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 by crushing 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's the first hat-trick of my career, so I will treasure the match ball," Quagliarella said. "I dedicate the goals to my mother, who is in hospital after undergoing surgery.

"What was important was to win. We showed that it is possible to have a setback against a great team like Inter, but we're still here. That defeat was just a stumble and we're back even stronger, with the hunger we need."

It was Pescara's worst home defeat in the top flight.

Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, who is Perin's idol, spent several minutes hugging and talking to his young Pescara counterpart at the end of the match.

"Buffon told me not to give up and to go forward looking to always do well," Perin said. "We knew it would be a difficult game but we didn't think we'd lose like this.

"We are all with the coach, we have to all pull in the same direction to reach safety. I hoped to celebrate my birthday better but at least the embrace and the advice from Buffon was a nice present. When you concede goals, it doesn't help anything to get angry with your teammates, we have to all fight together and remain united."

Serie A leader Juventus moved 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.

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 scored 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.

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 stunner. 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 for Giovinco to volley in a fourth.

Quagliarella extended Juve's lead on the stroke of halftime, the first time Juve has scored five goals in the first half of a Serie A match since 1947.

He 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 after calling for a penalty for Simone Padoin's challenge on Vladimir Weiss.

The earlier match 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.

Copyright 2016 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

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