Juventus kickstarted the defence of their Serie A crown with a 1-0 win over Parma at the Stadio Ennio Tardini.
We look at what we can take away from the opening night of Italian action.
Why must we wait?
Juventus added some exciting fresh faces to the club this summer – and Gianluigi Buffon too.
While Aaron Ramsey’s exclusion was understandable given his injury issues, we’re a little more baffled by Matthijs de Ligt, Adrien Rabiot and Danilo being left out.
Okey but why is allegri still coaching my team pic.twitter.com/8lCeEhCdGd
— Dalel 👑 (@Juve_ntina) August 24, 2019
This was the perfect chance to get the Dutchman in early and get game time under his belt in a winnable game.
You have spent an exorbitant sum on one of the best young players in world football – so why is he sitting on the bench?
Eyebrows could also justifiably be raised at handing Gonzalo Higuaín a start over Paulo Dybala, who was an unused sub.
Paulo Dybala plays 0 minutes against Parma. ZERO
Paratici: “It’s a situation not related the the transfer market.”
— Forza Juventus (@ForzaJuve2017) August 24, 2019
On the ill and absent Maurizio Sarri’s orders, it seemed to be a case of staying true to last season’s status quo.
Even if that meant Sami Khedira playing, but we’ll get to that …
Don’t play it again, Sam
Miralem Pjanić. Adrien Rabiot. Aaron Ramsey. Rodrigo Bentancur. Blaise Matuidi. Emre Can.
Juve have an embarrassment of riches at their disposal in the midfield positions.
So can anyone offer up a good explanation as to why Sami Khedira was handed a start in the season’s curtain-raiser?
I prefer Buffon as a midfielder rather than Khedira
— Juventus’ War (@JuventusWAR) August 24, 2019
He has been a fine player in years gone by and a good servant to Juve but it was no surprise to see him hooked just after the hour mark after an insipid outing.
But his time is long up at this point and he is undoubtedly weaker than all six of the players previously listed in his position.
Let’s hope for the Old Lady’s sake that it was a last doff of the cap to a veteran and not a sign that he will be relied upon.
Sarriball will take time
He wasn’t in the dugout due to illness so perhaps we can’t be too surprised.
But there were no real hallmarks of a Maurizio Sarri side on show here that we associate with his system.
FT 0-1. #Juventus started very brightly but the lack of pace in midfield hurt in second half. Also important to note the absence of a Coach on the touchline caused problems, nobody to make adjustments or push the players forward. Sarri definitely missed. #ParmaJuve
— Adam Digby (@Adz77) August 24, 2019
His 4-3-3 system was on show but so were the same old faces of Massimiliano Allegri’s side.
Players who will suit that philosophy he is famous for were left out bizarrely or introduced from the bench.
Matuidi and Khedira playing Sarri Ball pic.twitter.com/I15GkzUVVl
— Uncle Sharma (@RSharmzz) August 24, 2019
It will certainly take time and a starting XI that looks a lot different from this one to perfect his slick style.
There were too many players in Parma who are unsuited to what Sarri will want from his team going forward.