Tops in Europe, flops in Serie A

Juventus' forward from Spain Alvaro Morata celebrates after scoring during the UEFA Champions League football match Juventus vs FC Sevilla on September 30 at the Juventus stadium in Turin.
PHOTO: AFP

It was a night for matching a Champions League club record but Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri quickly demanded his embattled side overhaul their poor league form and get back to the business of winning in Serie A.

Juventus welcomed Europa League champions Sevilla to Turin yesterday morning (Singapore time) looking to prove that the poor domestic form that has seen them slump to 15th in Serie A is simply a blip.

By the end of a completely one-sided encounter that saw the hosts emerge 2-0 winners over the listless Spaniards, thanks to goals from Alvaro Morata (above) and Simone Zaza, Juve's fans breathed a sigh of relief as the Italian champions went top of the group, three points ahead of Sevilla and Manchester City.

Less than a month after their shock 2-1 win at City's Etihad Stadium, Juventus are already well on course to qualify for the knockout stages.

All Allegri wants now is to see Juve cut a copy of yesterday morning's performance and paste it to the remainder of their Serie A games this season following a miserable start that has left the champions 10 points adrift of leaders Fiorentina.

When asked to explain their contrasting form at home and in Europe, Allegri failed to provide an explanation, saying: "The big difference is we have six points from the Champions League and five from Serie A."

Juventus face struggling Bologna this weekend in what will be their seventh league outing and Allegri added: "Tonight's game is over. Now we have to start focusing our next game, against Bologna."

The fact promoted Bologna are also in the lower reaches of the table reflects the depths to which the confidence of Juventus, who have won the Scudetto the past four years, has sunk in recent weeks.

Yet in Europe, the Bianconeri seem transformed.

Juventus broke the deadlock on 41 minutes when Morata rose above the Sevilla defence to meet Juan Cuadrado's delivery from the right byeline and beat Rico down low at his far post.

It was Morata's second goal in the competition this season after his late winner in Manchester and means he has now scored at least once in his last five Champions League games - equalling a record held by retired Juventus legend Alessandro Del Piero.

Morata said: "I'm delighted to have scored but even happier about our performance and the result.

"We created a few great opportunities tonight but there's still work to be done." - AFP.


This article was first published on October 2, 2015.
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