Juventus light up new stadium in style

ROME - Antonio Conte's revamped Juventus outclassed Parma 4-1 in the first Serie A match in their new stadium but the coaches of Inter Milan and AS Roma suffered painful defeats on their league bows on Sunday.

New Inter Milan boss Gian Piero Gasperini watched his side lose 4-3 at Palermo where he started Wesley Sneijder on the bench and saw his new three-man defence badly struggle.

Diego Milito twice gave the visitors the lead, flicking in Dejan Stankovic's errant shot and scoring a penalty but Palermo strike duo Fabrizio Miccoli and Abel Hernandez hit back.

Miccoli's superb late free-kick and Mauricio Pinilla's outrageous strike sealed the win for the Sicilians before an otherwise anonymous Diego Forlan marked his Inter debut with a stoppage-time goal for last term's runners-up.

Swiss right-back Stephan Lichtsteiner got the party started at Juve's 41,000-seat arena, which still does not have an official name after a failure to find a sponsor, when he converted fellow new signing Andrea Pirlo's great dinked pass.

Three excellent goals followed in the second half with Simone Pepe blasting home, new midfielder Arturo Vidal scoring spectacularly and ex-AC Milan playmaker Pirlo capping a wonderful debut by expertly setting up Claudio Marchisio.

Once mighty Juve have finished a lowly seventh in the last two seasons as they struggled to recover from their 2006 match-fixing demotion but the new stadium, signings and coach have revived supporter hopes that their glory days could return.

"I need to thank all our fans, they kept us going for the whole game and gave the lads a real push. It's been the start that we were waiting for," new boss Conte, who won the 1996 European Cup with Juve as a midfielder, told reporters.

Sunday's performance bodes well with Parma's Sebastian Giovinco, co-owned by the hosts, only scoring from the spot late on after Juve's Paolo De Ceglie was dismissed for a professional foul.

The only other downside for Juve was a bare-looking pitch in the packed new arena, built on the site of their former Stadio Delle Alpi home and the first ground to be owned by an Italian club.

Serie A's first round of matches last weekend was postponed because of a player strike over contracts but the season got underway on Friday when champions AC Milan drew 2-2 at home to Lazio. Napoli won 3-1 at Cesena on Saturday.

UDINESE WIN

Roma, sixth last term, have spent millions on new players since being taken over by American investors but a 2-1 home defeat by Cagliari was a bad start for new coach Luis Enrique.

"How much time do I need? I don't know but I am staying 100 percent optimistic because i have a very good squad and I'm sure things will change," the Spaniard said.

Daniele Conti, son of ex-Roma stalwart Bruno, grabbed the opener midway through the second half after a mistake by new defender Jose Angel, who was soon sent off for a rash tackle.

Moestafa El Kabir added the Sardinians' second in injury time before Daniele De Rossi's consolation.

Luis Enrique started veteran forward Francesco Totti despite tensions between the pair in close-season but neither he nor new signing Bojan Krkic could especially threaten.

Udinese got over their disappointment in missing out on the Champions League group stages with a 2-0 win at Lecce while Fiorentina beat local rivals Bologna 2-0 in Florence.

Among the promoted clubs, Atalanta reduced their six-point deduction for player match-fixing last season by a point after a 2-2 draw at Genoa and Novara drew 2-2 at Chievo.

Siena were held to a goalless draw at Catania.


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