Argentine striker Carlos Tevez scored on his Serie A debut for Juventus in a 1-0 win at UC Sampdoria as AC Milan stumbled on the opening day of the new campaign with a 2-1 away defeat to new boys Hellas Verona.
Tevez, who scored when the champions secured the Italian Supercoppa with a 4-0 rout of SS Lazio on Sunday last week, was partnered up front by Mirko Vucinic as Spaniard Fernando Llorente was left on the sidelines.
The former Manchester City striker made the most of his few chances when he tapped home a Paul Pogba ball just before the hour.
Juve manager Antonio Conte said: “The more Carlo plays, the more he will get used to our way of playing, along with the other new players.”
Sampdoria were the only team last season to beat Juventus both at home and away, making sure the defending champions’ 29th league crown came with a bitter aftertaste on the final day of the season.
However, Delio Rossi’s side ultimately failed to threaten in an encounter plagued by torrential rain at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris.
Montenegrin Vucinic came close for Juve inside three minutes and the visitors were almost given a 19th-minute lead when Kwadwo Asamoah’s header from Andrea Pirlo’s corner bounced and forced Angelo da Costa to tip the ball over the crossbar.
Tevez was gifted a chance in the 21st minute when a long midfield ball made its way through the Sampdoria defense, but Da Costa parried the Argentine’s effort.
After the break, Stephan Lichsteiner’s cross from deep on the right was too far forward for Vucinic.
Juve then won a free-kick when Tevez fell to the ground after a challenge from Eramo, but Pirlo’s effort went a meter over the crossbar.
Sampdoria pressed, but Giorgio Chiellini did well to head away a dangerous looking cross just before the hour.
Moments later Juve broke the deadlock as Tevez tapped into a virtually empty net from Pogba’s unselfish square ball after the Frenchman had been set up deep by Chilean Arturo Vidal.
Sampdoria finished the match with 10 men when substitute Paolo Castellini was shown a direct red card for a nasty foul on Lichsteiner.
It means that Verona, thanks to a brace from former Italy striker Luca Toni, are the leaders on the first day, 11 years after dropping out of Serie A, with Juventus in second ahead of the rest of the program yesterday.
Milan opened the scoring inside the opening quarter of an hour when midfielder Andrea Poli finished off a smart pass from Italy striker Mario Balotelli.
However, the visitors were pegged back by Toni on the half-hour and left stunned when the former ACF Fiorentina striker scored with his second header eight minutes after the restart.
“We had the totally wrong attitude tonight and we’re not going to make much progress if it continues,” Milan manager Massimiliano Allegri said.
He added that he is hoping Milan will improve ahead of the second leg of their Champions League playoff against PSV Eindhoven on Wednesday.