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September 2, 2012
• Stadio Communale Friuli, Udine
Referee: P. Valeri
• Attendance: 23000
A. Lazzari 78'
A. Vidal 14'
M. Vučinić 45'+
S. Giovinco 53', 71'
Thanks for joining us here on Goal.com. This is Tom Woods signing off. See you next time.
Final whistle, and Udinese's misery is complete. The decision to send off Zelijko Brkic at the start of the game deserves further discussion, but Juve took full advantage of the situation. After 80 minutes of one-way traffic, it ends Udinese 1-4 Juventus.
90' + 1'
Quagliarella clearly just heard me, as he beats two men and is smothered by Padelli.
We're into the first of two added minutes here. And Juventus waste a three-against-two opportunity. Not a lot being shown by this substitute strikeforce here. Nicklas Bendtner will fancy his chances of getting some regular action.
Both teams are a spent force here. Juve are stroking simple balls across the midfield as we head for full-time.
Almost an opening for Matri as Marchisio heads the ball down inside the box, but Basta is able to get a knee in the way and Padelli comes out to catch.
Yellow CardAlessandro Matri
Matri is shown a yellow card by Valeri, after going in a little to eagerly on Armero. The Juve substitute looks to be carrying some serious holiday weight, I have to say. Hopefully this run out will help to amend that.
Juve have got a little sloppy here, and Marrone won't be happy with a loose pass that only finds Armero. Still, with a three goal cushion, it's hard not to take your foot off the gas.
Ten minutes to go, and plenty of positivity being shown by the home side. Allan has looked very useful since coming on, which bodes well for the rest of the season at least.
There we go, they got a little bit of luck after all. That goal may cheer some Udine hearts at least.
GOOALL UDINESE! Consolation for the Zebrettre, as Andrea Lazzari gets his reward for a solid debut. Allan makes a charging run forward, Muriel helps it on, and with the Juve defence ball-watching, Lazzari smashes it beyond Buffon into the top of the net. 4-1 Juve.
Yellow CardMaurizio Domizzi
Antonio Di Natale
Another booking for Udinese, and Maurizio Domizzi is furious at the decision. Didn't look to be much in it to me. But nothing is going the way of the home side today.
Now Udinese make their move, as a forlorn-looking Antonio Di Natale is withdrawn. Brazilian midfielder Allan replaces him.
Here come those changes, as one strike partnership replaces another. Vucinic and Giovinco come off, and Alessandro Matri comes on along with Fabio Quagliarella.
There are two more subs on the sidelines for Juventus. I imagine everyone wants to be a part of this.
GOOALL JUVE! Giovinco is on the scoresheet again, as Padelli miss-hits his goal kick and Pirlo is able to slot in the young forward, who slams it into the far corner from the edge of the box. How many more are they going to get?
With that goal, Juve make a change, as Luca Marrone comes on in place of Chiellini.
Nice attempt from Udinese there. For the first time in what feels like hours, they are able to break, and Armero is able to link up with Muriel and Di Natale well. The latter spins away from Bonucci and sends in a cross towards his strike partner, but the pass is just too far in front of the Colombian. Unlucky.
This must be exhausting for Udinese. Juve are holding the ball for minutes at a time, and as soon as the Zebrette win it back, they give it away again within seconds. Pablo Armero is the worst offender, as he slides a ball forward that misses Luis Muriel by 5 metres.
Marchisio and Vidal have acres of room in the midfield, and they almost combine for a fourth goal. But from Vidal's pass, Marchisio sees his left-foot strike palmed away by Padelli. The substitute keeper looked pretty unsure about that one, lucky it was straight at him.
So this game has officially lost its competitive edge. Might be a good opportunity for Juve to try out some of their fringe players. Young summer signing Paul Pogba would definitely appreciate a run out here.
...into the wall again from the midfield maestro. I should have mentioned earlier, but he is still sporting a rather fetching beard. Good look for him, like Socrates with a pair of straighteners.
Arturo Vidal is clipped from behind by Pinzi, and seconds later Giovinvo is sent tumbling by Benatia. Another chance for Pirlo to hit one...
Juventus are back to walking pace and Vucinic looks to be playing a game with Giovinco over who can provide the most outrageous assist. So far, neither of them have quite got the hang of it. But this is as good a time as any to try the new tricks out.
The corner is cleared, but Udinese build again and Andrea Lazzari is able to strike a hopeful shot from 35 yards out. It just clears the crossbar, but there's a ripple of applause for the debutant's enterprise.
Muriel wins an attacking free-kick after being tripped by Bonucci. Basta wins a free header and Bonucci intercepts to concede a corner.
Should be 4-0 Juve, as Vucinic rises unmarked to head at goal from 5 yards out. The defence was nowhere, but Padelli redeems his earlier error with a strong one-handed stop.
GOOALLL JUVE! Oh dear Padelli. It's 3-0 to the visitors, as Marchisio hits a hopeful shot from distance that the sub keeper spills into the path of Giovinco, who slots home from 2 yards. He won't want to see that one again. Juve in absolute cruise control.
