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Serie A

  • September 11, 2011
  • • 11:30
  • • Juventus Stadium, Torino
  • Referee: D. Celi
  • • Attendance: 41254
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Juventus 4-1 Parma: Pirlo shines as Old Lady grace new stadium with impressive win

A late red card for Paolo De Ceglie couldn't detract from an impressive display by Juve as Pirlo made himself at home in his new surroundings

Juventus christened their new stadium and made a firm statement of intent with a comprehensive 4-1 Serie A victory over Parma.

Andrea Pirlo produced a superb display in midfield for the Turin giants, and goals from Stephan Lichtsteiner, Simone Pepe, Arturo Vidal and Claudio Marchisio fired the hosts to a confident opening-day win.

It was Antonio Conte’s first competitive game in charge and his side started brightly pressing the space in midfield to limit Parma’s possession. Two debutants combined in the 18th minute for the first goal in the Juventus stadium.

Lichsteiner, who joined from Lazio in the summer, found Pirlo on the edge of the area and the former AC Milan stalwart made a smart turn, before picking out the Swiss international with a perfectly-weighted ball, who rounded Antonio Mirante to coolly finish.

Parma had scored seven goals in their last two visits to Turin but failed to mark a single shot in the opening period as Gianluigi Buffon cut a relaxed figure in the Juventus goal.

Alessandro Matri had a header contentiously ruled out for offside just before the break, despite being in line with the last defender as Andrea Barzagli found the Italy striker.

Franco Colomba sent his side out with a greater sense of urgency after the break and Giovinco caused a nervous moment for Buffon as the keeper fumbled a low cross that seemed to spur Juventus into action. Matri was put clean through but failed to add a second as he struck a post and was quickly replaced by Mirko Vucinic.

Moments later Del Piero fed Simone Pepe on the right of the box and the 28-year-old blasted in for a 2-0 lead. Juventus continued to dominate in the closing stages and Del Piero made way for Chilean midfielder Arturo Vidal, who made it three with a smart volley from the edge of the area.

Parma looked sluggish throughout and were caught flat-footed by another beautifully floated Pirlo ball in the 82nd minute that dropped perfectly on Claudio Marchisio's boot, with the midfielder volleying over the stranded Mirante.

It was almost the perfect start to the 2011-12 season for La Vecchia Signora until referee Domenico Celi red-carded Paolo De Ceglie for a last man tackle on Giovinco, and the striker tucked the spot-kick away to finish the game 4-1.

But Juventus had issued a message to the rest of Serie A that they mean business this season, and created a sense of optimism that a return to the successes of old could be a real possibility under Conte.

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