By 90Min
August 19, 2017

One goal apiece from converted left-winger Mario Mandžukić, former Napoli man Gonzalo Higuaín and Barcelona-linked Paulo Dybala ensured the Serie A holders started off the season with a bang at the Allianz Stadium.

Astute finishes from Mandžukić, Dybala and Higuain ensured the Old Lady start the 2017/18 season in the same fashion as they finished last season, as goalkeeping legend Gianluigi Buffon still showed his worth at 39 years of age after a first half penalty save.

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The game started with both sides putting in tasty tackles in the season opener, as the home outfit started the brighter of the two. Bosnian playmaker and former Roma star

Miralem Pjanic tested the Rossoblù goalkeeper with an early free kick, which whistled past the post. 

Juventus brought the game to life in the 12th minute when Croatian international Mandžukić opened his his account for the season with a volley much like his wonderful Champions League final goal against Real Madrid, showing a mean right foot with an excellent volley from a Stephan Lichtsteiner cross.

Away side Cagliari finally tested the opposition in the 15th minute with Paolo Farago working Buffon with a fine right-footed drive, which needed to be parried away by the Italian number one.

In an highly eventful first half, referee Fabio Maresca used VAR (the video assistant referee) to award the visitors a penalty following a foul from Chelsea target Alex Sandro on Duje Cop. Captain Diego Farias stepped up to take the penalty, but a stuttered run up backfired as a penalty down the middle was easily stopped by hero Buffon.

On the stroke of half time, La Vecchia Signora doubled the lead with a questionable second goal, courtesy of Argentine talisman Dybala, who ran onto a fine ball over the top from Pjanic. After cushioning the ball down with what appeared to be his arm the 23-year-old - wanted by many clubs - dispatched the ball into the top corner with his trusty left foot.

The Old Lady started the second half in the same dominant fashion, passing and probing the defence before Dybala again hit a fantastic effort outside the box, coming within inches of his second of the match, with a thunderous shot, which crashed off the bar.

Pier Marco Tacca/GettyImages

It wasn't until two thirds of the game were gone before Cagliari worked the Juventus defence again, as Faragò showed his willingness to break into the oppositions box and try to pull his side back into the match, with a control and volley that ended up in row Z.


With 25 minutes left on the clock, relatively quiet forward Gonzalo Higuain made sure of the three points with a confidently dispatched strike on his opposite foot across the goalkeeper, after fine work down the left side from Sandro, who put it on a plate for the Argentine striker.


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