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Udinese v Juventus Live Commentary, 05/03/2017

1 - 1
D. Zapata (37)
L. Bonucci (60)
Dacia Arena


FULL-TIME! Juventus are held to a 1-1 draw against Udinese, which is the first time that the visitors have shared the spoils this season in Serie A. Zapata opened the scoring for Delneri's men, with Bonucci responding in the second half, but the hosts will be disappointed to have not taken all three points. Allegri's side struggled to get out of first gear and consider themselves lucky to have avoided defeat. That's all that we have time for, we hope to see you again next time.
90' + 3' Great block from Agyemang-Badu! The Ghanaian midfielder slides in fantastically to deny Higuain's goal-bound shot the chance to test Karnezis. That could be a game-defining intervention from the Udinese man.
90' + 2' Juventus patiently probe from side-to-side, as Allegri's men try to craft a late chance. Alex Sandro feeds the ball into Khedira, but Hallfredsson shuffles across well to pick up possession. The visitors are still trying to take all three points, were it not for their passing letting them down.
90' There are four minutes of stoppage time.
89' Udinese are happy to wind down the clock a little, with Karnezis taking his time over his kicking now. Given that Rincon has come into the game for Dybala, Allegri might even be happy to just protect a point at this stage of proceedings, as the hosts haven't been afraid to stream forward on the counter.
T. Rincón
P. Dybala
87' Dybala is withdrawn for the away side, with Rincon coming into the midfield for the last few minutes.
87' Karnezis is able to easily claim a cross into the box, with Udinese escaping immediately on the break. Ryder Matos goes forward and slides a pass forward into Jankto, but the hosts' onrushing midfielder is caught offside. Delneri's men are still searching for a winner.
Ryder Matos
S. Perica
85' Perica takes his leave after a busy performance, with Ryder Matos having the dying stages of this game within which to make an impact.
84' Pjaca breaks down the left and flights a great cross towards Mandzukic at the back post, but Jankto tracks back brilliantly to direct a headed clearance away. Juventus win themselves another corner as a result, but Pjanic's ball is headed away by Angella. Udinese try to launch a break immediately, but Dybala recovers to put the ball into touch.
82' Dybala tries to bend a cross in from the right-hand side, but the Argentine's delivery balloons wildly high and wide of the target. He won't want to see a replay of that. We're well into the last 10 minutes and it appears that Udinese are going to be able to secure a valuable point.
80' Zapata drives down the left-hand side, following a mistake from Benatia. The Colombian striker tries to pick out Jankto at the back post for the hosts, but Bonucci tracks back and slides in well to direct the ball wide of his own post. The resulting corner is swept in towards the near post, but Mandzukic nods clear.
79' Jankto angles in a free-kick delivery from the left, but Benatia half-clears, with Udinese unable to generate any late opportunities. Juventus are really looking hurried now, with the visitors having around 10 minutes to try and avoid drawing their first game of this Serie A campaign.
M. Pjaca
Yellow Card
77' Pjaca gets booked for making a stupid challenge on almost the edge of his own penalty area.
G. Angella
R. De Paul
76' De Paul is withdrawn for the home side, with Angella taking his leave. That may mean that Udinese are going on the defensive now.
74' Juventus are showing a little more urgency now, as we head into the final quarter of an hour at the Dacia Arena. Samir makes an easy headed interception to deny a ball over the top from Khedira, before the Brazilian does well to prevent Pjaca from angling a cross in from the right-hand side.
M. Pjaca
J. Cuadrado
72' Cuadrado jogs off after a frustrating afternoon, with Pjaca given a chance to make himself a hero.
72' Great challenge from Danilo! Higuain manages to feed a throughball flick into the path of Cuadrado, with the Colombia international threatening to shoot from a tight angle. The Udinese defender covers across and slides in well to make a flying block. Juventus have looked a lot more dangerous in this second half.
70' Udinese win themselves a free-kick on the left-hand side, but the delivery into the box just sails over the danger zone and to safety. Samir is picked out at the back post moments later by a brilliant diagonal pass, but the Brazilian left-back can only head wide of the upright.
J. Cuadrado
Yellow Card
68' Cuadrado gets a booking for the away side, after diving into a rather nasty tackle on Perica.
67' Udinese respond to Bonucci's header brightly, with Delneri's men not afraid to keep pushing forward in search of another goal. Higuain looks to release Mandzukic into the penalty area for Juve, but Widmer sticks close to the Croatia international and allows for Karnezis to come off his line and gather up the loose ball.
E. Hallfreðsson
Yellow Card
65' Less than half an hour remains for Juventus to turn this one around, but the visitors definitely have a bit more spring in their step since the equaliser. Hallfredsson gets a booking for diving into a late tackle on Cuadrado.
