≡ Menu

Juve Beat Lazio 2-0

Juventus made it two wins from two in their Serie A title defence with a 2-0 win over Lazio in Turin, but Cristiano Ronaldo’s wait for his first goal in Italy goes into a third week.

Miralem Pjanic and Mario Mandzukic struck either side of the break to earn the Old Lady three points as Max Allegri’s side produced an efficient performance against the capital club.

All eyes were on the Portuguese on his home debut as he looked to open his Serie A account in his first visit to the Allianz Stadium since being given a standing ovation by the Juve faithful for his spectacular overhead kick in the Champions League for Real Madrid last season.

The 33-year-old gave a rueful grin after his side’s second goal, as an unfortunate ricochet saw the ball fall into the path of Mandzukic and deny him a tap-in for the winner.

For his home bow, Ronaldo was shifted to the left wing as Allegri shuffled his pack by switching to a 4-3-3 formation.

The coach brought in Federico Bernardeschi, the match-winning hero against Chievo a week earlier, Mandzukic and Blaise Matuidi at the expense of the benched Paulo Dybala, Douglas Costa and Juan Cuadrado.

The visitors also made three changes from week one, welcoming captain Senad Lulic and former Liverpool midfielder Lucas Leiva back from suspension and bringing in Brazilian defender Wallace in the place of the injured Luiz Felipe.

Lazio had not traveled north to act as a welcome party for Juve’s superstar and started on the stronger foot, creating the first real chance after 11 minutes when skipper Senad Lulic forced an excellent save from Szczesny, who pushed away a driven low shot as it headed for the bottom corner.

From the resulting set piece, Wallace was inches away from heading Luis Alberto’s delivery into an empty net.

The Old Lady were sloppy in possession in the opening stages but soon found their rhythm and came close to taking the lead after 20 minutes. Blaise Matuidi’s layoff was intended for the onrushing Ronaldo, but the ball went past the Portuguese and into the path of Sami Khedira, who smashed a shot off the near post from close range.

Lazio goalkeeper Thomas Strakosha was then called into action as he flew across goal to tip away Bernardeschi’s curling effort.

The balance had tipped in the hosts’ favour and they duly pressed home their advantage thanks to an exquisite display of technique from Pjanic.

The Bosnia-Herzegovina international pounced on a loose clearance and controlled a wonderful half-volley from the edge of the area, firing it low into the bottom corner.

Five minutes into the second half Ronaldo came to life, flashing some step overs before firing a dangerous low cross across goal to Mandzukic, but the Croatian was ahead of the ball and failed to make a clean contact.

Alberto’s curling effort from distance was inches away from giving Lazio a leveller, but the tide soon turned in the home side’s favour.

With 19 minutes left on the clock, Ronaldo struck a dipping shot towards goal from the edge of the area, but he was denied by an athletic fingertip save from Strakosha.

Lazio’s young goalkeeper denied Ronaldo again a matter of minutes later, intercepting a low cross from Joao Cancelo with the former Real Madrid man primed for a tap-in.

The onrushing striker saw the ball ricochet off his heel and instead fall into the path of Mandzukic, who made no mistake and doubled the home side’s lead from close range.

Juventus travel to newly-promoted Parma next Saturday as they continue their quest for an eighth successive Scudetto.