Hello and welcome to Sports Mole
’s live minute-by-minute text commentary of the Serie A clash between Juventus
in Turin. This promises to be a hugely entertaining match and you can catch all the action live as it unfolds on this page.
Heading into the match, hosts Juve find themselves with the chance to go three points clear at the top of the league table with a win. Roma drew 1-1 with Atalanta away from home this afternoon, so Antonio Conte’s side have a great opportunity to take sole control of the pole position.
Meanwhile, Udinese are just four points above the relegation zone and desperately need a win to resurrect their season.
The teamsheet has been released and I will type in the names shortly. But I can confirm that both Carlos Tevez
and Fernando Llorente
will start for the home side.
JUVENTUS XI: Buffon; Barzagli, Bonucci, Chiellini; Padoin, Vidal, Pirlo, Marchisio, De Ceglie; Tevez, Llorente
Brkic; Heurtaux, Danilo
, Domizzi, Gabriel
Silva; Lazzari, Allan; Bruno
Fernandes, Pereyra, Basta; Di Natale
So Conte maintains his faith in his top two strikers Tevez and Llorente, while Mirko Vucinic is once again the bench. Stephan Lichtsteiner also finds himself among the substitutes after two months out with injury. Andrea Barzagli
has also overcome his injury and takes his place in a three-man defence.
Meanwhile, Udinese are without Luis Muriel and Mathias Ranegie, but Thomas Heurtaux
has shaken off an injury to start for the Udine outfit.
Juventus have a perfect record at home in Serie A this season – they have won six out of six matches at the Juventus Stadium, scoring 18 goals and conceding just four in the process.
On the other hand, Udinese have a wretched record away from home – just one and five defeats on the road this campaign. The Bianconeri have also scored just four goals away from Udine, conceding nine in the process.
Just around 10 minutes remain until kickoff and it is already getting exciting. These are two very attacking teams and both will be expected to score.
With the match set to get underway in a matter of minutes, let’s hear from the two camps...
First up Udinese coach Francesco Guidolin
: "We have rediscovered our self-belief and we seem to have found our footballing style. Now we need to find some continuity, knowing that we face a very difficult game in Turin."
Juventus coach Antonio Conte
: “It will be a tough game, as physically they are getting back on track. We know the way they play and what they can do with excellent players on the counter-attack, including Antonio Di Natale
. It will not be easy.”
You might be wondering why the match is playing at 5.30pm and not at 7.45pm. The game has actually been brought forward so that children can go and watch the match – the ultras are banned from the Curva because of their anti-Neapolitan chants.
Kickoff is almost upon us. The players are getting ready to get out onto the pitch.
The two sets of players are now on the pitch and the pre-match formalities are taking place.
A minute’s silence has been observed and we are all ready to get things going!
KICKOFF And we are off!
Juventus on the attack right from the start as a cross is floated in from the left flank that Arturo Vidal
tries to head home, but the referee blows the whistle for a foul. Free kick to Udinese from inside their own penalty box.
From what I am hearing, there are 12,000 children at the Juventus Stadium watching this game. It’s all free for them!
is down at the moment is getting treatment. The Juventus midfielder should be on his feet soon.
CHANCE! Allan Loureiro
squanders away the first chance of the game for Udinese as he shoots high and wide from outside the Juve. It was a good attacking move from Udinese as Dusan Basta
gets into the action, but the final effort from Allan is disappointing.
Sensational save from Udinese goalkeeper Zeljko Brkic
, who keeps out a wonderful effort from Carlos Tevez
. Claudio Marchisio
controls the ball brilliantly and lays it off nicely for the Argentine, whose shot on goal is save. The rebound is then back to the goalkeeper by Udinese defender Maurizio Domizzi
Another good save from Brkic, who gathers the ball just as Marchisio was going to pull the trigger after being sent through on goal by Llorente. The home side are getting more and more dangerous with every passing moment.
could be leaving the pitch soon as he is struggling with the injury that he picked up earlier in this match. I suspect that Paul Pogba will replace him.
SUBSTITUTION Paul Pogba comes in for Andrea Pirlo, as Juve coach Antonio Conte is forced to make an early change.
Udinese have started to temper the momentum of the game slightly as the hosts are being forced to play the ball in midfield. However, the visitors are struggling to get out of their own half.
