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September 21, 2017

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Juventus coach Allegri starts with win at Chievo

MILAN, Italy -- New Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri kicked off his time in charge with a victory as his team won 1-0 at Chievo Veron a in the Serie A opener on Saturday.

Roma, last year's runner-up, won 2-0 at home to Fiorentina, with Radja Nainggolan and Gervinho scoring.

Juventus showed that little has changed from the spirit which drove it to three consecutive league titles as Martin Caceres helped open the scoring in the sixth minute.

Caceres headed Carlos Tevez's corner toward goal, although it eventually went in off the back of Cristiano Biraghi.

Juventus had several chances to extend its advantage and hit the woodwork three times in the first half.

"There are good signs, I'm happy enough," Allegri said. "But there is a lot to improve. I was more worried than angry at the end. We should have closed the match and instead we risked them equalizing."

Allegri was hired by Juventus last month, replacing Antonio Conte, who resigned — and later became Italy coach.

For his first competitive match in charge Allegri was without the injured Andrea Pirlo, Alvaro Morata and Andrea Barzagli while Giorgio Chiellini was suspended.

Fernando Llorente and Sebastian Giovinco had been suffering from flu and were only fit for the bench, which meant that Kingsley Coman started and the 18-year-old impressed on his debut.

Juventus began brightly and Tevez, who had been left far too much space inside the penalty area, drilled narrowly wide of the left post inside the opening minute.

After taking an early lead it had several chances to double its advantage but Claudio Marchisio lifted Paul Pogba's deft pass over the bar.

Vidal, who had been the subject of intense transfer speculation in the offseason, had an effort cleared off the line before then heading the resulting corner off the right post.

"It was important for us to win today, we have a long season ahead and need to be ready to battle every weekend," Allegri said. "Now we have the international break to hopefully get at least one of so many absentees back."

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