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Captain Chiellini clinches opening-day victory for champions Juventus

Champions Juventus opened the new Serie A campaign with a hard-earned 1-0 win at Parma courtesy of a first-half goal from captain Giorgio Chiellini.

New Juve manager Maurizio Sarri missed the match as he is recovering from pneumonia, meaning assistant Giovanni Martusciello took charge at the Ennio Tardini.

There were no new faces in the visitors’ starting XI, with former Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey not included in the squad as the Wales international builds up match fitness. Gonzalo Higuain, back from his loan spell at Chelsea, led the attack.

Juve made a bright start as Cristiano Ronaldo headed over, but goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny had to be alert as Parma looked to break on the counter through Roberto Inglese.

However, the Bianconeri took the lead in the 21st minute.

Parma goalkeeper Luigi Sepe failed to clear a corner with his punch, which saw the ball hooked back towards goal by Alex Sandro and defender Chiellini knocked it in from close range.

Inglese continued to look dangerous on the break, and his shot was deflected wide after he beat the offside trap.

Ronaldo’s drive hit the outside of the far post, before the Portuguese thought he had made it 2-0 in the 34th minute after good work from Douglas Costa.

However, following a VAR review, the goal was ruled out for a marginal offside call.

Parma looked to regroup for the second half, with Bruno Alves’ free-kick flying into the wall.

On the hour, Costa set up Ronaldo, but his shot went over.

Sepe then produced a fine save to deny the Portuguese forward before then getting down well at his near post when Ronaldo found space for an angled drive.

As Juve failed to find a second goal, Parma remained very much in the contest.

In stoppage time, Brazilian midfielder Hernani, on a season-long loan from Zenit St Petersburg, drilled a low free-kick just wide from 25 yards.