64' After some treatment, Hallfredsson is able to leave the pitch under his own steam. Udinese whip a corner into the box, which is half-cleared and then curled into Buffon's grasp by a speculative shot. Juventus had down the other end via a burst down the left, but a cut-back from Pjanic is cleared by Danilo before Dybala can fire home from close-range.
62' Zapata manages to win a free-kick on the right-hand side, following a cynical foul from Alex Sandro. From a similar area to Dybala's a couple of minutes earlier, a ball is floated in. Danilo is picked out at the back post, but the Brazilian can only head onto the post! The rebound falls out to Hallfredsson, whose shot is blocked. He falls awkwardly onto his neck, and that looked very painful indeed.
P. Dybala
60' Dybala flights in an inviting free-kick delivery that Bonucci can't help but direct home.
L. Bonucci
60' GOOOOOOOOAL! BONUCCI MAKES IT 1-1! Juventus are back on level terms. Dybala manages to whip a great free kick into the penalty box from the right-hand side and the Italian defender rises brilliantly to steer home a close-range header. The hosts are furious, Delneri can't believe that the foul was given in the first place. 
58' Udinese escape on the break, with Zapata playing an interesting ball out to the left-hand side. Perica picks possession up, but the Croatian winger was played into a dangerous area by an offside Jankto. Juventus go down the other end and whip in a cross from their own left, but Danilo clears.
M. Benatia
G. Chiellini
56' Chiellini takes his leave, potentially with a knock, leading to Benatia coming into the back four.
56' Udinese continue to put plenty of pressure, with a cross whipped in from the right-hand side. Zapata gets up highest to win his header, but he can only flick it tamely at goal. Buffon gathers the ball up with ease. Delneri will be pleased that his team have held their own since the restart.
54' Juventus win themselves a corner on the left-hand side, but Zapata flicks the resulting delivery away from the danger zone. The away side are trying to get the ball forward quicker, to stretch Udinese a little, but the execution just hasn't been there. Allegri will be furious with how much possession his players have wasted.
52' The hosts are still pressing from the front and forcing errors out of their opponents, with Juventus still floundering. Loose passes are playing into Udinese's hands. De Paul drives down the right and gets into the box, but a low cross from the Argentine is hacked away just ahead of the arriving presence of Zapata. The resulting corner is flicked high of the target by Felipe.
50' Zapata continues to prove himself as a handful up top for the home side, with Chiellini having to watch the Colombian carefully. Hallfredsson has a chance to shoot from the edge of the box, but the Icelandic midfielder's effort is charged down easily. Udinese are still pushing players forward, they're not happy to sit on a one-goal lead.
48' Higuain opens play out to Cuadrado on the right-hand side, but yet again Juventus' move breaks down courtesy of a poor pass. Moments later, Dybala tries to feed a low throughball into the penalty area, but Cuadrado doesn't react quickly enough to get onto it. Allegri's men haven't flown out of the traps.
46' We are back underway in the second half at Dacia Arena! Udinese had the measure of their opponents before the interval, but there's plenty of time for the Serie A leaders to show their quality and force their way to a comeback. 
HALF-TIME! Udinese go into the break with a 1-0 lead over league leaders Juventus, as a goal from Zapata stands between the two sides. Allegri's men have been wasteful in possession and are yet to really get going this afternoon, and they'll probably receive a grilling from their coach before they take to the field again for the second half.
45' + 2' Dani Alves is picked out in space on the right-hand side by Manzukic, but his low shot is blocked by Samir, before a close-range attempt from Higuain sizzles into the side netting at the near post. A late flurry of chances for the visitors.
J. Jankto
Yellow Card
45' + 1' Jankto gets the first booking of the match for diving into a tackle on Dybala. The Udinese midfielder claims that he pulled out of the challenge.
45' + 1' There are two minutes of first-half stoppage time. 
45' Udinese are happy to slow things down and see themselves into the half-time interval safely, with Karnezis taking a long while over a goal-kick. The hosts patiently retain the ball and the release Samir down the line, but a cross from the left is hacked away by Chiellini with Zapata lurking dangerously.
43' Khedira tries to slot a throughball into the path of Dybala, but it instead skids straight into Karnezis' arms. Juventus just aren't able to get themselves going, they've put in an awful performance thus far. Udinese's lead is most certainly deserved and they are happy to sit back and protect a half-time advantage.
41' Less than five minutes remain in the first half, and Udinese appear to have the measure of their opponents. Cuadrado tries to whip in a ball from the right flank, but Samir makes a good block. Allegri's men come forward yet again, but an eventual throughball from Dybala is cut out easily. 
E. Agyemang-Badu
S. Fofana
39' The injured Fofana is eventually replaced by Agyemang-Badu in midfield.
