Hello and welcome to the highlights of the Serie A match between Udinese and Juventus at Stadio Friuli in Udine.
It’s full-time and it’s finished, Udinese 2-1 Juventus
What a game of footbal that was! Udinese didn’t turn up in the first 30 minutes and eventully paid the price by conceding first, thanks to De Ligt’s wonderful strike. At that point, one would have thought that Juve would run riot and let loose in the second half but the exact opposite happened. 7 minutes into resumption, the equaliser came off a diving header by Nestorovski.
Juventus must wait as it is not done yet. What a victory for the home side and Udinese is assured of Serie safety in the most suprising ways possible.
90+6′ THE REFEREE BLOWS THE FULL-TIME WHISTLE AND THAT’S THAT! Udinese has achieved the unexpected!
Once again, Juventus has blown its lead
90+2′ GOOOOLLLLLLLL AND UDINESE HAS SCORED! YES, JUVENTUS IS TRAILING AND THAT’S A WONDER GOAL, IN THE CONTEXT OF THE GAME, FROM FORFANA! Forfana sets off from the centre line, beats Sandro’s challenge and beats De Ligt for pace. Once he reaches the box, he takes a coupe of touches to his left and beats the keeper by slotting the ball comfortably into the back of the net.
90+1′ FOUL! Samir Santos is everywhere. In a tussle with De Ligt on the left flank and he fould the former with the elbow.
Udinese on the attack!
4 MINUTES HAVE BEEN ADDED ON!
90′ CONER FOR UDINESE! Samir does well to make his way into the box and then easily comes down after a slight challenge from Rabiot. Lucky to have survived a yellow for simulation there. Nothing comes off it.
88′ Two minutes and counting! Black and white barrier for Juventus to unlock and it’s a race against time.
86′ FOUL! Okaka brings down Bentacur but survives a booking.
Stakes, incredibly high. 6+ minutes to go for Ronaldo.
84′ JUST OVER! A free-kick for Udinese from the left flank. The delivery into the box is good and Okaka towers over his defenders to head the ball over the bar.
77′ Substitution for Udinese- Samir Santos-IN| Hidde ter Avest-OUT
77′ LONG! Costa plays a quick pass to Rabiot, who from the centre, has a crack at goal. But like Ronaldo, he also goes long.
76′ BLAZED OVER! Ronaldo finds himself in space outside the box and let’s one rip. But the ball flies way over the bar.
Even though Cuadrado takes the right-back role, be sure to see him charge down the flank for offensive moves.
75′ Substitution for Juventus: Cuadrado- IN| Danilo- OFF
73′ Less than 20 minutes plus stoppage time to go. Will we see a winner?
72′ Second cooling break of the match is taken.
69′ Substitution for Udinese- Strygler Larsen-IN| Zeegelar-OUT
68′ YELLOW CARD! Make that two. First Troost-Ekong is a booked for a high boot on De Ligt before Zeegelar brings down Rabiot with a high, dangerous challenge.
The game has truly come alive in the second half as Udinese is currently fighting tooth and nail with Juve.
63′ SAVE! Udinese, at the other end, is quick to counter. But Marvin Zeegelaar’s attempted ball into the box is intercepted by the Juve ‘keeper’
63′ EXCELLENT SAVE! Alex Sandro, from the right wing, threads it to Dybala in the centre outside the box. Musso, who was studying journalism before becoming a goalkeeper, dives to his left to pouch Dybala’s curler. (On a completely side and an irrelevant note, yours truly was a goalkeeper before taking up journalism. The exact opposite to the path Udinese’s ‘keeper Musso took.)
Juventus seems to have switched off since the resumption of the game and Udinese has made the most of it.
60′ Substitution for Juventus: Costa, Matuidi- IN| Bernardeschi, Ramsey- OFF
59′ WIDE! But the confidence is flowing in the home side. Once again, Sema and Nestorovski link up. Sema’s cross into the box is cleared away but only as far Nestorovski outside the box. He takes the shot but slams it wide of the left post.
58′ Corner wasted as the delivery is short and Juve shirts clear the ball out of harm’s way.
57′ Nestorovski, after darting down the centre, looks to free up Sema. The no. 12 receives a poor pass but manahges to win a corner. Nothing comes off it as De Ligt clears the danger to concede another corner.
Two very good goals so far. Juventus, as it stands, will have to wait for the Scudetto party.
