Juventus
    17.01.2016 17:10 - in: Match report S

    Ten on the trot!

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    Massimiliano Allegri’s men crown their tenth consecutive Serie A win with their largest margin of victory of the season, beating Udinese 4-0 on Sunday afternoon at the Dacia Arena Friuli

    If today was supposed to be a time for Udinese to celebrate the inauguration of their newly renovated stadium, the Bianconeri had not read this particular script, as they romped to a 4-0 victory at the Dacia Arena Friuli on Sunday afternoon.

    Playing in front of a packed, enthusiastic audience against a team that had picked up 10 points from a possible 15 in their previous five home games was never going to be an easy assignment and a high-octane start to proceedings had given early signs of a potentially very competitive 90 minutes of football.

    However, the damage was ultimately done in 11 first-half minutes, during which two goals from Paulo Dybala either side of Sami Khedira’s strike put the visitors in an extremely commanding position by the midway point of the opening period. Alex Sandro then added a fine fourth in the 42nd minute to give Stefano Colantuono’s side, reduced to ten men following Danilo’s 25th minute dismissal, a mountain to climb.

    At 4-0, Massimiliano Allegri’s men were always comfortable after the interval and, by wrapping up their tenth consecutive win of the season, they stay close on the coattails of league leaders Napoli, who are two points ahead.

    A bright beginning to the match had seen both sides come close to breaking the deadlock inside the opening ten minutes. First, Cyril Thereau headed straight at Gigi Buffon after Leonardo Bonucci’s sliced clearance landed in the French forward’s path. Then it was the turn of Orestis Karnezis to get his gloves to Mario Mandzukic’s effort following Giorgio Chiellini’s fine flick-on from Paulo Dybala’s corner at the near post.

    If the first quarter of an hour had been an even, end-to-end affair, the following 11 minutes would witness a notable power shift in favour of Allegri’s men, who would go on to net three times in rapid succession.

    There was little surprise about the source of Juventus’ opener. The club’s leading scorer this term, Paulo Dybala, notched his tenth league strike of the season with a wonderfully whipped free-kick that nestled into the bottom corner.

    The Argentine would turn provider for his side’s next goal of the afternoon, quickly pouncing on an Udinese block before locating an unmarked Sami Khedira in the box and the German tapped home his second in as many weekends after netting last Sunday against Sampdoria.

    By the 26th minute, it was already 3-0 when Dybala swept home his spot-kick after Mandzukic was felled in the penalty area by Danilo, a foul for which the Brazilian defender was sent off.

    Colantuono’s men would fashion opportunities to reduce the deficit, with both Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu and Silvan Widmer shooting wide of the mark, but ultimately Juve would take an even greater advantage with them into the break,  Alex Sandro turning Widmer inside out before unleashing an unstoppable right-footed drive past Karnezis, his first ever goal in Italian football.

    Early in the second period, Karzenis was called upon to prevent the returning Kwadwo Asamoah from opening his account for the campaign, the Ghanaian shooting too centrally to worry the Greek goalkeeper.

    Then, Giorgio Chiellini showed the sort of forward intent that would not be out of place in a striker’s repertoire, as he laid the ball off to Alex Sandro and very nearly got on the end of the Brazilian’s cross into the box.

    Sami Khedira too almost profited from one of the lively left-back’s deliveries. The German midfielder was a regular menace in the final third for the visitors, who, by this point, were happy to take their foot off the gas pedal and make three substitutions in quick succession, resting legs ahead of a busy week between Wednesday’s Coppa Italia quarter-final against Lazio and next Sunday’s visit of Roma.

    In the 74th minute, Buffon had to dive to his right to save Francesco Lodi’s swerving free-kick, a stop that made sure of a clean sheet on what was his 250th league victory with the club he joined 15 years ago.

    The Bianconeri will now look to take their fine form into the midweek cup match in the capital before looking to extend their brilliant league run against Roma in seven days’ time at Juventus Stadium.

    Juventus
    Buffon; Rugani, Bonucci, Chiellini (Caceres 58); Lichtsteiner (Padoin 80), Khedira, Marchisio, Asamoah, Alex Sandro; Mandzukic, Dybala (Morata 66)

    Unused substitutes: Neto, Audero, Evra, Sturaro, Pogba, Hernanes, Cuadrado, Zaza
    Coach: Allegri

    Udinese
    Karnezis; Wague (Heurtaux 45), Danilo, Felipe; Widmer, Badu, Lodi, Iturra, Edenilson; Di Natale (Zapata 59), Thereau (Bruno Fernandes 71)

    Unused substitutes: Meret, Coppolaro, Piris, Adnan, Guilherme, Marquinho, Kone, Perica
    Coach: Colantuono

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