39' Alex Sandro bends in a cross from the left-hand side, but it can't find a Juventus head, before De Paul goes down with an injury after taking a blow to the head. The away side need to try and respond before the break, otherwise Udinese will be really upbeat heading into the second half.
D. Zapata
37' GOOOOOOOOAL! ZAPATA MAKES IT 1-0! The Colombian forward manages to get beyond Bonucci and into the penalty area, before bundling home a good finish! Udinese only had 10 men on the field of play. Zapata tried his luck from a tight angle, but his neat finish slips straight through Buffon's legs and into the back of the net.
37' A long ball forward picks out Zapata, who does all the hard work himself.
36' Fofana goes down in some pain after twisting his ankle, and immediately signals over to the bench for a change. He looks to be in some discomfort as he is helped back to his feet, with the Frenchman seemingly unable to continue.
35' Higuain feeds Dani Alves to the byline brilliantly, with the Brazilian defender overlapping and whipping in a cross. Samir slides in and makes a block, turning the ball behind for a corner, but the Juve wing-back wants a corner! The set-piece is sent in towards Chiellini, but he can't turn it goalwards, before a powerful run from Fofana sees the Udinese midfielder get hold of Alex Sandro's shirt.
33' De Paul opens play out to Samir on the left-hand side, but Bonucci nods half-clear. The rebound is met tamely by the head of Zapata, forcing Buffon into an easy catch. The Italy international has definitely had more to do than his opposite number during the last 20 minutes. Udinese are shutting their opponents out brilliantly.
31' Dybala leads the charge for Juventus, with Mandzukic then able to find Khedira on the overlap down the left. The Germany international attempts to squeeze in a cross from the byline, but Widmer slides in to make a block. The home side eventually clear through lines through Jankto, leaving Allegri presumably frustrated. The Old Lady are really struggling to dominate.
29' Cuadrado bursts down the right and feeds a pass in towards Higuain, but Hallfredsson reads the play and steps in to deny the Colombian. Moments later, Bonucci tries to feed the same ex-Fiorentina man into the penalty area, but he is caught ever-so narrowly offside by the linesman on the far side.
28' Scrappy fouls continue to break up the flow of play, with Juventus eventually getting the ball down and knocking it around again. Dani Alves tries to find the head of Mandzukic with an early cross from the right, but Danilo does enough to get up and nod clear. Karnezis hasn't been as busy as he might have feared.
26' The tempo of this game has slowed right down, with Juventus perhaps recognising that they are giving their opponents too much space to threaten on the counter-attack. Zapata is fed towards the box by a quick throughball and shakes off Chiellini, but Dani Alves covers for his centre-back and denies the Colombian a shot on goal.
24' Dani Alves goes down in some pain, after taking a blow to the face accidentally from Samir. The Brazil international is quickly back to his feet, however. Juventus just can't seem to get out of first gear so far on their Serie A travels. Udinese have limited them to a couple of hopeful crosses.
22' De Paul drifts infield from the right-hand side, before he tries to lift a diagonal pass over Dani Alves to find a run from Jankto. Fortunately for Juventus, the Brazilian defender intercepts with his head. Udinese keep their pressure on courtesy of a cross from the left, but Bonucci heads half-clear, before Fofana rifles the rebound straight at Buffon. Two quick chances for the underdogs.
21' Zapata uses his pace to get down the left flank for Udinese, before unleashing a long-range effort due to a lack of other options. Buffon just has to stand still and make a simple catch, but finally the experienced goalkeeper has been asked to do something of note. The hosts are looking surprisingly comfortable at the moment.
19' Dybala and Mandzukic combine down the left flank for Juventus, but Udinese are pressing well. Cuadrado is being quickly crowded out, with the home side able to make themselves very compact and tough to play through. The game plan is working so far for them. Fofana opens play out to Perica, who looks to flick a throughball into Zapata's feet, but Chiellini is quickest to react and hammers clear.
17' Fofana brings the ball down well and goes on a brilliant run down the right-hand side. The Frenchman bustles his way beyond Chiellini and picks out Jankto at the back post, but the Udinese midfielder's header can't bobble its way to Zapata deep in he Juventus penalty area. Allegri's men are very, very sloppy in these early stages. The hosts could punish them here.
15' Dani Alves whips in a cross from the right-hand side, which picks out Mandzukic at the back post, but the Croatia international's header back square is claimed by Karnezis. Higuain is yet to really be brought into this game, he's not had the required service in the opening quarter of an hour. The home fans will be pleased with what their side have managed to do thus far.
13' Perica and Hallfredsson try to combine on the counter, but Dani Alves tucks inside nicely to slide in and deny the Croatian youngster. Dybala looks to feed Cuadrado into space down the right flank, but Samir has the pace to outstrip the Colombian and make a good clearance. Udinese are trying to be positive whenever they can.
