Weston McKennie starts in Juventus debut as Italian giants roll in Serie A opener


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Juventus opened up their 2020-21 Serie A season in style with a convincing 3-0 win over Sampdoria on Sunday. American Weston McKennie made his debut and was impressive after being installed in the Juve starting lineup. The former Schalke man joined Juve on loan before the season and got the start in the middle from new coach Andrea Pirlo. 

McKennie, 22, played all 90 minutes, looked sharp and comfortable while nearly scoring twice. After an opening goal by Dejan Kulusevski, Juve made it 2-0 in the 78th minute after McKennie’s shot from close was saved, falling right to Leonardo Bonucci. 

Then it was Cristiano Ronaldo, as usual, who killed off the game with a typical low, powerful finish after a great run.

Juve put eight of their 20 shots on frame — Sampdoria only had one shot on goal all game long — and it was a great start to the Pirlo era for Juventus. McKennie’s start came as a bit of a surprise, but his performance will certainly earn him more minutes moving forward as the club looks for glory domestically and internationally. Pirlo spoke to Sky Italia after the match and praised McKennie.

“McKennie is better than others physically because he came from Germany [having been training],” Pirlo said. “Today he did well. He could have done better, because he did something wrong in the building phase. But it was the first game, we can forgive him.”





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