Cristiano Ronaldo was among the scorers on the night as Andrea Pirlo got his coaching career off to a winning start as Juventus beat Sampdoria 3-0 in Serie A on Sunday.
Dejan Kulusevski scored early on his debut and second half goals from Leonardo Bonucci and the Portugese superstar sealed the result on a day which saw fans return to Serie A stadiums.
— Andrea Pirlo (@Pirlo_official) September 20, 2020
It was a positive day for debutants as Weston McKennie – the first American to play for Juventus – had a hand in Bonucci’s goal and also sparked a move which led to Ronaldo hitting the crossbar.
Juventus are bidding for a record-extending 10th straight Serie A title but have an unproven coach in Pirlo.
— Cristiano Ronaldo (@Cristiano) September 20, 2020
The former midfield great was handed his first coaching job last month when he was put in charge of Juventus’ under-23 team, who play in Serie C. But he had not led a game before he was promoted to replace the fired Maurizio Sarri.
Juventus played from the start with an intensity which had been lacking for much of last season and took the lead in the 13th minute.
Ronaldo burst into the box and was stopped by a tackle but the ball fell to Kulusevski and the former Parma midfielder curled it into the bottom left corner.
McKennie almost doubled Juve’s lead shortly before the break but he fired narrowly over.
It took Juventus until 12 minutes from time to get their second goal. Sampdoria goalkeeper Emil Audero did well to keep out McKennie’s effort from close range but Bonucci tucked away the rebound.
Ronaldo, who scored 31 league goals last season, managed to get off the mark for this campaign in the final minutes of the match as he ran onto Aaron Ramsey’s throughball and placed a precise drive into the bottom left corner.