Moise Kean bagged two goals while Blaise Matuidi scored one in Juventus’ thumping victory over Udinese.
Continuing their stronghold in Italy, Juventus drubbed Udinese 4-1 to go 19 points clear of second-placed Napoli. Keeping in mind the fixture against Atletico Madrid, Juventus had fielded a relatively second-string squad but that did not stop them from registering a thumping victory.
19-year-old Kean had put Juventus 2-0 up at half-time before Emre Can and Matuidi scored one each in the second half to further pile on Udinese’s misery. Le Zebrette pulled one back in the 84th minute through a clinical strike from Kevin Lasagna. However, the goal was only a mere consolation for the visitors.
Kean scores two!
In the absence of Cristiano Ronaldo and Mario Mandzukic, Moise Kean capitalised on the rare opportunity. 11 minutes into the game, the youngster made his presence felt with a poacher’s finish. Alex Sandro had sent a low cross into the box which the youngster sent past Musso to put Juve in front.
28 minutes later, Kean doubled their lead with a superb move. Udinese had given away the ball cheaply and Kean chased and then accelerated with it before toe-poking it into the bottom right corner. He had given Juventus a comfortable two-goal lead at half-time.
The youngster continued his exploits in the second half and earned Juventus a penalty which put the game to bed. He was brought down by Opoku inside the penalty box and Can converted from the spot to make it three. Matuidi, who had been working relentlessly, got on the scoresheet four minutes later with a fantastic header.
Juventus started the game in a 3-4-2-1 formation. Kean started up front with Matuidi and Bernardeschi playing behind. In midfield, Uruguayan international Bentancur functioned as a box-to-box midfielder for the hosts. He was joined by Emre Can in central midfield. Alex Sandro and Spinnazola played on the left and right side of the midfield.
In defence, Caceres and Rugani partnered Barzagli to form a three-man defence. However, Barzagli was injured and was replaced by Chiellini in the 25th minute of the match. Meanwhile, Nicola deployed the visitors in a 3-5-2 formation which, while Juventus attacked, transformed into a five-man defence.
Juventus used flanks to initiate their attacks. Can and Spinnazola spearheaded the initiatives down the right flank, while Sandro and Matuidi bombarded down the left. It was on the left side of the pitch where the Old Lady looked more capable of punishing. Sandro’s pace and Matuidi’s movements kept on creating confusion and problem for Udinese defence.
In the second half, Allegri’s side changed their position to something of a 3-5-2. Matuidi dropped a little deeper to support the midfield. This further ensured Juve’s domination in the middle and restricted Udinese’s moves. Allegri replaced the Frenchman in the 72nd minute but by then the game had already been decided.
What do the statistics say?
The home side dominated and controlled, for the most part, the visitors chased for the ball. The Vecchia Signora made 17 shots, six of those on target while the visitors could only make six shots, only two of those on target. Juventus handled 61% of the possession and was truly in the driver’s seat.
Amid all the praise for Kean and Matuidi, let’s not forget about Bentancur, who displayed great composure. The Uruguayan dropped deeper and moved forward whenever required. He made 94 passes with 84% accuracy. The 21-year-old youngster also played three key passes, 11 accurate long balls and delivered three crosses. He made four dribbles, a tackle and three interceptions.
Meanwhile, his partner in central midfield Emre Can also had a decent game. The German midfielder made 48 passes with 75% accuracy, played a key pass and three accurate long balls. Defensively, Can made five tackles and an interception.
Ahead of the Champions League fixture against La Liga‘s Atletico Madrid, this was a much-needed win. Juventus have a herculean task in the second half to turn around a two-goal deficit. Allegri rested players like Cristiano Ronaldo to avoid any last-minute injuries before the CL tie.
However, right from the start, Juventus dominated the game. They played an entertaining brand of football and truly deserved this victory. They made too many crosses into the box and were always willing to attack the visitors. Nevertheless. their real task is against Atletico Madrid. Juve will have to pull off a similar display against the Spanish side at the same stadium.
In the first-leg match, Juve had 64% of the possession but couldn’t convert those to goalscoring opportunities. They only had two shots on target. Meanwhile, against Udinese, Juve had 61% possession and made six shots on target. Something similar is what the defending Serie A champions have to do.
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