Juventus crushes Pescara 6-1 in Serie A
MILAN (AP) -Juventus moved on from its first Serie A loss in two seasons in the best way possible as it crushed Pescara 6-1 with a Fabio Quagliarella hat trick on Saturday.
Arturo Vidal and Quagliarella put Juventus in front before Emmanuel Cascione pulled one back for Pescara shortly after Juan Quintero hit the post.
However, a sensational overhead kick from Kwadwo Asamoah and goals from Sebastian Giovinco and Quagliarella gave Juventus a healthy halftime lead.
Quagliarella completed his hat trick eight minutes into the second half with an overhead kick to give Pescara goalkeeper Mattia Perin a 20th birthday to forget.
It was Pescara's worst home defeat in the top flight.
Serie A leader Juventus was four points clear of Inter Milan, which plays Atalanta on Sunday.
Earlier, Cagliari was held to a goalless draw at home by Catania.
After falling 3-1 to Inter Milan at the weekend to end its 49-match unbeaten run, Juventus beat Danish side Nordsjaelland 4-0 in the Champions League on Wednesday.
Teenage striker Paul Pogba, who has been in great form of late, was dropped for the visit to Pescara as punishment for turning up late to training twice.
The last time Pescara met Juventus it won 5-1, in 1993. However, it knew a similar result would be near impossible.
Juventus signalled its intent in the opening seconds with a fierce shot from Giovinco from the edge of the area which Perin did well to keep out.
The visitors took the lead in the ninth minute when Giovinco swiveled on the edge of the area and slotted the ball through for Vidal to smash into the far left corner.
Quagliarella almost doubled Juve's lead seconds later with an effort which flew narrowly wide. He did score in the 22nd after he gathered Mauricio Isla's pass and carved out some space before unleashing an angled effort across into the bottom left corner.
Pescara hit the post moments later through a ferocious free kick from Quintero, who fainted in training during the week.
The home side grabbed one back in the 25th. Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon got a hand to Cascione's diving header but could only touch it onto his right post and in.
Juventus restored its two-goal advantage with a stunning goal. Under pressure from two Pescara players, Quagliarella managed to get the ball to Asamoah with a backheel flick and the Ghana midfielder acrobatically turned it in with an overhead kick.
Quagliarella was again the provider when he set up Giovinco to volley in a fourth.
Pescara thought it got a second three minutes from halftime but Claudio Marchisio hooked Cascione's header off the line.
Quagliarella extended Juve's lead on the stroke of halftime. It is the first time Juve has scored five goals in the first half of a Serie A match since 1947.
Quagliarella completed his first top-flight hat trick eight minutes into the second half with another spectacular overhead strike from Andrea Pirlo's free kick.
Pescara coach Giovanni Stroppa was sent to the stands for dissent in the 73rd minute after calling for a penalty for Simone Padoin's challenge on Vladimir Weiss.
The earlier kickoff had no such thrills, with the only excitement coming from fears ahead of kickoff that Cagliari could risk forfeiting the match through again flouting a stadium ban.
The club had announced on Friday that Is Arenas would be completely open but an emergency meeting in the afternoon saw local authorities rule that the main stand would remain closed.
Hundreds of fans turned up with tickets for the stand amid rumors it would be open after all, leading to fears of another enforced defeat following the debacle of the Roma match.
However, the stand remained closed to all but media and VIPs and the match went ahead without incident.
Cagliari had the best of the few opportunities, with Marco Sau twice denied by Catania goalkeeper Mariano Andujar at the end of the first half.
Sau had another chance immediately after the break. Radja Nainggolan pounced on a poor clearance and his shot was deflected straight to Sau but he completely mishit his effort from eight yards and the danger was cleared.