Serie A Week 8 - 15 Oct 2016 (19.45 UK)
Juventus 2 - 1 Udinese
Jankto 30 (U), Dybala 43, pen 52 (J)
Juventus Stadium

Paulo Dybala overturned a surprise Udinese opener with his free kick and penalty, sending Juventus five points clear at the top of the table.

The Bianconeri had a series of injury problems, missing Giorgio Chiellini, Miralem Pjanic, Kwadwo Asamoah, Daniele Rugani, Rolando Mandragora, Marko Pjaca, while Dani Alves and Leonardo Bonucci were rested. Claudio Marchisio was on the bench after six months out with a torn ACL, joined by 16-year-old striking sensation Moise Kean. Udinese made their debut under new Coach Gigi Del Neri, who visited his old club, but had to do without Ewandro, Emil Hallfredsson, Panagiotis Kone, Silvan Widmer and Emmanuel Badu.

Dybala hit the side-netting from a tight angle within 85 seconds, while Rodrigo De Paul’s free kick was charged down by the wall. The hosts struggled to create many chances, with quite a few misplaced passes or poor first touches. Dybala’s deflected effort turned into an assist for Mario Mandzukic, only for the Croatia international to blast over with only Orestis Karnezis to beat.

Udinese were more than in the game and took the gift after a series of errors to go in front in Turin. Patrice Evra’s misplaced pass caught distracted Hernanes unawares and Jakub Jankto put his foot through it from the edge of the box, squirming under Gigi Buffon’s body.

Last season Udinese caused a huge upset with a 1-0 opening round victory in Turin, so this scenario brought back memories for the home fans. It was also the first time this campaign that Juve had conceded the opening goal.

Juventus fought back, again inspired by Dybala, but Stephan Lichtsteiner fired on to the side-netting. La Joya eventually just took matters into his own hands and curled a magnificent free kick into the near top corner to draw Juventus level.

The second half started in breathless fashion with Juan Cuadrado’s volley charged down and Mandzukic diving in just too late to meet Alex Sandro’s cross.

Rodrigo De Paul foolishly tripped Alex Sandro in the box with an entirely avoidable foul, allowing Dybala to stroke the penalty low into the corner, sending Karnezis the wrong way and putting Juventus in front for the first time.

Medhi Benatia made a decisive block on substitute Stipe Perica in the Juve area, while Alex Sandro somehow nodded a Lichtsteiner cross wide from a couple of yards.

Gonzalo Higuain came off the bench and turned a defender inside out before the shot was deflected wide, while Dybala’s goal from an improbable angle was correctly ruled offside.

Cyril Thereau kept the pressure up on Juve, his marvellous solo run forcing a low Buffon save at the near stick. Patrice Evra was absolutely decisive on 75 minutes, getting his toe to the low Ali Adnan cross from the left, as Duvan Zapata was ready to tap in from six yards.

Buffon needed a crucial one-handed reaction save to tip Dias Felipe’s header on to the upright from point-blank range, as Udinese pinned Juventus back in the final stages.

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Juventus: Buffon; Lichtsteiner, Benatia (Bonucci 70), Barzagli, Evra; Cuadrado, Hernanes, Lemina, Alex Sandro; Dybala (Sturaro 81), Mandzukic (Higuain 66)
Udinese: Karnezis; Wague, Danilo, Felipe, Samir (Adnan 46); Fofana, Kums, Jankto (Heurtaux 75); De Paul (Perica 55), Duvan Zapata, Thereau
Ref: Gavillucci