52′ GOOOOALLLLL AND THAT’S THE EQUALISER!! DIVING HEADER! OH, DON’T YOU LOVE TO SEE SUCH GOALS! Nestorovski scores off a bullet off a header. Sema with a brilliant solo run, zipping down the left flank, puts in a perfectly-weighted cross to the far post where an incoming Nestorovski beats Szczesny with a diving header.
49′ WIDEEE!! Danilo does well to beat his marker with slick footwork, plays it to Ronaldo on the right of the box. A couple of step overs by Ronaldo into the box before setting up Dybala. The striker tries to curl it in from the centre, seeking the botto corner, but drags it wide.
48′ SAVED! Ilija Nestorovski with a weak shot at goal which is saved easily by the Juve’ keeper after beating the outside trap. Poor defending from Danilo.
46′ Juventus gets the ball rolling first in the second half. No half-time changes from either sides.
SECOND HALF BEGINS
We are back with the second half. Let’s see how many goals do we get to see in the final 45.
In the end, a successful first half comes to an end for Juventus. Dybala has been the best player on the pitch today. He has made runs, impressive passes and even tested the Udinese goalkeeper. The first and the only goal was scored by De Ligt and it will be interesting to see whether Juve score more goals or Udinese scripts a comeback. We could have an own goal on each on either ends as well.
45+2′ HALF-TIME WHISTLE BLOWN
45+1′ MISSED OPPORTUNITY! Dybala, who has been on song all evening, runs from the centre line all the way into the box. Bernardeschi is available and in space to his left, but Dybala loses his footing and eventually, the ball.
Two minutes have been added to the first half.
42′ GOOOALLLL!!! DE LIGT HAS BROKEN THE DEADLOCK and with a belter of a goal. A cross comes in from the left flank into the box which is headed away by William Troost-Ekong. The ball falls kindly in De Ligt’s way, who takes a heavy first touch before rifling the ball into the bottom left corner from the edge of the box. JUVE LEADS 1-0. Musso’s view was blocked by a cluster of his own defenders but credit where due, that was one brilliant strike from De Ligt.
41′ SAVE! Ronaldo goes for goal from distance but isn’t able to get behind the ball as well as he would have liked. Musso makes a comforable save diving to his left. Well, this reminds me of Pulisic’s goal against Manchester United in the FA Cup semifinal. It was a similar shot but a different result.
Just last night, all goals in Parma’s 2-1 victory over Napoli were off penalties. As they say, football is a funny sport.
Also interesting to notice that Udinese hasn’t been awarded a single penalty so far this season. All other clubs have had at least three penalties awarded.
Well, that’s quite interesting to notice that neither a penalty was given nor was De Paul was booked for simulation. Either should have definitely happened.
32′ CRIES FOR PENALTY BUT UDINESE DENIED! De Paul looks to cut further into the box and Ramsey sticks his leg out. De Paul goes down but referee says play on. The ball rolls to Sema, who draws a save off Wojciech Szczesny at the near, right post.
30′ OFF-SIDE BY DYBALA CONTINUES TO IMPRESS! De Ligt chips the ball into the box. Dybala drops the ball with a brilliant first touch off his chest, turn around and shoots just wide. But he was deemed off-side.
28′ Play resumes.
27′ Players now take the first cooling break of the game.
27′ RONALDO GOES JUST WIDEEE!! Dybala threads quickly to Ronaldo, who in the centre, takes a crack at goal. But the ball drifts just wide of the left post.
23′ Still no goals. But Udinese is beginning to find its feet and hold possession better.
14′ SAVE BY MUSSO! Dybala is flying at the moment. The corner is cleared away and the ball falls to Ramsey outside the box. His shot is blocked and the rebound falls to Dybala, whose volley is saved by Musso. Another corner conceded but to no avail.
13′ WIDE FOR THE OWN GOAL? WHat is happening here? We could have had an own goal at each end. Outside the box, Dybala tries to set up Ronaldo, but Nuytinck intercepts and plays a back pass. But it’s too wide and almost ends up at the back of his own net.
10′ CORNER for Juve! But nothing comes off it.
7′ OFF THE POST! Fofana takes it forward down the centre, frees up Zeegelar who is caught up by De Ligt on the left flank. He plays it to Sema, who beats his marker with a step-over to his right and drills a flat delivery into the box. Danilo gets a header first but almost puts it into his own net. The ball comes off the right post.
6′ Ronaldo has central very centre today, as opposed to what we have seen lately.
