A destructive second half performance seals emphatic victory for Conte’s men. Inspirational Pogba nets twice before Vucinic and Matri complete the rout
A rampant Juventus extended their lead at the summit of Serie A to five points courtesy of a resounding 4-0 home victory over Udinese.
Antonio Conte’s men were dominant throughout and eventually made their pressure count when Paul Pogba lashed home a sensational strike shortly before half time. The Frenchman doubled the hosts’ lead midway through the second half with another long-range gem, before further efforts from Mirko Vucinic and substitute Alessandro Matri sealed a richly deserved success in the closing stages.
The Bianconeri started the game on the front foot and could have taken the lead through Vucinic as early as the first minute. The best chance of the opening exchanges fell to Giaccherini after an efficient counter-attack saw him in behind the away side’s back line, but the midfielder’s effort was thwarted by the outstretched leg of Padelli.
Conte’s side eventually seized the advantage through an individual moment of brilliance from Pogba in the 41st minute. Picking the ball up in space in midfield, the Frenchman let fly with a thunderous effort which rattled the underside of the woodwork before nestling in the back of the net.
The second half began with Udinese managing to string together some promising attacks but Juventus were still very much in the driving seat. Giaccherini nearly worked himself into a great position but saw his tame shot comfortably gathered by the Udinese shotstopper. In their time of need, Guidolin threw veteran striker Di Natale into the fray as he sought to turn things around.
With 63 minutes on the clock, a great chance presented itself to Vidal, who failed to get his shot off in time. Minutes later, Pogba shrugged off two Udinese players to work himself into space outside the box. Udinese invited the shot and the 19 year old obliged, driving a low attempt past the keeper and into the bottom corner from 25 yards out.
The Bianconeri put the result beyond doubt in the 71st minute, a short corner routine was finished off by Vucinic after his effort squeezed past the keeper via a deflection off Herteaux. The Zebrette nearly fashioned an immediate response when Di Natale produced a snapshot from just outside the 18 yard box, but his effort flashed wide.
With just ten minutes remaining, Padelli was forced to collect the ball from the back of his net once again. Running onto Vucinic’s superb chipped through pass, Matri put the icing on the cake, slotting clinically through the legs of the onrushing keeper after beating the offside trap.
It was a convincing performance from start to finish for the home side. They were in control from the off and following a frustrating first half, three goals after the hour mark gave the crowd plenty to cheer about on a cold night in Turin.
A draw earlier in the day for Lazio enabled the Bianconeri to open up a five point advantage at the top of the table.
JUVENTUS 4-0 UDINESE
GOALS: Pogba 41, Pogba 66, Vucinic 72, Matri 80
Buffon; Bonucci, Barzagli, Caceres; Lichtsteiner, Vidal (Padoin 78), Pogba, Giaccherini, De Ceglie (Isla 83); Giovinco (Matri 46), Vucinic
Substitutes not used: Storari, Rubinho, Rugani, Pol Garcia, Peluso, Marrone, Schiavone, Kabashi, Beltrame.
Padelli; Heurtaux, Danilo, Domizzi; Basta, Allan, Pinzi, Lazzari, Pasquale (Gabriel 84); Muriel (Maicosuel 73), Pereyra (Di Natale 51)
Substitutes not used: Pawlowski, Scuffet, Coda, Angella, Faraoni, Campos, Merkel, Fabbrini, Ranegie.
ASSISTANTS: Dobosz, Giordano
FOURTH OFFICIAL: Galloni
BOOKINGS: Vidal 17, Pinzi 40, Muriel 60