(CNN)There was no coach and no Cristiano Ronaldo goal but the Juventus juggernaut shows no signs of slowing.
The eight-time defending champions opened the new Serie A season with a 1-0 win over Parma while new coach Maurizio Sarri continued his recovery from pneumonia.
Ronaldo -- starting his 18th professional soccer season -- buried the ball into the back of the net but it was ruled out by VAR (virtual assistant referee).
Bianconeri captain Giorgio Chiellini scored the only goal when he poked the deflected ball home and, afterwards, he paid tribute to Sarri.
"He can be proud because the team have shown that we are united and that we can train with dedication and application," Chiellini said on the club's website.
"We paid more for the fact that he is missing during the week."
Sarri missed the final phase of pre-season training after persistent flu was diagnosed as pneumonia. The 60-year-old Italian was not on the bench for the Parma match and will also miss next Saturday's big home match against Napoli.
Juventus said that Sari was, however, showing "good clinical improvement."
In June, Sarri confessed to smoking 60 cigarettes a day. "I don't particularly feel the need to smoke during games," he told Football Italia. "But straight afterwards it really is necessary."
Sarri returned to Italy after a single season in England where he steered Chelsea to third in the Premier League and lifted the Europa League after beating Arsenal 4-1 in Baku. He replaced Massimiliano Allegri, who steered Juventus to five Serie A titles, ahead of the new season.
Inter Milan and AC Milan have also changed managers since the end of last season with the hopes that they can end Juve's dominance of Italian football.
Antonio Conte returns to his domestic league with Inter while AC Milan turn to Marco Giampaolo, its sixth manager since 2014.