Impressive Juventus too strong for Sevilla
Wednesday, September 30, 2015
Juventus 2-0 Sevilla
Goals late in each half, from Álvaro Morata and substitute Simone Zaza, meant last term's runners-up continued to impress in this season's competition.
Article top media content
- Juventus earn second win in as many UEFA Champions League games by defeating Sevilla
- Álvaro Morata opens scoring shortly before half-time (41)
- Spaniard on target for fifth successive UEFA Champions League match
- Substitute Simone Zaza adds clinching second (87)
- Next matches: Juventus v Mönchengladbach, Man. City v Sevilla (21 October)
Juventus maintained their perfect record in UEFA Champions League Group D, beating Sevilla courtesy of late goal in each half from Álvaro Morata and Simone Zaza.
Struggling in Serie A, the Bianconeri started brightly and Paul Pogba had a good chance seconds after kick-off, firing over from a good position after collecting Morata's incisive pass. Juve were particularly dangerous from their right flank, where Juan Cuadrado tormented the Sevilla defence.
A probing run by the Colombia winger led to a curling effort from Paulo Dybala, who sent the ball whistling just wide of the far corner. Ten minutes before the interval Dybala had another opportunity but failed to connect cleanly after good work from Sami Khedira, making his first competitive appearance since March.
The opening goal finally came four minutes from half-time when Morata headed in a pinpoint cross by Andrea Barzagli. It was the fifth successive UEFA Champions League game in which Morata had scored, emulating former Juve captain Alessandro Del Piero's 1995/96 feat.
Juventus were threatening again soon after the restart, Sevilla goalkeeper Sergio Rico using his right foot to deny Dybala from close range. The goalkeeper then punched away a powerful free-kick from the Argentinian forward and a strong shot by Cuadrado.
With Gianluigi Buffon largely untroubled in the home goal, Juve made sure of the points with three minutes left. Substitute Zaza was played through and steadied himself before firing past Rico.
Key player: Andrea Barzagli
The veteran centre-back led by example with a great display in an unfamiliar right-back role. Not only did he offer his usual contribution in defence, he also supplied the assist for Morata's goal, a rarity for him. The Juventus Stadium gave him a standing ovation when he sprinted 50 metres like a teenager to reach a long ball down the right.
Where the match was won
These two sides shone in Europe last term yet both have struggled domestically early in this campaign. However, Juve played with more urgency while Sevilla were more conservative, especially in the first half. The Bianconeri's courage paid dividends as Massimilano Allegri's men created several opportunities and could easily have prevailed by a bigger margin.
Will Juve return to the level of last season?
Replacing players like Andrea Pirlo, Arturo Vidal and Carlos Tévez was never going to be easy. However, the 'real' Juve are not the team currently toiling in Serie A. The return of influential midfielder Khedira was important and soon Claudio Marchisio will be back from injury too. Reaching another UEFA Champions League final will be difficult, but Juve are already proving once again that they can compete with the best in Europe.