11' Cuadrado tees up Pjanic, whose deflected cross loops into the box, but Hallfredsson heads clear. Udinese go forth on the attack, but a terrible throughball from De Paul is cut out simply by Khedira, continuing the end-to-end action at the Dacia Arena. Dybala has his first attempt of the day, with Mandzukic nodding the ball down to his teammate nicely, but the Argentine striker drags an awful shot wide of the right-hand post.
9' Udinese earn themselves a free-kick on the left flank, which is whipped into the area, but Mandzukic rises well at the near post to do his defensive duty. The hosts manage to get their foot on the ball themselves, with De Paul dropping into some interesting pockets of space. The league leaders are yet to see their goalkeeper worked, however.
7' Perica manages to take the ball down with his back to goal and then play a neat ball across the corner, but De Paul is beaten to the pass. Juventus respond with an attack of their own, but their move ends with Pjanic shooting straight at Karnezis from around 30 yards out. This contest is looking fairly open, there is a lot of space to be exploited.
6' Dani Alves stretches his legs down the right-hand side, but rather than taking a risk with a ball into the box, he plays backwards. Juve work possession to the left and then back to the same flank again, as the visitors try to get a feel for their opposition's system. Udinese are taking a risk by starting with this 4-3-3. 
4' Pjanic gives the ball away on the edge of the area, after a relaxed pass inside from Alex Sandro, but Chiellini is alert to outmuscle Zapata and prevent the Udinese striker from getting an early sight of goal. Moments later, Perica earns the hosts a free-kick on the left-hand side, but a delivery from Hallfredsson is nodded clear by Chiellini.
2' Juventus enjoy an early spell of patient possession, before Cuadrado is released down the right. Play is then worked out to the opposite flank, as the away side probe and test their opponents for the afternoon. Allegri's men aren't in any rush, they're happy to take control of the ball from the off.
1' We are underway in the first half at Dacia Arena, with Juventus looking to go 10 points clear at the top of Serie A this afternoon. Udinese have struggled in 2017, but a result against such high-profile opponents could be a turning point for their campaign.
Juventus substitutes: Benatia, Marchisio, Barzagli, Pjaca, Asamoah, Rugani, Neto, Lichtsteiner, Rincon, Audero.
Juventus starting line-up (4-2-3-1): Buffon; Dani Alves, Bonucci, Chiellini, Alex Sandro; Khedira, Pjanic; Cuadrado, Dybala, Mandzukic; Higuain.
Udinese substitutes: Angella, Agyemang-Badu, Ryder Matos, Scuffet, Perisan, Kums, Silva, Adnan, Heurteaux, Ewandro, Balic.
Udinese starting line-up (4-3-3): Karnezis; Widmer, Danilo, Felipe, Samir; Fofana, Hallfredsson, Jankto; De Paul, Zapata, Perica.
TEAM NEWS: Maximiliano Allegri has gone with a very strong Juventus side indeed, with Giorgio Chiellini preferred to Daniele Rugani at centre-back. Dani Alves and Alex Sandro will provide the overlapping wide threat, with Sami Khedira and Miralem Pjanic linking things together in central midfield. Gonzalo Higuain and Paulo Dybala will form an Argentine partnership up top, with Mario Mandzukic and Juan Cuadrado cutting in from the flanks. 
TEAM NEWS: Udinese are without Cyril Thereau due to injury, while Lucas Evangelista failed to get the green light to feature this afternoon too. Duvan Zapata will lead the line with Stipe Perica, with both Emil Halfredsson and Rodrigo Paul injected back into the hosts' midfield after serving suspensions. It is a slightly rotated side from Delneri, who will be looking for a reaction due to their terrible start to the year.
Luigi Delneri will be feeling the pressure if results continue to go against his side. He’s already Udinese’s second manager of the season and fourth of the past 13 months. At what point does owner Giampaolo Pozzo realize maybe the issue isn’t with the men trying to piece together the puzzle, but that the pieces aren’t all there?
Udinese have endured a forgettable season, winning just once since the start of 2017. The club has lost three league matches in a row, while being held scoreless six times in their last nine Serie A contests.
Juventus have bulldozed their way through the competition since, building a comfortable seven-point lead at the summit, as the title chase is coming to resemble more of a victory lap for Massimiliano Allegri’s side than an actual race.
There was nothing routine about the way the 2016/17 Serie A season began, and the congested top of the table carried through the first couple of months – but that is the case no longer, with Juventus keen to widen the gap to 10 following Roma’s defeat to Napoli yesterday.
Hello and welcome to live coverage from the Dacia Arena as Udinese aim to end their losing skid when they host Serie A’s runaway leaders Juventus!