May 18, 2021

LIVE: Udinese vs Juventus

46′ Udinese get the match restarted from the kick-off!

There’s no other option for Juventus except for attack, as the possibility of staying fifth with four matches to go becomes ever-more real. Despite an injury to Federico Chiesa, Pirlo is loaded with attacking talent on the bench, as Ramsey, Morata and Kulusevski are all waiting and available. If Juventus manage one, it could be case of the opening of the floodgates, with Udinese showing little intent to attack after scoring in the first. For the hosts, the experienced Samir could be an option to bolster the defence, with ex-Juventino Llorente a replacement at striker. 

A lacklustre half for the visitors sees Juventus down 1-0 at the interval, thanks to Molina’s unlikely goal after just 10 minutes. Against the run of play, Juventus haven’t done anything to correct the earlier mistake, looking very one-dimensional in attack. Bonifazi and the Udinese defence have been rock solid so far, with Ronaldo doing every little save for providing an aerial threat during set-pieces. Gotti will be thrilled with how his side have played in the first 45, as their organisation has seen them weather every storm.

45′ HALF-TIME: UDINESE 1-0 JUVENTUS. 

T. Arslan

Yellow Card

Udinese

44′ Arslan is shown the first booking of the match for a lunging tackle on Cuadrado to end a Juventus counter-attack. 

42′ Pereyra slides in front of Danilo during a fight for the loose ball and wins a free-kick after a period of sustained Juve pressure. With under five minutes left in the half, Gotti will be hoping his side can see out the remainder of the clock. 

40′ Juventus have earned only 25 away points so far in Serie A this season (W6 D7 L3), fewer than any other team currently in the top six in the standings.

38′ Dybala’s delivery is a dangerous one, looking for Ronaldo on the six-yard box. Again Scuffet shows no fear coming off his line to punch the ball away in front of the Portugal international, but his pummeled clearance falls to the foot of De Ligt inside the penalty area. The goalkeeper manages to scramble back but the ball ends up over the crossbar anyways.

37′ Bernardeschi looks to cut inside to facilitate the attack, but Walace doesn’t let him – sticking out a leg and tripping up the winger. It’s a free-kick for Juve just over 25 yards out.

36′ The Friulani seem comfortable just knocking it about in Juve’s half, slowing down the pace and looking for contact wherever possible. The early goal has certainly conditioned their lack of urgency, though it’ll be hard to switch gears should the Bianconeri find the leveler.

34′ Dybala finds a little bit of space to turn just outside the penalty area after a slick Bentancur pass, but Bonifazi’s deflection allows Scuffet to stick an arm out to parry the shot, before catching his own rebound.

33′ Juventus will have to do much more to trouble their opponents if they wish to get something before the half. Whenever the visitors have turned up the intensity and quickened their passing, they’ve looked penetrative. The problem is their inability to sustain it, allowing Udinese to always sit back in their preferred shape.

31′ Alex Sandro lunges into a tackle on Okaka, catching the striker squarely on the heel. The Udinese players are all calling for a card, but the referee remains unmoved as he gives the hosts a free-kick and nothing more.

29′ Ronaldo looks to track down an aerial ball, but in doing so he pushes over Bonifazi, who had taken up a good position to defend the attack. Another unnecessary foul gives Udinese a chance to clear their lines.

27′ SO CLOSE TO THE EQUALISER! Cuadrado takes over corner duties and puts his deliver to the six-yard box, where it misses the jumping Ronaldo, only for McKennie to connect with a diving header at the far post. It’s the first real sight at goal for Juventus this match, but the United States international puts it wide! 

25′ Dybala’s corner from the left is taken to the near post for Alex Sandro, whose flick-on helps Udinese’s defence clear the danger from the set-piece. Juventus regain possession, but they’ll have to start from inside their own half.

23′ Juventus are really struggling to make an impact on the match, with the occasional cross from the right about all the attack can muster. Cuadrado’s deliveries as of yet haven’t been able to find a team-mate, with Bonifazi marshaling an alert and comfortable defence.

21′ Juventus have won six of their last seven Serie A games against Udinese – the only exception being the most recent game at the Dacia Arena, a 2-1 win for the Friulians last July.

19′ Alex Sandro interchanges with Dybala and continues his run forward, before getting crowded off the ball by a combination of Walace and Becao. Rather cynically, Bernardeschi takes the legs out from underneath the Udinese goalscorer, giving the hosts another free-kick to clear their lines

17′ Juventus are furious with the referee, who ends Juve’s attack and awards Udinese a free-kick on the edge of their own area, after Cuadrado’s seemingly innocuous kick connected with the leg of Molina.

