Juventus crushed Udinese 4–1 on Sunday with two goals from Sebastian Giovinco marking their the 41st consecutive Serie A match without a loss.
The Italian champion took home an easy three points in a game that was wrapped up by halftime with the visitors up two goals. The match turned in the 14th minute when Udinese goalkeeper Zeljko Brkic was sent off for a foul on Giovinco resulting in a penalty kick.
Chilean Arturo Vidal stepped up and put Juventus, wearing pink jerseys, ahead 1–0. The visitors would not look back at all.
Udinese, back from Champions League elimination at the hands of Sporting Braga, was dealt a massive blow with the expulsion of goalkeeper Brkic, being a goal down after less than a quarter of an hour, and having to play over 75 minutes with 10 men.
“The thing that disappoints is that a great game was developing, with important situations,” said disconsolate Udinese manager Francesco Guidolin after the game in an interview on Sky TV.
“The game went very well even though we played a little below rhythm. With the expulsion we were able to play our own game, but we have not played with the pace we wanted,” interim Juventus manager Massimo Carrera said on Tuttosport.
Carrera is, of course, replacing Antonio Conte, who was banned for 10 months and is waiting for the verdict by the Court of Justice of the FIGC (Italian Football Federation) for his role in a betting scandal. On this day, he watched his Juve from the stands.
Juventus was able to play the match with the wind at their backs, tiring Udinese with their possession of the ball. The morale of Guidolin’s players was broken even before the athleticism and a few glimpses in attack by Andrea Lazzari and Pablo Armero testified to the presence on the field of Udinese players.
Euro 2012 hero Andrea Pirlo got Juve on track in the fifth minute with a masterful pass to Stephan Lichtsteiner, who found himself alone in front of the goalkeeper but fired too high.
In the 13th minute, Pirlo again made a precise pass to Giovinco that allowed him to slip in between the two Udinese central defenders. The “atomic ant” was fouled by Brkic resulting in a penalty kick, which led to Juve’s early lead.
Udinese had to sub off Diego Fabbrini, who had a good start moving very well between the defensive lines of the “Old Lady” to make room for replacement goalkeeper Daniele Padelli. Antonio Di Natale would remain alone in attack.
It would be a tough order for Italian national striker Di Natale who ran a lot throughout the match but without troubling the Juventus defense.
Juventus’s danger-man was the diminutive Giovinco who reveled in the attacking area with the excessive freedom.
Shortly before the end of the first half, in the first minute of injury time, Mirko Vucinic scored the second goal for Juventus, beating Padelli with an calm strike from inside the area.
Udinese headed into the locker room already desperate and the with the game seemingly over. It was all too easy for the champions, who handled the game with a serenity that bored the home spectators at Stadio Friuli.
What life was left in the game finally died at 3–0 when Giovinco scored his first goal of the year in the 53rd minute. Claudio Marchisio shot from outside the area and Padelli was unable to hold the ball, leaving the atomic ant to clean up the mess.
Thirty minutes before the end of the match, Juventus already seemed to wait for the final whistle and only in the 68th minute did Udinese make its first counterattack with an exchange between Di Natale and new substitute Luis Muriel.
In the 71st minute, Giovinco scored Juve’s fourth and his second of the game with a powerful shot to the right of Padelli, after having beaten defender Maurizio Domizzi.
Lazzari, the only light to shine for the side in black and white team, got the home side a consolation goal in the 78th minute.
Juventus remains top of the league with the best goal differential and is unbeaten since May 15, 2011.
Udinese, after finishing third in Serie A last year, has lost both its matches to start the new season and has been eliminated from Champions League.
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