Tevez comes agonisingly close for Juve as Llorente tees him up inside the Udinese box, but his effort from just yards out is turned out for a corner by Danilo
Tevez has been brilliant for Juventus so far in this match and is pretty much everywhere! He is proving to be a real nuisance for the Udinese defence, who are being forced to defend deep.
Brilliant defending from Gabriel
as he dispossess Arturo Vidal
on the edge of the box just as the Chilean was about to take a shot.
The pressure is building as Vidal tries an audacious volley but his shot goes high and wide and far into the stands.
CHANCE! Antonio Di Natale
goes so so close for the visitors! He is released down the right and cuts into the Juve penalty area, and then tries to lob Gianluigi Buffon
, but the veteran goalkeeper gets a touch to the ball and eventually gathers ease.
Juventus are controlling the game but Udinese are looking like a real threat on the counter-attack. The hosts are not really testing goalkeeper Brkic and this will make coach Conte concerned.
Ten minutes to half time to what has been a rather difficult match to describe. Juventus have looked the better team but without really having many shots on the opposition goal, while Udinese have been good on the counter.
CHANCE! Tevez goes close again for Juve as he fires in a shot from a tight angle on the right, but it goes wide of the far post.
Now Bonucci goes close with a volley from outside the box, but he fails to keep it on target. However, it wouldn’t have counted as Giorgio Chiellini
had committed a foul and the referee had blown the whistle.
Udinese are trying to use the flanks more often and trying to put in crosses that they believe could unsettle the Juve defence.
The contest has fizzled out really in the last few minutes as Juve appear to be lacking a proper plan make inroads into the Udinese citadel, while the visitors are happy to just play on the counter.
YELLOW CARD Thomas Heurtaux
gets the first yellow card of the match for his foul on Tevez.
Once again Juve fail to get inside the Udinese box. They do well to play the ball around just outside, but the final ball is missing. Perhaps Pirlo could have done something if he were still on the pitch.
Two minutes of injury time have been added.
YELLOW CARD Now Llorente gets booked for a late tackle on Heurtaux. The Spanish striker is protesting but the referee of having none of it.
HALF TIME: Juventus 0-0 Udinese
The referee blows the half-time whistle and brings first-half proceedings to an end. It is goalless between the two sides at the Juventus Stadium after what has been a rather low-key first 45 minutes.
The first chance of the match actually fell to Udinese in the sixth minute and the visitors also came close through Antonio Di Natale on the half-hour mark, while Carlos Tevez had three chances for the home side.
However, the home team have really failed to convert their possession into clear-cut chances. Udinese’s Gabiel and Maurizio Domizzi
have been the pick of the defenders for me – they have kept the opposition attackers at bay.
Let’s take a look at the stats from the first half. Juventus had only one shot on target from eight, four corner kicks and 62% of the possession.
Meanwhile, Udinese had just 38% possession, three corners and one shot on target from four.
The second half will start shortly as the players are now coming out onto the pitch. The first half finished goalless and both sides will be looking to break the deadlock soon.
KICKOFF Udinese get the second half underway. Remember, it is goalless from the first half.
Brilliant defending from Maurizio Domizzi, who taps out Paolo De Ceglie
's cross just in time as Llorente was lurking to get his foot to the ball.
The Old Lady earn successive corners and a throw-in – positive and attack-minded start from the home team.
Another corner kick for Juventus – their third of the second half. Can they surge ahead now?
CHANCE! Udinese get the ball cleared off the line from that latest corner!
Udinese are under huge pressure in the opening five minutes of the second half. Juventus are coming out at them with all guns blazing – an early goal for the Old Lady could just about kill off the contest for the visitors.
Sensational, sensational save from Gianluigi Buffon
, absolutely stunning! First the veteran Italian keeps out Bruno’s effort from the right, but can get it out as far as Di Natale. The Udinese striker then takes an attempt on goal and from point-blank range, Buffon makes a superb save.
The second half appears to be following the pattern of the first 45 minutes. Juve are controlling possession and making most of the attacking forays, but Udinese are looking very dangerous on the counter.
