20 August 2023
Pressing. Power. Precision. That is how Juventus started the season in Udine as the curtain raiser to the new season saw Massimiliano Allegri's side run out 3-0 winners.
All three goals were scored in an incisive opening half, which saw Tim Weah and Andrea Cambiaso make their competitive debuts for the Bianonceri.
Another new face, teenager Kenan Yildiz, made an appearance in the second half when the points were safely in the bag after a solid defensive display after the break matched the attacking verve of the first.
The season could not have got off to a better start as Federico Chiesa opened his and the team’s account for the new campaign inside two minutes. Pressing in midfield forced Udinese to concede possession inside their own half and when Dusan Vlahovic fed the ball into the path of Chiesa, the number 7 had just one thought on his mind, go for goal from the edge of the area. On pulling the trigger, his shot nestled into the bottom corner.
The second goal came in the 20th minute. This time it was Vlahovic who received the fans’ affection after he slammed home a spot kick, awarded following a handball in the home penalty area.
Even before Vlahovic converted from 12 yards, Juve had threatened on another occasion. Andrea Cambiaso was out to make it a debut to remember in the Juventus shirt, and the wingback tried his luck after a swift move down the left flank allowed him to burst in on goal. Silvestri blocked the effort with his feet.
However, Cambiaso was involved in the third goal of an electric opening half. Three minutes into stoppage time, a Chiesa back-heel picked out the number 27, whose precise left-footed cross was headed home from close range by Adrien Rabiot.
The sharpest player on the home side was Florian Thauvin, who threatened either side of the half-time whistle. The forward was first denied by Wojciech Szczesny at full stretch, then his deflected shot almost looped in at the far post.
Neither Fabio Miretti or Tim Weah made it out for the second half, replaced by Nicolò Fagioli and Weston McKennie respectively. McKennie produced a disciplined performance in the wingback role to help limit Udinese’s attempts to get a foothold in the game. Sandi Lovric proved to be the most dangerous for Udinese, first with two shots from outside the area before he ghosted in behind the Juve backline but placed his header wide.
Juve breached the home defence for the fourth time on the night after soaking up the pressure. Dusan was denied a double though after the flag was raised against Samuel Iling only after the striker had deposited the ball into an unguarded net. Vlahovic was replaced in the closing minutes by Kenan Yildiz. The class of 2005 made it a first call-up to remember, with his first slice of Serie A action.
What's more, at the other end, a brave double save on 83' by Szczesny made sure there was to be no late surge by the home side.
Three goals, three points and a clean sheet, a confident start by Massimiliano Allegri’s team that allowed the coach to collect his 250th win in charge of the Bianconeri, only the second in the footsteps of Giovanni Trapattoni to reach such a milestone.
UDINESE 0-3 JUVENTUS (HT: 0-3)
Scorers: 2′ Chiesa, 20’ Vlahovic, 45+3’ Rabiot
UDINESE: Silvestri; Kabasele, Bijol, Perez; Festy Ebosele (55′ Ferreira), Zarraga (46′ Samardzic), Walace, Lovric, Kamara (46′ Zemura); Thauvin (66′ Success), Beto (74′ Lucca). Subs not used: Piana, Malusà, Guessand, Quina, Abankwah, Aké, Semedo, Camara, Pejicic, Nwachukwu. Coach: Sottil.
JUVENTUS: Szczesny; Danilo, Bremer, Alex Sandro; Weah (46′ McKennie), Miretti (46′ Fagioli), Locatelli, Rabiot, Cambiaso (69′ Iling); Vlahovic (84′ Yildiz), Chiesa (77′ Milik). Subs not used: Pinsoglio, Perin, Gatti, Pogba, Kostic, Huijsen, Rugani, Soulè, Nicolussi Caviglia. Coach: Allegri.
Bookings: 27′ Alex Sandro, 31′ Kabasele, 34′ Danilo, 90’+5′ Locatelli