Here's an attacking chance for Udinese, as Colombian Luis Muriel comes on for Roberto Pereyra. Wonder what sort of impact he will be able to make.
GIOVINCO! Over the bar! Some lovely play by the little striker, who nutmegs Basta and opens up a clear shooting chance from 10 yards. But he casually leans back and lofts the ball way over the top. Pretty poor finish in all honesty. Just as well it won't cost his team.
It does look like Udinese are going to at least try and attack, with Basta and Armero pushing forward in support of Di Natale. But with Juve controlling possession, that will become very tiring very quickly.
Udinese get a rare sight of goal through Basta, but he smashes his shot way over the bar from 25 yards. It will take something special to get Francesco Guidolin's side back into the game, and that was not it.
We're off an running again. No further changes to either side just yet.
Here come the players for the second half...
@MarekB49 Penalty was obvious,Brkic didn't play the ball but red card shouldn't be, there were another two Udine players...poor decision
Yup, as I suspected, no contradictions from you lot. Never a sending off. Ever.
Of course, if you see things different, feel free to add your contribution via @woodstome on Twitter. I will be surprised though.
That's half-time. There's a clear gulf in class here, but Udinese have had the game taken away from them by referee Paolo Valeri. Zelijko Brkic never deserved the red card which led to Juve's opening goal, and from there, it's been a walk in the park. The Bianconeri are heading to the top of Serie A.
45' + 1'
45' + 1'
GOOALL JUVE! Too easy. Asamoah breaks down the left, squeezes a pass through to Vucinic, and the defence opens up in front of him. Armero misses the ball creating the opening, and the Montenegrin makes no mistake, placing the ball into the corner. The Old Lady are well away before half time.
That might be the first proper foul of the game, as Chiellini steams into Basta who goes down in a heap. But no booking for this one. Hmmmm.
Giovinco whips in a dangerous cross, but Basta hacks it away from the advancing Asamoah. Another Juve corner... easily cleared.
Vidal threads another super pass through to Vucinic, but the big striker can't control inside the area. With a bit more cutting edge, the visitors could have had four or five.
...nope. Headed away easily by Juventus. In this league, there is no harder team to break down with ten men. Or with eleven, for that matter.
Yellow CardLeonardo Bonucci
Another booking, this one deserved. Bonucci gets the yellow card for very nearly pulling Di Natale's shorts off. Chance for Udinese from this set-piece?
With Antonio Conte watching from the stands, Massimo Carrera is on the sidelines giving the instructions for Juve. But today, there is precious little he will need to say to his players. Carry on like this, and the game is theirs.
Yellow CardClaudio Marchisio
Now Marchisio is booked for a pull on Basta. Nothing in that either. Not a good afternoon here for Paolo Valeri.
Good save Padelli! Vidal's pass takes two men out of the game, and Lichtsteiner frees Vucinic inside the box. His first-time shot is well struck, but the substitute keeper throws himself to his right and deflects the ball behind for a corner. He looks pleased with that one.
Yellow CardPablo Armero
The free-kick finds Chiellini, who backs off his man well and sends an overhead kick towards goal. It ends up dribbling wide but the home defence went to sleep there.
Pablo Armero is booked for a tackle from behind on Lichtsteiner. He doesn't look happy with it. Udinese aren't too happy with anything today, and I can't say I blame them.
What a move that was from Juventus, who exchange flicks and dummies galore on the edge of the box before Lichtsteiner is caught offside. Udinese look to have surrendered all attacking impetus here. It's a case of keeping the pink shirts at bay currently.
Juventus are in second gear and are controlling things. The home side have dropped very deep and have left Andrea Pirlo standing in about 30 yards of space. From there, he will ping passes into the area all day long. And sooner or later, one of them will come off.
...not taken, as Maurizio Domizzi heads lazzari's kick over the top. Set pieces may be the best chance the Zebrette get to find a way back into this match.
However, Vidal has brought down debutant Lazzari on the corner of the box. Chance for Udinese to strike back...
Claudio Marchisio strides forward, then lays off a back-heel to Giovinco, who lashes a long-range shot into the stands. It's a bit of a training exercise for Juve here.
...deflected off the wall, and into the hands of substitute keeper Padelli.
Mirko Vucinic turns well on the edge of the box, and is brought down by Benatia. Free-kick in Pirlo territory...
Corner for Juve, as Asamoah's cross is blocked by Benatia. Again it comes to nothing.
Di Natale almost plays a lovely one-two to get through on goal, but finds himself outstripped for pace by Leonardo Bonucci. The reigning Serie A champions look oh-so comfortable here.
A nice ball from the back by Mehdi Benatia is hit across goal first-time by Pablo Armero, but Barzagli gets into a good position to head away. Good invention from Udinese, but it's going to be a long hard slog from here.
Yellow CardGiampiero Pinzi
Chiellini is down injured after a clash with Pinzi, and while he receives treatment, the Udinese players take the opportunity to ask Paolo Valeri some serious questions. They can't quite believe the luck that has befallen them here.
