Juventus looked very comfortable as they easily disposed of Sassuolo to start their annual Scudetto campaign, with goals from new signing Angel Di Maria on debut and a brace from striker Dusan Vlahovic making short work of the visitors.
Sassuolo threatened at different spells of the game, but things seemed to turn after the first cooling break when coach Massimiliano Allegri changed formations from 4-4-2 to a 4-3-3.
“I changed to give order and tranquillity and to defend better. That’s where the right match began. Either I did badly at the beginning or well afterwards. We started strong, then lost the ball two or three times playing out from the back and you could see we were fragile at that moment.
“We couldn’t get hold of the game. I put Di Maria wide and Juan Cuadrado on the other flank, that’s all. After the break we threw the ball away too many times, we needed to finish the moves better.
“I am honestly amazed by how well Bremer has settled in. He is very calm, I only had to tell him off once in the second half when he tracked Domenico Berardi to midfield, in those situations, you need to let it go.”
Often last season Juve were unable to sustain defensive efforts while leading, but had no real issues keeping a clean sheet this time, with Mattia Perin making a number of saves from long distance while Wojciech Szczesny remains out.
“We did well defensively in the second half, we were ordered and then we scored the third goal.
“We could have done better with some counterattacks, but it was a good game overall. We only played for 90 minutes and we need to work well and a lot. I am happy with the performance, the lads did well and it was not easy.
“I am happy for Mattia, he deserves it. He is an excellent goalkeeper and a great guy, very important in the dressing room.”
Di Maria has had a wonderful start to his time at Juve, so there were some furrowed eyebrows as he left the game with what appeared to be an injury after the hour mark, while Denis Zakaria also went down with what looked like a hamstring ailment.
“I am not worried. We’ll see what the tests say tomorrow. Unfortunately, these things happen in football. He had this adductor issue a week ago too, perhaps I should’ve taken him off when we were 3-0 up, but he was enjoying himself out there.
“Zakaria just had a cramp, nothing more. The important thing is that we won a game that we really wanted to win, which was by no means simple.”
Was it a relief to see Vlahovic get on the scoresheet after coming up dry during the pre-season?
“He is happy when he scores goals, but as always he needs to improve his choices. I am happy for him, he needed those goals.”
PSG midfielder Leandro Paredes is reportedly very close to a move to Turin and was watching the game and supporting his former teammate Di Maria.
“They are friends, both from Argentina, so that’s natural. I don’t know if they can play together, I have to work with the players at my disposal. The club has done well, we lost important players and brought in good replacements.”