Juve serve another poker this time against Udinese, (twice this season)

What ever happen out there on Saturday stays out there, after the recent events Conte felt pressure from around him, on Friday made a claim that we would no longer see the Juve of the past two games. Bit of a wild statement according to the experts as Juve hosted Udinese with four first choice players out, a statement which went down like a led balloon to some, Conte asked the fans to get behind the team and stop jeering when things go wrong. During the game fans responded by cheering on the team, up until the 41st there was little to cheer about until Pogba (who play excellent al through the game) took that thunderbolt shot from outside the box to the top corner on the right-side of the keeper, what a goal what a strike, (it was measured at 36 meters and the speed of 101 km per hour) (63mph) not much the reaction time for the keeper, great strike great goal, but hang on that was the first half goal he virtually repeated the same in the second half this time was along the ground again just inside the post right-side of the keeper 66 minutes and its 2-0 Juve, Vucinic in the 72nd made it 3-0 with a real poachers goals at this point Udinese were just trying to play out time as there was no way that they could score three goals the way they were performing, the final nail to the coffin was hammered in by Matri who had replaced Giovinco earlier a through ball by Vucinic in the 80th split the defence and it was left to Matri to put it past the lonely keeper 4-0 almost the same result as the first leg then it finished 4-1.

A great performance by Juve which have taken them five points clear, as in the earlier game Lazio had to come from behind to get a single point, and the Sunday lunch time game Napoli also came from behind to share points with Fiorentina, the other chasers Inter de ja vue also shared points with Roma after going behind, so all the chasers ended up with one point each, this allowed Milan to close for that Champions league spot as they were the only actual club of all the chasers to keep all three points as they beat Bologna 2-1.

Gianluigi Buffon

Aside from the odd harmless cross into his area, the captain had next to nothing to do for the entire 90 minutes. Unlikely that he’ll have an easier outing all season.

Martín Cáceres

Strong in the air, Caceres dealt well with everything that Udinese threw at him from an aerial perspective, while also threatening at the other end with a header that looped just over the bar.

Paolo De Ceglie

Effectively played as a winger having pushed right forward from the first whistle. However, while he repeatedly stretched the Udinese defence, he never managed to pick anyone out in the area.

Andrea Barzagli

A formidable presence at the back for the Bianconeri, Barzagli also stepped out of defence to good effect whenever the opportunity presented itself, with a wonderfully measured ball down the line to Lichsteiner the highlight of his evening.

Leonardo Bonucci

Although occasionally ruffled by the direct running of Muriel, Bonucci proved predictably reliable at the heart of the Juve defence. He also caused problems in the Udinese box, sending a looping header just over the bar.

Stephan Lichtsteiner

As usual, the Swiss was never afraid to get in behind the opposition defence, even popping up in the middle of the box 13 minutes in only to see his shot blocked. However, all too often his final ball let him down.

Paul Pogba Top of the Match

Kept things ticking over nicely in the middle of the park, going about his business with the minimum of fuss. However, he then underlined just how explosive he can be by firing an absolute missile into the top corner just before the break. Decided to do it again midway through the second half, this time with a low drive from distance. Outstanding goals from an outstanding talent.

Arturo Vidal

When he wasn’t snapping at the feet of Udinese players, picking up his customary booking in the process, he was surging forward to support his forwards. The Chilean was very nearly rewarded for his endeavor 15 minutes in but his fine strike was tipped over by Padelli. Only had himself to blame, though, after missing an easier chance in the second period.

Emanuele Giaccherini

Charged with the responsibility of filling in for Marchisio, Giaccherini came close to breaking the deadlock after bursting forward in the manner of his fellow Italy international, but he was denied by Padelli. He also called Padelli into action again with a weak effort during the second half. No end product but dynamic throughout.

Mirko Vučinić

Began brightly, linking well with Giovinco as well as putting Giaccherini in on goal with a nicely weighted through-ball. Got the goal his constant creativity deserved on 72 minutes, albeit with a helping hand from Padelli. However, there was nothing fortunate about his fine assist for Matri.

