Juventus:Matri 20,Krasic 90
Juve at the double in Berlin(Juventus Official Website)
Strikes from Alessandro Matri and Milos Krasic either side of the interval were enough to hand Juventus victory from a tightly-fought encounter against German side Hertha Berlin.
Antonio Conte, still missing the eight Azzurri involved in this summer’s European Championships, will be pleased with the commitment shown by his players along with the promising displays of several youngsters.
The manager fielded a strong starting line-up for Juve’s fourth friendly fixture of the 2012/13 campaign. Lichtsteiner, Masi and Lucio formed the three-man rearguard, flanked by wing-backs Padoin and De Ceglie, while a central midfield three of Vidal, Marrone and Asamoah supported strikers Matri and Quagliarella.
Hertha looked the brighter of the two sides in the opening stages, and almost made their dominance count when Schulz’s teasing cross was turned goalwards by the head of Allagui. Storari, however, was equal to it, pulling off a fine save to tip the ball behind a corner.
Yet the visitors remained resilient and got their rewards courtesy of a rapid counter attack on 20 minutes. After receiving the ball on the right-hand side, Vidal broke forward and picked out Matri’s intelligent run with a pinpoint pass. The striker kept his composure to round the advancing goalkeeper before slotting home from a tight angle.
The opener sparked the German outfit into life, with Beichler testing Storari moments later with a dipping effort from just outside the area. And as the hosts continued to pile on the pressure, Ndjeng almost caught the Bianconeri rearguard unawares when his speculative cross-cum-shot clipped off the underside of the crossbar.
Having introduced Untersee in place of De Ceglie midway through the first half, Conte made further changes at the interval, with Lucio and Matri making way for Pazienza and Boakye.
Backed by a vocal support, the home side bombed forward in search of an equaliser. Ben-Hatira, on as a second half substitute, saw his drive palmed clear by Storari ten minutes following the restart. The Tunisian midfielder tried his luck a minute later, but had a weak header comfortably gathered by the Bianconeri custodian.
With Marrone performing well in a makeshift central defensive role, Juventus looked to build from the back, using the pace of Boakye and Krasic - on in place of Quagliarella - to unsettle the Hertha back four.
Joining the Serbian on the field at varying stages of the second half were Rugiani for Masi, Appelt for Asamoah and Bouy for Vidal.
Despite Ben Sahar’s header rattling the woodwork with ten minutes remaining, it was Juventus who had the final say in the dying seconds. A flowing passing move found Krasic in space on the edge of the area, and the Serbian put the result beyond doubt with a fierce right-footed strike that flashed past Sprint.
Swiss city Geneva provides the next stop of the Bianconeri’s three-game European-based friendly tour, where they will take on Portuguese outfit Benfica on Wednesday night.
HERTHA BERLIN 0-2 JUVENTUS
GOALS: Matri 20, Krasic 90
Burchert (Sprint 45); Ndjeng (Bastians 75), Hubnik (Neumann 89), Brooks (Mukhtar 89) , Schulz (Morales 75); Beichler (Ramos 45), Niemeyer (Lustenberger 45), Kluge (Ronny 45), Knoll (Ben-Sahar 45); Kachunga (Ben-Hatira 45), Allagui (Wagner 45)
Storari; Lichtsteiner, Masi (Rugani 69), Lucio (Pazienza 45), De Ceglie (Untersee 21); Padoin, Vidal (Bouy 81), Marrone, Asamoah (Appelt 75); Matri (Boakye 46), Quagliarella (Krasic 63)
Substitutes not used: Leali, Branescu
ASSISTANTS: Siebert, Seidel