Cristiano Ronaldo was in his elements while Paulo Dybala impressed as Juventus cruised to a 4-1 win over Udinese at the Allianz Stadium on Sunday.
Juventus made a bright start to the game and should have ideally been ahead by the 7th minute, but Aaron Ramsey could not find the back of the net. The deadlock was finally broken just after the half-hour mark was reached, as Cristiano Ronaldo pounced on a stray ball before driving at the Udinese defence and beating Juan Musso from inside the box.
Juventus were then two to the good early in the second half, as Federico Chiesa produced a fine finish after being put through on goal by Ronaldo. And, after Ramsey was denied by VAR for a handball call, Ronaldo doubled his tally to put Juventus three ahead, with Rodrigo Bentancur setting him up for a close range finish.
Udinese did pull a goal back in the 90th minute through Marvin Zeegelaar, but Juventus put the game to bed through Paulo Dybala, who produced an emphatic finish to make it 4-1. The result meant Juventus end Matchday 15 5th on the Serie A table, albeit ten points behind AC Milan, who are their next opponents. The Hard Tackle now runs the rule over Andrea Pirlo’s men.
Wojciech Szczesny: 5.5/10
Szczesny did not have a great deal to do on the night, with Juventus dominating the proceedings thoroughly. The Pole was forced to make just a couple of regulation saves, but he should have done better to parry the ball away before Marvin Zeegelaar scored the late consolation goal for Udinese. Precise with the ball at his feet, though.
Installed in his preferred right-back slot, Danilo was heavily involved on the night, making as many as 116 touches. The Brazilian, though, endured a hit-and-miss game. While he did complete 92 of the 99 passes he attempted, his end product was not always on point. Having said that, Danilo did end up grabbing the assist for Paulo Dybala’s goal with a deft through ball.
Matthis de Ligt: 8/10
Another start at the heart of the Juventus defence; another game wherein de Ligt was accomplished in his display. The Dutchman hardly gave Kevin Lasagna an inch, winning 4 duels, completing 3 tackles and making 2 clearances. It will be very hard to displace him from the back for Merih Demiral or Giorgio Chiellini.
Leonardo Bonucci: 8/10
The de Ligt-Bonucci tandem continued against Udinese and the duo shut shop superbly for large parts of the game. The Juventus skipper on the night completely negated the threat of Ignacio Pussetto, while organising the backline smartly to keep Udinese at bay.
Alex Sandro: 6/10
Like Danilo on the opposite flank, Alex Sandro was a constant outlet down the left-wing, but only one of his seven attempted crosses found the target. The Brazilian did thread 2 key passes, but his deliveries could have been placed better. At the back, there were a few nervy moments, including when Jens Stryger Larsen headed onto the crossbar.
Weston McKennie: 6/10
McKennie continues to enjoy Pirlo’s confidence, but this is now another sub-par display and it looks like he could do with some time on the bench. The American midfielder hardly misplaced a pass, but often lacked imagination when on the ball apart from the one chance he created.
Rodrigo Bentancur: 8.5/10
Bentancur stats v Udinese
▪94% Passes succeed
▪4/4 Long balls succeed
▪2/3 Tackles won
▪5 Chances created
▪4 Key passes
Running the show. 👌 pic.twitter.com/z1aqpXbCCk
— Max Statman (@eMaxStatman) January 3, 2021
A colossal display in the middle of the park by Bentancur, who asserted Juventus’s dominance on the game expertly. The Uruguayan international completed 94 per cent of his passes while winning 6 duels and making 3 successful tackles. Heavily involved in build-up play as well, setting Cristiano Ronaldo up for his second goal while also creating 3 other chances. Brilliant all-round showing.
Aaron Ramsey: 8/10
Starting in the middle of the park again, Ramsey produced one of his best performances of the season so far. The Welshman assisted Bentancur in the defensive phase superbly, winning 5 duels. On the ball, he was accurate and incisive, threading a couple of key passes while winning the ball before Ronaldo handed Juventus the lead in the first half.
Federico Chiesa: 8/10
Chiesa’s stock just continues to rise in the Juventus first-team following another solid performance. The Italian international did not see a lot of the ball but carried a significant threat when he did push forward, playing in 3 key passes on the night. The cherry on top was the composed finish after being sent through on goal by Ronaldo.
Paulo Dybala: 8/10
Back in the starting lineup at Alvaro Morata’s expense, Dybala gave Pirlo some food for thought. The Argentine was purposeful in his display, creating a couple of decent openings while boasting a solid pass completion rate of 87 per cent. Ended the game with a confidence-boosting goal, which should put the speculation over his future at ease.
Cristiano Ronaldo: 9/10
The match was defined by Ronaldo’s contribution, with the Juventus talisman directly involved in three of the four goals the hosts scored against Udinese. For the first, Ronaldo drove purposefully at the Udinese defence before producing a fine low finish. He then set Chiesa up for Juventus’ second before completing his brace with another superb close-range finish. Just incredible.
— OptaPaolo (@OptaPaolo) January 3, 2021
On for the underwhelming McKennie, Arthur circulated the ball smartly and helped push Juventus forward. Misplaced just two passes during his cameo, keeping play ticking.
Dejan Kulusevski: N/A
On for the final 15 minutes, Kulusevski saw a lot of the ball but did not do much with it.
Federico Bernardeschi: N/A
Introduced at the same time as Kulusevski, but Bernardeschi was hardly involved as Juventus saw the game out.
Giorgio Chiellini: N/A
A late introduction in place of Bonucci, Chiellini did not play enough to warrant a rating.
Gianluca Frabotta: N/A
Did not play enough to warrant a rating.