Juventus ease to win over Udinese, Lecce earn last-gasp victory over Lazio

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Juventus secured a comfortable 3-0 win at Udinese on Sunday, while late goals from Pontus Almqvist and Federico Di Francesco gave Lecce a 2-1 comeback victory over last season’s runners-up Lazio.

Massimiliano Allegri’s side put down a marker at the start of the campaign as they began their bid for a 37th league crown with an impressive win, scoring through Federico Chiesa, Dusan Vlahovic and Adrien Rabiot in the first half.

Juventus made a blistering start at Stadio Friuli, racing into the lead in the second minute after Vlahovic intercepted a stray pass and set up Chiesa, who drilled home a low shot from the edge of the penalty area.Vlahovic made it 2-0 with an ice-cool penalty and Rabiot added the third with a bullet header before the break.

“We played a great game today. In the first half, we were very intense, and we have to play like that, picking the opponents up high,” Chiesa told DAZN.”I feel good (about playing as a second striker with Vlahovic). We are not standing still, that’s what the coach is asking of us.”

Debutant Timothy Weah, who was signed from Ligue 1 side Lille last month, failed to make much of an impact for Juventus and was taken off at halftime after suffering a knock to his ankle.

Juventus controlled the second half without creating many more chances and were largely content to see the game out, though Vlahovic had a goal ruled out for offside after scoring with a diving header.


Lazio captain Ciro Immobile marked his eighth season at the club by netting the opener in the 26th minute, as he met Luis Alberto’s cross with a sliding finish to dink the ball over the onrushing Lecce goalkeeper.Despite having a large share of the possession, Lecce struggled to break down Lazio for much of the match, with Maurizio Sarri’s team remaining disciplined and compact in defence.

However, with Lazio looking on course for a hard-fought win, Lecce turned the match on its head in the blink of an eye late in the second half.Almqvist’s sensational half-volley put Lecce level in the 85th minute before Di Francesco took advantage of confusion in Lazio’s area as he pounced on a loose ball and fired home the winner in the 87th minute to raucous cheers at the Stadio Via del mare.

“We played a great game against a great team that wants to win the championship, our fans deserve these three points,” Lecce attacker Gabriel Strefezza told Sky Sports.

“We have to play every game with this intensity, if we do we can give great joy to the fans.”

Earlier on Sunday, Salernitana and AS Roma played out a 2-2 draw as both Antonio Candreva and Andrea Belotti bagged braces.

via Reuters

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