SERIE A MATCH REPORT

Serie A Week 1 - 21 Dec 2011 (17.00 UK)
Udinese 0 - 0 Juventus
Stadio Friuli

Both Udinese and Juventus had chances, but the finishing left a lot to be desired in their 0-0 draw, so Juve end 2011 as joint leaders with Milan.

Arturo Vidal and Leonardo Bonucci returned from their bans, though Mirko Vucinic was still injured. The Friulani missed Andrea Coda, Paulo Vitor Barreto, Emmanuel Badu and the suspended Mehdi Benatia, so Damiano Ferronetti stepped into the back three.

Antonio Conte changed to an adaptable 3-5-2 with Stephan Lichtsteiner going into right-back when needed.

Claudio Marchisio had a great chance in the opening minutes, his scuffed shot with the outside of the right boot scraping a coat of paint off the far post. Ex-Udinese player Simone Pepe’s strike from distance stung Samir Handanovic’s palms, while Gigi Buffon had to rush off his line to charge down Mauricio Isla following a Giorgio Chiellini error.

Antonio Di Natale was incorrectly flagged offside and Stephan Lichtsteiner’s effort was deflected over. When two Udinese defenders collided at the back post, it was still enough to stop Marcelo Estigarribia nodding in a sweeping Pepe cross.

Alessandro Matri’s first touch let him down when one-on-one with Dusan Basta, then seconds later Isla blasted over. Marchisio had another fantastic chance, as his toe-poke from the D flashed wide of the upright with Handanovic left stranded.

Handanovic just about beat away an Andrea Pirlo free kick from a tight angle. Di Natale ruined a good opportunity for teammate Basta when going on to the pass despite being offside, as he should’ve left it.

After the restart, Pirlo floated in a set play for Chiellini’s header, which Handanovic did well to pluck off the line. Pepe also drilled wide, but at the other end Buffon had to fingertip Danilo’s header over the bar from a Di Natale free kick.

Marchisio blasted over from the edge of the area and Buffon smothered an Asamoah angled drive. Matri made numerous mistakes to waste good chances, so was replaced by ex-Udinese striker Fabio Quagliarella, who with his first touch fired wide of the near post.

Buffon smothered a Di Natale free kick and Handanovic was almost propelled backwards by the ferocity of a Quagliarella screamer.

Alessandro Del Piero picked out Stephan Lichtsteiner to blast over at the back post. In the final minutes, Udinese went on a strong counter-attack that Di Natale drilled wide, but this result ended their run of seven consecutive Serie A home wins.


Udinese: Handanovic; Ferronetti, Danilo, Domizzi; Basta, Isla, Pinzi, Asamoah, Armero; Abdi (Floro Flores 85); Di Natale
Juventus: Buffon; Barzagli, Bonucci, Chiellini; Lichtsteiner, Marchisio, Pirlo, Vidal, Estigarribia (De Ceglie 90); Pepe (Del Piero 80), Matri (Quagliarella 71)
Ref: Tagliavento

Sent off: Guidolin (Udinese Coach 92)