Juventus:Alessandro Matri 3,51
Matri double grabs win in Salerno(Juventus Official Website)
A two-goal salvo from Alessandro Matri was enough to see off the challenge of Spanish outfit Malaga in Salerno.
The 2-0 win means the Bianconeri have come through three testing friendly encounters unscathed, providing an invaluable confidence boost as they look to exact revenge over Napoli in next weekend’s Italian Super Cup final.
Just two changes were made from Wednesday’s starting line-up against Benfica: Storari replaced Buffon in goal, while Lucio stepped in for Bonucci. New signing Pogba was again named among the substitutes after his transfer was officially completed last night.
Having started brightly with several neat moves in midfield, Juventus made their ascendancy count when they took the lead with just three minutes played. Giovinco’s cross picked out Padoin at the far post, the midfielder slipped the ball square to Matri, and the striker did the rest by wriggling free of his marker to steer a shot past Caballero.
Stung by finding themselves a goal down in the opening stages, Malaga immediately raised their game and carved out three decent opportunities to restore parity. Maresca’s dipping effort drew a diving save from Storari on six minutes, Joaquin then blazed over when unmarked from 12 yards, and Rodriguez found the Bianconeri shot-stopper well positioned to block his stooping header at the far post.
Inspired by an energetic Giovinco, Juventus went back on the attack. The former Parma frontman stung Caballero’s fingertips with a swerving shot towards the far post in the 26th minute, before his well-struck free-kick was again blocked by the opposition goalkeeper three minutes later.
With the seconds ticking down towards half time, Matri had a golden opportunity to double the Bianconeri’s advantage. Asamoah broke free down the left flank but the striker was unable to divert his inviting cross goalwards.
Yet last season’s top goalscorer did not have to wait long to make amends, pouncing on Padoin’s low delivery across the face of goal to tuck home six minutes after the restart.
The two-goal cushion allowed Juve to express themselves with greater freedom, and Marchisio went close to extending their lead when he flashed a header wide of goal following good work from Giovinco.
Malaga threatened to get back into the game midway through the second half, only for Juanmi and Joaquin to find Storari an impenetrable force between the posts.
Massimo Carrera, who urged the Bianconeri on from the touchline as Conte watched from the stands, allowed playing time to all the substitutes in order to ensure peak fitness levels come the start of the campaign.
In truth, the result never looked in doubt as Juventus dealt comfortably with the Spaniards’ threat and celebrated the victory their efforts warranted. Next stop, Beijing.
JUVENTUS 2-0 MALAGA
GOAL: Matri 3, Matri 51
Storari (Leali 90); Lichtsteiner (Bonucci 77), Marrone (Rugani 90), Lucio (Masi 77); Padoin (Untersee 77), Vidal (De Ceglie 46, Ziegler 90), Pirlo (Pogba 77), Marchisio (Pazienza 90), Asamoah (Giaccheirni 77); Giovinco (Boakye 77), Matri (Quagliarella 77)
Manager: Conte. (Carrera)
Caballero; Jesus Gamez (Sanchez 59), Demichelis, Mathijsen (Weligton 46), Monreal (Eliseu 86); Joaquin (Buonanotte 79), Maresca (Camacho 59), Toulalan, Isco (Duda 86), Portillo; Fernandez (Juanmi 59)
Substitutes not used: Kameni
ASSISTANTS: De Pinto, Posato
FOURTH OFFICIAL: Guida