Alvaro Morata opened the scoring on the stroke of half-time and Simone Zaza hit his maiden Champions League goal at the death as Juventus dominated a listless Sevilla 2-0 to go top of group D on Wednesday.

Juventus, last season’s beaten finalists, welcomed Unai Emery’s Europa League champions to Turin looking to prove that the poor domestic form that has seen them slump to 15th in Serie A is simply a blip.

By the end of a completely one-sided encounter, it became apparent that Sevilla’s own domestic woes are likely to pose a much bigger threat for them this season.

After just 30 seconds Paul Pogba spurned a great chance for the hosts when he mis-hit Morata’s chip over a thankful Sergio Rico’s crossbar.

If fans thought it was a flash in the pan, they would be soon mistaken.

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Juventus settled quickly and were in complete command, annulling the threat of the listless Spaniards as they went about laying the foundations for Morata’s opener four minutes from the interval.

After Pogba’s early chance, Brazilian Hernanes came close with a 30-metre drive that went just wide of Rico’s upright.

Minutes later right-back Andrea Barzagli set Juan Cuadrado free with fans screaming at the Colombian to set up Morata, who was unmarked running through midfield.

Morata ultimately lost possession, but the ease with which Juve were creating space was worrying for the visitors. Moments later, after a great exchange of passes Paulo Dybala sent a superb left-footed curling effort just wide of Rico’s right-hand post.

Midfielder Sami Khedira, making his first appearance since hobbling off 25 minutes into a pre-match friendly with Marseille, was making a great impression on the 32,908 spectators given his two-month absence from competition.

The German was given rousing applause when he deftly chested down a long ball at the left byeline to set up Dybala, but the Argentinian wasted the opportunity in front of goal.

Sevilla went on a rare counter when skipper Jose Antonio Reyes stole possession from Morata to set up Kevin Gameiro, but it came to nothing.

Morata scored his second goal of this season’s Champions League

Juventus finally broke the deadlock on 41 minutes when Morata rose above the Sevilla defence to meet Cuadrado’s delivery from the right byeline and beat Rico down low at his far post. It was Morata’s second goal in the competition this season after his late winner at Manchester City.

Juve resumed where they had left off after the interval and created two quick chances immediately after the restart.

Giorgio Chiellini’s long ball from midfield found Dybala on the run but the diminutive striker’s deflected toe poke was blocked by Rico’s legs, while Pogba found space and time to fire a bicycle kick effort well over the crossbar from the edge of the area.

Cuadrado’s movement and pace was too much for French left-back Benoit Tremoulinas, and on 64 minutes the on-loan Chelsea forward skipped by two players to set up Patrice Evra deep on the left but the Frenchman’s low delivery for Dybala yards from goal was deflected out.

Emery made two quick substitutions, Ciro Immobile replacing Gameiro and Vicente Iborra coming on for Steven N’Zonzi, although the changes made little difference.

Sevilla spent the next 10 minutes ball-watching as Juventus passed around at will, until Cuadrado broke the monotony with a vicious drive from outside the area that Rico did well to block.

Juve coach Massimiliano Allegri replaced Morata with Zaza in the dying minutes and the Italy international seized his chance in style.

Dybala did well to hold off his markers to send the Italian on a long run that ended with his angled strike beating Rico down low on 87 minutes.

By AFP