a penalty when he fouled Josip Ilicic by the byline.
Milan goalkeeper Diego Lopez — who had pulled off a stunning save moments earlier — guessed the right way but could not prevent Ilicic's spot-kick from going into the bottom right corner.