(Reuters) – Striker Alvaro Morata urged Juventus to carry their continental form back to Serie A after he equalled club great Alessandro Del Piero’s record of scoring five goals in five consecutive Champions League matches on Wednesday.
Juve saw off Sevilla 2-0 to take control of Group D with a maximum six points, having registered back-to-back victories in their opening fixtures.
Morata opened the scoring on 41 minutes when he leapt above Marco Andreolli and Timothee Kolodziejczak to head a superb cross from stand-in right-back Andrea Barzagli past the helpless Sergio Rico.
In finding the net Morata, who scored the winner against Manchester City in Juventus’ Champions League opener, equalled Del Piero’s record, which was set in the 1995-96 season.
“We are happy but now I have to work hard to score in Serie A,” Morata told the Gazzetta dello Sport.
Juventus’ fine form in the Champions League comes in contrast to their struggles in the Italian top flight, where they have managed only one victory in their opening six fixtures.
However, there were indications against Sevilla that new signings such as Paulo Dybala and Simone Zaza are beginning to find their feet in Massimiliano Allegri’s new-look side.
“It was very important for the team to win, to send a good signal,” said Zaza, who scored Juventus’ second goal after coming on as a substitute.
Morata, who along with strike partner Dybala had a series of chances to add to Juventus’ tally, added: “We are happy for the victory in a difficult time for the team.
“My understanding with (Paulo) Dybala? It has to improve, it’s normal. We haven’t played together for long, but we have a great friendship.
“We are friends, we go out to dinner together with our families and this is evident on the field. We have to keep working to do better in the league.
“The important thing is winning.”
Beyond Zaza and Dybala, new addition Sami Khedira was an influential presence in the heart of the midfield after making his first competitive appearance for Juventus since moving from Real Madrid during the recent transfer window.
The 28-year-old offered composure and the kind of stability that has been lacking in the team’s disappointing performances in Serie A so far this season.
Juan Cuadrado, who moved to Turin on loan from Chelsea, was an electric presence on the right flank, and combined superbly with Khedira on 17 minutes to set up Dybala, only for the Argentine forward to send a curling shot just wide of the Sevilla goal.
(Reporting by Ed Dove, editing by Pritha Sarkar)