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  HOME | Sports (Click here for more)

Juventus Crushes Udinese 4-1 in Serie A

TURIN, Italy – Juventus cruised to a 4-1 victory on Friday over Udinese in a warm-up for the Bianconeri’s decisive Champions League clash next week with Atletico Madrid.

Juve, who lead Serie A by 19 points over Napoli, had little to fear from 15th-place Udinese and coach Massimiliano Allegri felt confident enough to leave Cristiano Ronaldo, Mario Mandzukic and defensive anchor Giorgio Chiellini on the bench.

Two other starters, Miralem Pjanic and Joao Cancelo, missed the game due to suspension, but will be available for the Champions round-of-16 second leg in Turin against Atletico, who prevailed 2-0 at home in the first leg.

In the absence of Juve’s big guns, 19-year-old Moise Kean notched a brace for the hosts and drew a penalty to set up a third goal.

Juventus boosted their record to 24 wins and three draws for a total of 75 points, making the side a virtual lock to win an eighth consecutive Serie A title.

Paired with Federico Bernardeschi up front, Kean opened the scoring in the 11th minute with his first Serie A goal, getting an assist from Alex Sandro.

The youngster’s second goal came on a brilliant individual effort in the 39th minute, when he cut off a ball from Udinese’s Seko Fofana in midfield, raced 30 yards and caught the visiting goalkeeper off guard to make it 2-0 for Juve.

The only negative for the hosts in the first half was defender Andrea Barzagli, who went down in the 25th minute of his first match back in the lineup after missing three months to injury and had to be replaced by Leonardo Bonucci.

Juventus took their foot of the gas for the first 20 minutes of the second half, only to shift back into high gear at the first sign of ambition from Udinese.

Kean forced a penalty in the 67th minute and Emre Can converted to increase Juve’s lead to 3-0. Blaise Matuidi made it 4-0 in the 71st, heading in a cross from Rodrigo Bentancur.

With 10 minutes left, Allegri pulled Kean in favor of Hans Nicolussi Caviglia, 18, making his Serie A debut, and Juventus appeared to lose focus.

Udinese’s Kevin Lasagna took advantage of the lapse in concentration to score a consolation goal for the visitors in the 85th minute, sending Allegri into a rage at his own players.

Juventus, Champions League winners in 1995-1996, have reached the final twice in the last five years, losing to Barcelona and Real Madrid, respectively.

 

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