Paulo Dybala stars but Wojciech Sczesny as Juventus blow two-goal lead to share the spoils with Udinese
It was a game of two halves for Juventus as they got their 2021/22 Serie A season to a frustrating start against Udinese.
Both Cristiano Ronaldo and Giorgio Chiellini started on the bench in what was the second coming of Massimiliano Allegri at the Allianz Stadium. Juventus, however, got off to a great start thanks to goals from Paulo Dybala and Juan Cuadrado. The Old Lady went into halftime comfortable and seemingly three points in the bag.
Wojciech Szczesny, however, had other ideas and went on to shoot himself in the foot not once but twice. The Polish ace made a hash of a routine save before fouling Tolgay Arslan to hand Udinese a penalty.
Roberto Pereyra handily beat the Juventus keeper from the spot and the game suddenly looked far less comfortable for the Old Lady. The Turin giants did have chances of their own as both Alvaro Morata and Rodrigo Bentancur hit the bar.
They were made to pay for this profligacy as Gerard Deulofeu was alert to pounce on another Szczesny error to draw Udinese level. Cristiano Ronaldo looked to have saved Juventus once again. However, his injury-time strike was ruled out for offside, cutting short wild celebrations. Juventus have nobody to blame but themselves for the mess and will now turn their attentions to Emploi next weekend.
We take a look at how the Juventus players fared on the night.
Wojciech Szczesny (3/10)
The Polish goalkeeper did more to harm his side than the Udinese players on the night. He gave away a second-half penalty before making a real mess of a backpass late on. It directly contributed to both of Udinese’s goals. He will have to do much better in the games to come.
Alex Sandro (5.5/10)
The Brazilian was lively down the left but did little to write home about in attack. Struggled against Gerard Deulofeu’s pace but largely held his own against the Spaniard.
Leonardo Bonucci (6/10)
The senior defender in Chiellini’s absence, he made four interceptions and two clearances on the night and was largely good in his role as the senior centre-back. Was responsible for the back pass that led to Szczesny’s error for Udinese’s equalizer.
Matthijs de Ligt (7/10)
Won a number of duels in the air and looked assured beside Bonucci. The Dutchman didn’t do much wrong and won a number of interceptions for his side.
The poorer of Juventus’s full-backs on the night. The Brazilian started off well but faded as the game went on. Looked far from assured against the Udinese attack and did better when moved into midfield in an anchoring role in the second half.
Federico Bernardeschi (5/10)
The Italian did not lack for effort but found it difficult going on the night. He attempted a number of good runs but none came to fruition. His presence however helped Juventus keep their shape, allowing Paulo Dybala more mobility in the attack. Taken off for Dejan Kulusevski on the hour mark.
Rodrigo Bentancur (7/10)
The 24-year-old was Juventus’ finest midfielder on the night and looked up for the game. Bentancur provided the assist for Dybala’s opener and also hit the bar himself in the second half. Was ready to get stuck in and battle hard in midfield. Unfortunately, those around him lacked a similar drive.
Juan Cuadrado (7/10)
The Colombian was a lively presence on the wing and scored his side’s second goal of the night. Linked up well with Danilo on the flank and also helped out the 73rd minute.
Paulo Dybala (8/10)
Handed the armband on the night, the Argentine was Juventus’s best player on the pitch. Gave his side an early lead and made the assist for the second. He was a thorn in the Udinese defence’s side all night and kept pushing for a winner until the very end.
Alvaro Morata (5/10)
The Spaniard was far from his best and failed to hit a single shot on target. Hit the bar in the second half when it was easier to score. Will need to step up massively in the games to come.
Giorgio Chiellini (5/10)
Italy’s hero at the Euros, the veteran defender was brought on before the hour mark as Udinese chased an equalizer. He, however, had little impact and the Old Lady looked vulnerable at the back.
Cristiano Ronaldo (6/10)
The footballing legend looked off the pace and did little of note in his thirty minutes on the field. Missed a golden chance to win the game before putting the ball into the back of the net in the third minute of stoppage time. Not only was it chalked off for offside but the Portuguese ace was also booked for excessive celebrations.
Dejan Kulusevski (6/10)
Replaced Bernanrdeschi in the second half and offered much more in the attack. His pace was a major threat to Udinese and put their defence under pressure.
Federico Chiesa (6/10)
The Italian came on for Juan Cuadrado in the 73rd minute and looked lively. He provided the cross for Ronaldo’s goal before it was chalked off. Could have a major role to play for Juventus in the matches to come.
Manuel Locatelli (N/A)
The Azzurri star came on the final minute but had little time to do anything of note.