Juventus close gap at the top of Serie A with a late 1-0 win
Juventus got going late on Saturday night to beat Udinese 1-0 at the Allianz Stadium in Turin. This was the Bianconeri’s eighth consecutive win in the competition without conceding a goal. The result meant Juventus have closed the gap to just four points over league leaders Napoli, who still have a game in hand.
Brazil defender Danilo scored the only goal of the game in the 86th minute, beating a spirited Udinese side who will certainly feel they have done enough to take at least a point out of the match.
Before kick-off, there was a minute’s silence in honor of Gianluca Vialli who sadly passed away earlier this week.
World Cup winner Angel Di Maria started for the home side and the jingling winger almost scored the first goal of the game. The Argentinian’s sublime cross in the 19th minute was met by Daniele Rugani, but Udinese keeper Marco Silvestri saved with an incredible reflex to keep the scoresheet up.
Continuing his fine form, Di Maria set up Moise Kean with a superb through ball, but the Italian striker’s low effort was again blocked by Silvestri. Udinese were content to sit back and take the pressure and appeared to be playing on the counter-attack. The traveling side managed to get just two shots on target in the first half, meaning Wojciech Szczesny was barely bothered by Juventus’ goal.
The Old Lady had two glorious chances to take the lead after the restart, but it was again Kean who shot just inches over the crossbar as Adrien Rabiot’s ball from the wing evaded everyone in the penalty area with the Udinese goal wide open. Di Maria came off with a calf problem after a superb creative performance as Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri made his substitutions from the bench in search of the breakthrough goal.
The home side finally broke out of the deadlock four minutes from time when substitutes Leandro Paredes and Federico Cheisa came together. The Argentina floated in a ball for the latter, who checked with his chest before smashing it over the goal, where Danilo remained unmarked and the Brazilian blasted in with a tap on the back post.
Chiesa could have scored an own goal in stoppage time as Juventus bagged three crucial points. Allegri’s villainous who started the campaign badly will now look for a serious title challenge if they continue to get results like they did on Saturday night.
Photo credit: IMAGO / Marco Canoniero
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