What an awful start to an already shaken Udinese. Not sure I agree with the player taken off either - Fabbrini had been the brightest spark by a country mile. Case of damage limitation from here?
Penalty GoalArturo Vidal
GOOAL JUVE! Great strike from Vidal, slammed into the top corner. Undeservedly, Juventus lead.
Daniele Padelli will come on in goal for Udinese, replacing Fabbrini. His first task will be to face Vidal's PENALTY...
Red CardZeljko Brkic
PENALTY/RED CARD!! Scuse me?? Pirlo hits a long ball over the top, and Brkic is out quickly to beat Giovinco to the ball. He looks to clatter the forward as he wins the ball, and is shown a straight red! That is an amazing decision. Totally accidental.
Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo is in the stands today, no doubt keeping tabs on Juve in anticipation of this season's Champions League. Won't have seen too much to scare him so far.
This is positive from Udinese, as Di Natale's clever back-heel creates a half-chance for Giampiero Pinzi, who fires over on the half-volley. Promising spell of possession for Guidolin's side.
Fabbrini is looking Udinese's best prospect so far and has shown some nice touches so far, particularly when linking up with Dusan Basta on the right hand side. No clear chances for the home side as yet though.
Should be 1-0 Juve. Stephan Lichtsteiner makes a lovely run to meet Pirlo's lofted pass, but overhits his lob when through on goal. He misses by a fair way in the end. Should have hit the target.
Asamoah is showing some familiar trickery on the left wing, and forces the first corner of the match. Comes to nothing for Juve.
Early chance for Juve, as Giovinco looks to break the Udinese offside trap and get through on goal. Goalkeeper Zelijko Brkic is out quickly to smother the danger.
Referee Paolo Valeri blows his whistle. We’re underway.
The teams are out on the field. Juve in that delicious pink away jersey. Always a pleasure to see. Kick off is moments away folks. Don’t go anywhere.
Two strong-looking lineups, then, and two sides with plenty of points to prove. Which way is this one going to go? Keep your thoughts coming in to me via @woodstome on Twitter.
JUVE LINEUP (3-5-2): Buffon; Barzagli, Bonucci, Chiellini; Lichtsteiner, Vidal, Pirlo, Marchisio, Asamoah; Giovinco, Vucinic Subs: Branescu, Storari, Caceres, Marrone, De Ceglie, Giaccherini, Pogba, Quagliarella, Matri
UDINESE LINEUP (3-5-1-1): Brkic; Benatia, Danilo, Domizzi; Basta, Pereyra, Pinzi, Lazzari, Armero; Fabbrini; Di Natale Subs: Angella, Coda, Heurtaux, Silva, Padelli Willians, Allan, Maicosuel, Barreto, Muriel
For Juventus, Sebastian Giovinco has a recovered remarkably quickly from an ankle injury so will start alongside Mirko Vucinic in attack. No place for Bendtner, who did not complete his registration in time for today. Ex-Udinese man Kwadwo Asamoah continues on the left side of a five-man midfield, and recent injury victims Gianluigi Buffon and Giorgio Chiellini both make welcome returns to the fold.
Udinese hand a start to Diego Fabbrini in place of Brazilian Maicosuel, whose disastrous ‘Panenka’ penalty proved decisive in the Champions League play-off. In front of Fabbrini will be 34 year-old Antonio Di Natale, who committed two further years to the club during the summer break. New signing Andrea Lazzari goes straight into to the starting lineup after arriving from Fiorentina this week.
Here’s your TEAM NEWS for today’s match.
Got an opinion on today’s game? Can Udinese turn their fortunes around here, or do Juventus look favourites to retain their title already? Get your thoughts in to me on Twitter via @woodstome.
I should add that two of those summer departures, Mauricio Isla and Kwadwo Asamoah, have pitched up at Juventus, which adds that extra touch of spice to proceedings here. The Bianconeri have had a busy summer in the transfer market, which culminated this weekend with the loan signing of Nicklas Bendtner from Arsenal. Will be interesting to see how the much-maligned striker fits into the setup at Juventus Stadium.
Juve’s troubles are well documented, with the season-long ban of coach Antonio Conte still dragging through the courts. But for the Zebrette, times have been equally challenging. After finishing last season in third place, Francesco Guidolin’s side have suffered another summer of turmoil, seeing many of its top stars leave with limited funds available for replacements. And to top it off, this week they have failed in the Champions League qualifiers yet again, losing on penalties to Braga. Oh, and they lost their first game of the season against Fiorentina too.
So in what looks like the biggest match of the season two far, we have the league’s reigning champions taking on the side who always defy the odds. That ought to be enough reason to focus on this tie, but of course there is plenty more going on behind the scenes that adds to the intrigue here. In the drama stakes, few clubs have outdone these two in recent months.
Welcome to Goal.com, and to Stadio Friuli, for what could be a very tasty Serie A clash between Udinese and Juventus. I’m Tom Woods and I’ll be bringing you all the action as it unfolds in front of me.
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