5′ SAVE! Ronaldo collects the ball the cusp of the box, turns around through his left and takes a crack at goal. But Udinese keeper Musso pouches it easily.
3′ Juventus dominating possession, as expected. But not able to break through the Udinese backline yet.
1′ YELLOW CARD! Quickest yellow card of the season? Aaron Ramsey goes through the back of de Paul, the Argentine. Very rash, that.
Udinese gets us underway at Stadio Friuli.
KICK-OFF: FIRST HALF BEGINS
Let’s get going!!!
Dybala is the captain of the side. From rumours of leaving the club to leading the side.
Remember, Juve is unbeaten at home this season, having won 15 and drawn 2. On the other hand, Udinese has only 4 on the road, having lost 10 and drawn 3. The scale of victory leans towards Juve.
First, the visiting side Juventus makes it way out. Followed by the home team. Lasagna is not featuring for the home team.
The players are now making their way to the pitch.
We are just 10 minutes from kick-off!
-> With a 2-1 victory over Lazio on Monday, Juventus is back to winning ways and that is bad news for the home team, Udinese.
-> After a three-match winless blip, the Old Lady bagged a rather thrilling win against early title contendors Lazio. Cristiano Ronaldo scored a brace, including a penalty.
-> Two two goals now sees him tied at the top of top scorers list with Ciro Immobile at 30 goals.
-> This is only the second time two players have touched the 30-goal mark in a single season.
-> As for Udinese, it is all about ensuring league safety now.
-> If it manages to upset Juventu with a win tonight, it will definitely be assured of league safety.
-> POSITION IN TABLE: JUVENTUS- 1st (P-34| W-25 | D-5| L-4 | POINTS- 80)
UDINESE- 15th (P-34| W-9 | D-9| L-16 | POINTS- 36)
Starting XIS are out:
Udinese: Juan Musso, Rodgrigo Becao, William Troost-Ekong, Bram Nuytinck, Hidde ter Avest, Rodrgio De Paul, Seko Fofana, Marvin Zeegelaar, Ken Sema, Ilija Nestorovski, Stefano Okaka
Juventus: Wojciech Szczesny, Daniele Rugani, Matthijs De Ligt, Daniloi, Alex Sandro, Adrien Rabiot, Aaron Ramsey, Rodrigo Bentancur, Cristiano Ronaldo, Paulo Dybala, Federico Bernardeschi
RECENT SERIE A FORM:
After Inter Milan played out a frustrating goalless draw against Fiorentina on Wednesday, Juventus now has a chance to seal the title tonight when it travels to Udinese.
Maurizio Sarri’s Juve needs just one more win to bag its ninth consecutive ‘Scudetto’
The road looks clear for the away for tonight’s fixture as Inter dropped two points. Juventus is six point point clear of second-placed Atalanta and has a great chance of winning its 36th Serie A title.
Antonio Conte’s Inter is third, which dominated on a rainy night at the San Siro on Wednesday, finds itself one point behind Atalanta with three games to play.
Udinese goes into the Juventus lclash evel on 36 points with Genoa and a shock win could ensure its Serie A safety for the next 12 months.
-Second place means nothing to me, says Inter’s Conte-
Inter Milan coach Antonio Conte says finishing second in Serie A would have no significance for him and would just mean that his team was “the first of the losers”.
“History is written by the winners, the others just go and read about it,” Conte said after his side were held 0-0 by Fiorentina on Thursday, keeping them third in Serie A.
“It’s important to get as high as we can and the lads know that. But if we’re talking about second place, I say it’s the first of the losers. There are those who are content with this, but it has no meaning for me.”
Inter has clinched its place in the Champions League next season while Juventus is all but certain to wrap up a ninth successive title.
“This year we have reaped less than we sowed and we are trying to work on the mentality and develop a killer-instinct, which a great team must have if it wants to fight for something important,” Conte said.
Conte also criticised speculation linking forward Lautaro Martinez with a move to Barcelona after the end of the season.
“It annoys me because they sew discord around him,” he said. “We’re talking about a 22-year-old boy who is establishing himself and has a path ahead of him.
“Clearly, he can alternate between positive and less positive moments in this phase. I am interested in him trying his best and giving everything he has.”
Udinese: Musso; Becao, Maia, Nuytinck; Larsen, De Paul, Fofana, Zeegelaar; Sema, Nestorovski, Lasagna
Juventus: Szczensy; Cuadrado, De Ligt, Rugani, Sandro; Bentancur, Matuidi, Rabiot; Costa, Dybala, Ronaldo