15′ Cuadrado’s delivery is a spectacular one, but Scuffet steps off his line and braves the danger, getting a punch to the ball before colliding with De Ligt. It’s strong goalkeeping from Udinese’s backup, in action today because of a red card to Musso.

14′ Cuadrado’s clever turn puts Arslan into an awkward defensive position – forcing the Udinese midfielder to commit a foul. Juventus have a free-kick on the right in a good position for a cross.

12′ It’s certainly not gone to plan for Pirlo, who will have to galvanize his side after a stunning early goal from the hosts. They’ve got well over an hour to correct their early misstep, but having an advantage will certainly boost the confidence of Luca Gotti’s men.

R. De Paul

Assist

Udinese

10′ De Paul’s cleverly taken set-piece caught Juventus completely off-guard, allowing his team-mate through on goal. It’s the assist for Udinese’s opener! 

N. Molina

Goal

Udinese

10′ MOLINA GIVES UDINESE THE LEAD! JUVENTUS CAUGHT NAPPING! De Paul takes a free-kick outside the penalty area short to Molina before the Juventus defence could set themselves to defend the set-piece. Without anyone set, Molina steals into the area and blasts a shot high into the roof of the net! 1-0 to the hosts!

9′ Dybala and Cuadrado work a corner short, but the eventual cross worked from a different angle fails to find a team-mate, as Bentancur’s cross meets the head of Walace.

7′ Pereyra tees up Stryer Larsen from just outside the penalty area after a charging run down the left, but the eventual effort hit with the laces, sails wide of the post.

5′ Molina fires a weak cross into the penalty area after some positive work from Pereyra, but it’s a disappointing delivery that’s cleared quickly by the outstretched leg of Bentancur.

3′ Draws earlier for Napoli and Atalanta have left the door ajar for Juventus to jump into a three-way tie for second with the aforementioned Atalanta and Milan – but only if they can manage three points at a rainy and wind-swept Dacia Arena.

1′ Juventus get the match underway from the kick-off! 

A change in formation sees three alterations from the Juventus XI that drew 1-1 with Fiorentina. A back four sees Chiellini dropped for Danilo, who slides over to right-back, while McKennie and Bernardeschi are in for Rabiot and Ramsey respectively in midfield.

Udinese make just one change from their 4-2 win over Benevento last time out, with Scuffet replacing the suspended Juan Musso between the posts. 

JUVENTUS SUBS: Alvaro Morata, Giorgio Chiellini, Gianluigi Buffon, Arthur, Dejan Kulusevski, Adrien Rabiot, Radu Dragusin. Aaron Ramsey, Giacomo Vrioni, Felix Correia, Carlo Pinsoglio.

JUVENTUS XI (4-4-2): Wojciech Szczesny; Alex Sandro, Leonardo Bonucci, Matthijs De Ligt, Danilo; Federico Bernardeschi, Weston McKennie, Rodrigo Bentancur, Juan Cuadrado; Cristiano Ronaldo, Paulo Dybala.

UDINESE SUBS: Edoardo Piana, Jean-Victor Makengo, Fernando Forestieri, Petar Micin, Samir, Manuel Gasparini, Thomas Ouwejan, Sebastien De Maio, Martin Palumbo, Fernando Llorente, Marvin Zeegelaar.

UDINESE XI (3-5-1-1): Simone Scuffet; Kevin Bonifazi, Bram Nuytinck, Rodrigo Becao; Jens Stryger Larsen, Tolgay Arslan, Walace, Rodrigo De Paul, Nahuel Molina; Roberto Pereyra; Stefano Okaka.

With 15 minutes to go before kick-off, let’s see how the two sides will be lining up – starting with our hosts! 

With Atalanta and Napoli managing draws earlier today, and Milan’s win yesterday against Benevento – all the pressure is on Juventus, who find themselves in fifth place at kick-off. After a run of nine straight titles the Bianconeri must now fight for their spot in the Champions League, one point back of nearest Napoli. With crucial fixtures against Milan and Inter still to come, Andrea Pirlo’s side cannot afford to drop any more results after a disappointing 1-1 draw with Fiorentina last week.

Comfortably midtable with five matches to go, Udinese find themselves eight points clear of relegation as they look to string together a good run of results to end the season. An entertaining 4-2 win over Benevento made it two wins in three for the Friulani, after three consecutive defeats.

Hello and welcome to our LIVE commentary of the Serie A fixture between Udinese and Juventus!