Juve edge Fiorentina after Roma's easy win in Serie A league openers

Argentina ace Gonzalo Higuain netted the winner in his first game with Serie A champions Juventus Saturday as they edged Fiorentina 2-1 after Roma crushed Udinese 4-0 in a curtain-raiser.

The ex-Napoli striker, who set a league record of 36 goals last season, pounced after a saved effort from Sami Khedira to find the net nine minutes after coming on for Mario Mandzukic in the 66th.

“I was calm and had confidence. I knew I had to work hard and luckily I found the goal and we won,” Higuain said.

“When I play I always try to do my best and today I managed to score. I am happy here. I felt affection from the first moment and I hope to give it back.”

German midfielder Khedira had nodded home a cross from Giorgio Chiellini in the 37th minute after missing an early chance during the Bianconeri's opening pressure, but the Florence guests levelled with a Nikola Kalinic header off a corner kick in the 70th.

Paulo Dybala, a Higuain compatriot, missed twice as Kwadwo Asamoah and Alex Sandro also had no luck in a first half dominated by the Turin champions.

Ciprian Tatarusanu saved two late efforts from Juve midfielder Mario Lemina.

Earlier in Rome, two Diego Perotti spot kicks and goals from Edin Dzeko and Mohamed Salah sealed the Giallorossi win at the Stadio Olimpico.

The Argentinian came on for Stephan El Shaarawy 12 minutes into the second half and put the hosts ahead in the 65th minute after Danilo floored Dzeko.

Perotti again beat Orestis Karnezis 10 minutes later from the spot following Emmanuel Badu's foul on Salah.

Bosnia striker Dzeko then flicked in off Radja Nainggolan eight minutes from time and Egyptian Salah tapped in two minutes later after having a header saved.

Their defence came under heavier pressure after the break and saw Nainggolan miss from close range before Dzeko's volley was stopped by Karnezis on 53 minutes and substitute Gabriele Angella cleared a Peres drive on the goal line.

“We were a little tense and hasty,” Roma coach Luciano Spalletti said. “But in the second half we calmed down and did much better. It was a different game. We switched gears and handled the ball with more quality.”

“Everybody says that Juve are stronger than last season. We do not want to give up and must battle fiercely. We look forward to go challenge them. Our team is built to play tough games and this will be a stimulus for us.”

Eight more games complete the first round Sunday.

Last update: Sat, 20/08/2016 - 23:17


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