Carlos Tevez broke his Champions League drought with a brace, giving Juventus” data-scaytid=”2″>Juventus a 2-0 Champions League win over Malmo.
Carlos Tevez broke his Champions League drought with a brace, giving Juventus a 2-0 Champions League win over Malmo.
The Bianconeri had more pressure than ever to do well in this competition after their group stage exit last season. In a group with Atletico Madrid and Olympiacos, they hosted Swedish champions Malmo in what was on paper the easiest fixture. Andrea Pirlo, Arturo Vidal and Andrea Barzagli were injured with Roberto Pereyra suspended, so Kwadwo Asamoah went into a more central midfield role, while Giorgio Chiellini made his season debut after injury and bans. Malmoe made their Champions League group debut, but missed Simon Thern and Ricardinho.
Malmo had the first real chance after 17 minutes when Gianluigi Buffon was forced to use his foot to parry from Magnus Eriksson at the back post.
Paul Pogba was penalised for handball when chesting down in the box, though replays suggest Filip Helander also handled and perhaps made contact first.
Pogba nodded off target and Carlos Tevez fired straight at the goalkeeper, while Asamoah had several shots over from distance and Apache failed to keep his balance on a Stephan Lichtsteiner assist.
Fernando Llorente forced a corner with his attempt on the turn, but overall Juventus struggled to create any danger. They finally had a decent chance on 43 minutes when Lichtsteiner burst into the box on a Tevez pass and tried to roll across for Asamoah to tap in, but the Swiss Express over-hit the pass.
After the restart Lichtsteiner was in a similar position and this time his pass was intercepted by a defender when he should’ve chipped it over for Llorente. Asamoah again tried from distance, this time on target but easily dealt with.
The deadlock was finally broken for Juventus and for Tevez, who had not scored in the Champions League since April 7 2009 for Manchester United. He ran on to an Asamoah back-heel flick and drilled low into the far bottom corner. Apache had not found the net in this competition for 1,988 days, a grand total of 1,003 minutes of football.
Moments later Juve thought they’d gone 2-0 up when Lichtsteiner rolled across for Llorente to tap in, but the Swiss international was flagged offside by a matter of centimentres.
A diving Lichtsteiner header bounced off the ground and over the bar from Patrice Evra’s cross, then another Evra ball flashed low across the six-yard box with Llorente and Pogba unable to get the final touch.
Llorente had a sensational double chance, but his header was brilliantly flapped away by Robin Olsen and he tried a Jeremy Menez-style back-heel flick on the rebound, but again the goalkeeper reacted quickly to palm it off the line.
The Bianconeri did make it 2-0 eventually, as Tevez curled a free kick into the far top corner.
Juventus 2-0 Malmo
Scorers: Tevez 59, 90 (J)
Juventus: Buffon; Caceres, Bonucci, Chiellini; Lichtsteiner (Romulo 91), Pogba, Marchisio, Asamoah, Evra; Tevez (Giovinco 91), Llorente (Morata 86)
Malmo: Olsen; Tinnerholm, E Johansson, Halsti, Helander, Konate; Eriksson (Rakip 81), Adu, Forsberg: Thelin (Kroon 73), Rosenberg (Mehmeti 54)
Ref: Marciniak (POL)