Tevez ends five-year wait to give Juve winning start
17 September 2014, 09:37
Turin - Carlos Tevez scored his first Champions League goals for more than five years to give patchy Juventus a 2-0 win over stubborn debutants Malmo in Group A on Tuesday.
The feisty Argentine, who played for Manchester United when he last scored in the competition in 2009 and had endured 14 Champions League games without netting since, broke his duck after playing an exquisite one-two with Kwadwo Asamaoh just before the hour and then curled in a free kick at the end.
Tevez, who failed to score at all in the competition during his stint with Manchester City, got the Serie A champions out of a tangle, his first goal coming just as they seemed to be running out of ideas against the 1979 European Cup runners-up.
Juventus are hoping to re-establish themselves as a force in European football this season but their performance suggested there is still a huge gap between Serie A, which they have dominated over the last three seasons, and the Champions League.
Malmo, with an average age of just over 24, were anything but overawed as they kept Juve at bay for nearly an hour.
"I was satisfied with the first 60 minutes up to the Tevez goal. We were very disciplined in the first half and got them into the corners," said Malmo coach Age Hareide.
"Carlos Tevez was absolutely the difference between the two sides today but Juventus are full of quality players."
The visitors, the first Swedish team to reach the group stage for 14 years and playing their seventh match in the competition this season after coming through the qualifiers, had the first real chance of the game.
Markus Rosenberg crossed from the right and Magnus Eriksson's close range effort at the far post was stopped by Juve goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon's feet.
Juventus, missing playmaker Andrea Pirlo and Chilean midfielder Arturo Vidal, got plenty of players forward and produced some neat exchanges in the last 30 metres, with Paul Pogba showing flashes of his ability, but their attacks repeatedly broke down on the edge of the Malmo area.
Stephan Lichtsteiner was the chief culprit, as he twice got clear of the Malmo defence on the right but then squandered the chances with poor final passes
He failed to pick out Kwadwo Asamoah, who would have been left with an open goal, late in the first half and then saw his second effort cut out by Malmo defender Erik Johansson early in the second.
Tevez, overlooked by his country since 2011, finally ended Malmo's resistance in the 59th minute. He flicked the ball to Kwado Asamoah in the penalty area and then ran on to the Ghanaian's back-heeled pass to sidefoot the ball past Robin Olsen, and celebrated with his trademark jig.
He then made the points safe by curling a free kick into the far corner from the edge of the area in the 90th minute.
In between his goals, Olsen made a brilliant double stop to defy Fernando Llorente in the 84th minute, first parrying a header and then managing to scoop away the Spaniard's backheeled effort from the rebound.
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"In the first half, we were too organised," Juve's new coach Massimiliano Allegri, whose side have won their first two Serie A games, told reporters.
"In the second half, we were much better in the way we moved the ball around. We are doing moderately well but we have the quality to improve."