Ronaldo shines as Juventus secure victory over Udinese
Juventus sealed off their last home game of the decade with a bang, as they claimed a 3-1 win over Udinese at Allianz Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Cristiano Ronaldo scored a brace, while Leonardo Bonucci nodded in the third in what was a dominant display by the Bianconeri.
Maurizio Sarri introduced the attacking trio that the fans had long been waiting for, by playing Paulo Dybala, Gonzalo Higuain and Cristiano Ronaldo together from the first minute.
Szczesny had to be withdrawn from the last match day squad after picking up an injury, meaning Gianluigi Buffon started for the team. His appearance met that he equaled Alessandro del Piero’s record of 478 appearances in Serie A for Juventus.
All it took was nine minutes before the Bianconeri took the lead through Cristiano Ronaldo. Dybala latched onto a looping ball, his miss shot rebounded off the opposition defender and fell into the path of CR7, who drilled it straight into the back of the net. Play was flowing through the attacking trio’s boots, and they nearly doubled the lead when Ronaldo back heeled the ball to Higuain, he then played it for Dybala, whose shot took a deflection and went into the side netting.
Dybala thought he had doubled the lead in the 20th minute when he received a cross on the edge of the box, he chested it down and lobbed it over the goalkeeper into the back of the net.
However, it didn’t stand as VAR adjudged him to have handled the ball.
Juventus were looking dominant and confident went going forward, and once again it was trio who were in the thick of all the action: Ronaldo’s shot from Dybala’s assist was blocked, with the rebound falling to Higuain, whose shot was pushed round the post by Musso.
CR7 AT THE DOUBLE, THEN BONUCCI
Another excellent chance fell to Higuain: Dybala fed the ball to him as he ran up the field and fired straight at goal, but he was denied by Musso’s outstretched arm. The scoreline changed to 2-0 when Ronaldo grabbed his second of the day, following a cheeky no-look pass by Higuain down the middle, which saw the Portuguese fire away at goal. A third goal was added ln the brink of half-time when Bonucci put in a sneaky header that hit the woodwork and bounced over the line.
SECOND HALF: UDINESE PULL ONE BACK
The start of the break saw chances on each end, with Mandragora seeing his shot go wide of goal, while Dybala’s effort sailed over the Udinese crossbar by just inches.
Udinese gained momentum and they tested Buffon when Lasagna beat the offside trap and fired a shot in which Gigi beat away with one hand. Higuain then saw his shot on the hour mark blasted over the bar, before Buffon was called in action again to deny a shot from Lasagna.
Maurizio Sarri then made a double change when he introduced Bernardeschi and de Ligt in place of Dybala and Bonucci, with 15 minutes remaining.
Douglas Costa’s return from injury saw him put on as the final change of the game, while Cristiano Ronaldo was denied one last time by Musso when he turned on the ball and shot at goal.
Udinese pulled a goal back in stoppage time through Pussetto, but it was too little too late, as it didn’t change much. The Bianconeri will play their final game of the year on Wednesday against Sampdoria at Luigi Ferraris.