Sebastian Giovinco

Very lively early on, the diminutive forward proved a constant menace to Udinese’s back three and not just with his quick feet. Indeed, it was his dead-ball delivery that Caceres headed just wide. However, he faded badly and was called ashore during the interval.


Mauricio Isla

Replaced De Ceglie for the final seven minutes, which was simply not enough time to make a real impact.

Simone Padoin

Took over in midfield from Vidal for the closing stages, but did not do anything worthy of mention.

Alessandro Matri

Came on in place of Giovinco during the break and wasted little time in making his presence felt with a scintillating run down the left wing. That ultimately came to nothing but Matri kept plugging away and got his just deserts when he finished coolly after being put through by Vucinic.


——————                 —————-

On Tuesday night Juve host Lazio in the Semifinal of the Italian cup, not an easy game but Conte said he will take this game very seriously and want Juve into the final, the big question here is who will be playing for Juve and will Lazio risk everything to try to beat Juve, Lazio have the first team only any injury to their top players and could end up losing that Champions league spot, hard to call but Juve playing home and Pogba probably in the starting 11 Juve will have the edge and win this 3-0, in the final they will either face Inter or Roma.

—————              ——————–

Juve in talks over Llorente; Juventus director-general Giuseppe Marotta has confirmed talks between the club and striker Fernando Llorente’s advisors are “very advanced”. Llorente, currently plying his trade at La Liga side Athletic Bilbao, is out of contract at the end of the season, alerting the Bianconeri to a potential free transfer in the off-season.

“We are waiting for news,” Marotta told Sky Italia. “We have looked at players who are out of contract on June 30 and I will not hide that the talks with Llorente, or at least his agents, are very advanced. “From that point of view I am very optimistic that it can be finished quickly, although a contract which begins on July 1 is expected.”

Llorente had announced in August he would not be signing a contract extension with Bilbao, paving the way for his move to one of Europe’s biggest clubs. The Spain international has mainly been used as a substitute this season, and is likely to find himself on the bench once more as Bilbao take on Real Betis tonight.



The Brazilian playmaker seems determined to leave Shakhtar Donetsk despite their Champions League run, with Chelsea, Juventus and Tottenham Hotspur perhaps preparing bids for the player. With Shakhtar safely through to the knockout stages of the Champions League and having been one of the most impressive sides in the group stages despite a tough draw, they might have assumed their best players would be happy to stay in the Ukraine at least until the summer.

However Willian has made it clear that he wants a move away from the Donbass Arena despite their fine season, and with Shakhtar signing Taison perhaps as a replacement, Willian could be on the move if their asking price is met this month. That asking price is believed to be £20 million, and if Shakhtar are determined to hold out for that amount, then it will have a big impact on Juventus and Tottenham Hotspur’s chances of signing the player.

Neither of those sides is poor, but splashing out £20 million on a player in January would be a significant departure from their previous dealings in the transfer market. Both of them will have to hope that Chelsea’s interest is not strong enough to pay that price either, and then they might be able to negotiate the fee with Shakhtar towards the end of the window. How keen Chelsea are on a mid-season bid for the player could be the key factor in deciding where Willian ends up. The Blues were reportedly very close to signing Taison before he went to Shakhtar, indicating they are keen to bring in another attacking midfielder despite the amount of players they already have in that position. If they do want Willian, you can expect he will end up at Stamford Bridge, as Chelsea have demonstrated many times they will pay whatever is required to get the man they want.

If Chelsea don’t enter the fray, then Tottenham Hotspur might be favourites to sign Willian. The player has an existing relationship with Andre Villas-Boas, and if the transfer fee can be reduced then Spurs would be very keen to sign the Brazilian. Perhaps the most likely option is still that Willian will stay at Shakhtar. The Ukrainian club are not desperate to sell him despite his trouble making, and might hope that once the window passes Willian will refocus on the second half of the season with them.

Wherever Willian ends up at the end of the window, you can expect that he will not be very far from the headlines over the next couple of weeks, and if Chelsea in particular are keen to sign the Brazilian, he could well be in London by February.



Leave a Reply