Tevez is teed up by Simone Padoin
on the edge of the Udinese box on the right, but his effort is blocked. There are too many bodies in and around the box, so Juve may need to be more patient and try to find that final killer ball to break the visitors’ citadel.
Juventus make their second change of the evening. Simone Padoin
goes off and on comes Stephan Lichtsteiner, who will give the hosts more width.
Half an hour left in this contest, still goalless between Udinese and Juventus. I have a feeling that just the one goal would settle the affairs tonight.
Udinese make a change now. Emmanuel Badu comes on for Bruno
CHANCE! Buffon makes yet another brilliant save from Buffon, who keeps out Andrea Lazzari’s stinging effort from 20 yards.
Brkic makes a meal of his save as he fails to collect an attempt on his goal and then almost gets it inside own net! If Tevez were a bit a more alert, then he could have just toe-poked it into the net.
CHANCE! Tevez goes close again, this time running down the left and then taking a shot on goal, but Brkic makes the save. The pressure is building and building on the visitors’ goal.
Vidal tries to hit the target from 30 yards, but his ambitious effort once again is high and wide of the Udinese goal!
Is it going to be one of those days when the team that attacks and attacks eventually loses by a single goal? Juve are all over Udinese at the moment but the visitors are holding on nicely.
I may sound like a broken record, but Juve are still really finding it hard to properly test Udinese goalkeeper Brkic. They are carrying on pushing forward and putting the visiting defence under pressure, but not getting much luck in getting a shot on target.
SUBSTITUTION Paolo De Ceglie
is replaced by Fabio Quagliarella. A very attacking change for Juve, who now have three strikers on the pitch.
YELLOW CARD Quagliarella gets booked just moments after coming on for a handball offece.
Vidal tries his luck from distance after finding himself with a loose ball with no-one around him, but his effort is deflected out for a corner. It is Juve’s eighth corner kick of the match but does not yield anything productive.
Ten minutes remain in this contest. A single goal would be enough to settle the match, but will we see one? Juve are the more likely side to get it.
Another corner for Juve, as Quagliarella’s effort on goal is blocked and turned out. This time Brkic has to make a save as Tevez tries a looping header, but it is all too easy for the Udinese goalkeeper.
Great chance for Juve to surge ahead. Vidal is taken down just outside the Udinese penalty box and the referee awards a free kick to the hosts.
CHANCE! Tevez tries to dip in the free kick over Brkic, but it goes over the crossbar for a goal kick. We are gradually inching towards a goalless draw.
CHANCE! Sensational shot and an incredible save! Fabio Quagliarella finds himself with the ball outside the Udinese box and shoots on target, but Brkic makes a diving save to his left.
Two minutes of normal time left in the match. It is goalless between the two Italian clubs. If this match does end in a draw, then it will be the first time in Serie A this campaign that Juve would have dropped points at home.
Another change for the visiting Udinese: Maicosuel replaces Roberto Pereyra
CHANCE! Udinese clear the ball off the line from yet another Juventus corner, Allan’s knee coming to the rescue of the visitors.
CHANCE! Brilliant and ferocious effort from Lichtsteiner with his left foot but it goes wide.
GOAL! Juventus 1-0 Udinese (Fernando Llorente)
Fernando Llorente has scored 20 seconds into stoppage time to virtually wrap up the points for Juventus. The Spanish striker did not know much about it, I must add, as he got his head to a shot from Lichtsteiner from the centre of the box. But the hosts will not mind as they are marching to a victory.
FULL TIME: Juventus 1-0 Udinese
It’s all over in Turin as Juventus have scored in injury time to edge past Udinese 1-0 in Serie A. The visitors from Udine kept the hosts at bay for 90 minutes, but 20 seconds into injury time Fernando Llorente headed home Lichtsteiner’s mis-hit shot to earn the points for Antonio Conte’s side.
It must be agonising for Udinese, who must have thought that they had done enough to merit a point. Instead they will go back home to Udine staying 13th in the league table, just four points above the relegation zone.
As for Juventus, they are now three points clear at the top of the Serie A table with 37 points from 14 matches and have maintained their 100% home record in the league. It was not all easy-cruising for the home team as they were made to work hard for the points tonight.
Thank you very much for joining me here on Sports Mole tonight and hope that you enjoyed our coverage. Have a good evening, it’s goodbye from me for now.