MIAMI: Claudio Marchisio’s second-half double was enough for Juventus to see off Paris Saint-Germain 3-2 on Wednesday (Thursday in Manila) and send the French champions home from the United States on the back of two consecutive defeats.
The Italian international scored the goal of the game, a fiercely struck effort in the 62nd to restore Juve’s lead after PSG’s equalizer on 53 minutes.
Although Unai Emery’s team battled hard, as the clock ticked down Moise Kean was brought down in the box allowing Marchisio to win it from the penalty spot.
It was a tough call on PSG defender Layvin Kurzawa, who appeared to become entangled with Kean, but Juventus were not complaining about a decision which capped a decent night’s work for the Italian giants.
Any of the 44,444 who came to the Hard Rock Stadium would have been acutely aware that Miami is preparing itself for the arrivals of European titans Barcelona and Real Madrid on Saturday in what’s being billed as the glittering showpiece of this summer’s International Champions Cup friendly tournament.
Yet while La Liga’s finest wait in the wings, this was a chance for two other stellar clubs to whet the appetite of the voraciously soccer mad inhabitants of South Florida.
It was PSG’s last match in the United States before leaving to meet Monaco in Morocco on Saturday, prior to returning home to fine tune preparations for the start of the domestic season.
Emery’s side has endured a difficult time Stateside, both on and off the pitch. The results – a penalty win over Roma following a 1-1 draw before being roundly beaten by Tottenham Hotspur in Orlando last Saturday —have been compounded by a very public —and so far unresolved—attempt to prise the Brazilian forward Neymar from Barcelona.
Emery, who admitted PSG are still working on transfer targets but refused to be drawn on specific names, said: “We are looking at how the players are performing rather than the results and I have been pleased.”
Nevertheless, the PSG manager’s mood wouldn’t have been lifted by a chastening first 45 minutes.
Their tormentor in chief was the excellent Argentina international midfielder Paulo Dybala, 23, who went close to opening the scoring on 28 minutes when his free-kick was tipped over by Areola just three minutes after compatriot Angel Di Maria forced Italian veteran Gianluigi Buffon into an excellent save.
Juan Cuadrado, the Colombian former Chelsea winger, was also in the mood to shine and went close soon after but it was left to Dybala and another Argentinian to open the scoring.
Marchisio has final say
Gonzalo Higuain , who scored 24 goals in his first season in Turin following his record breaking 90 million euros move from Napoli last summer, sent the ball inside to Dybala who instantly returned it straight into the path of the 29 year-old — who advanced on goal before calmly beating Alphonse Areola in the 45th minute.
It was a brilliant finish matched only by Marchisio’s 62nd minute piledriver which restored the Old Lady’s lead after Gonçalo Guedes had tapped home a Di Maria cross to bring the scores level on 53 minutes.
Some sloppy play from PSG substitute Layvin Kurzawa saw the lively Kean win possession and his center was powerfully driven past Areola by the Italian international midfielder.
Buffon’s replacement Carlo Pinsoglio enjoyed an impressive second-half run out and his brilliant stop to deny Jese on 74 minutes would have drawn approval from Juve’s legendary captain.
He could do little with Javier Pastore’s close range header on 80 minutes, but Marchisio would have the final say in the 89th.
Juventus finish off their US tour against Serie A rivals Roma in Boston on Sunday.