In the final round of the 2022/23 Serie A season, Juventus beat Udinese 1-0 on Sunday evening in a match that was limited in scoring opportunities and drama. On the same day that saw their women’s team win the Coppa Italia Femminile in Salerno, a goal from Federico Chiesa was enough to give La Vecchia Signora the victory, and they finish seventh in the league with 62 points, securing a Conference League spot assuming they do not receive a ban from UEFA.
It was a match devoid of any technical quality or excitement, and it was perhaps a reflection of how meaningless this match was for both sides. Usually, the final round is a chance for teams to play with nothing to lose but this fixture was nothing more than a time-wasting exercise.
Detractors of Italian football are often quick to say that Serie A is boring and a game like this further pushes the narrative. Both clubs are known as the Bianconeri because of their black and white jerseys, but they are also squads that you can easily associate with boredom.
Chiesa brilliance enough to earn victory
In a match with limited chances, it was Juventus that generated the best opportunities. Leonardo Bonucci hit the crossbar in the first half, and in the second half, Adrien Rabiot hit the side netting. Then, in the 68th minute, a well-worked team move was finished off by Chiesa after he received the ball from Manuel Locatelli.
Angel Di Maria and Moise Kean came on as a substitutes and came close to scoring, but Chiesa’s goal was enough for the Italian giants as the Zebrette posed little threat going forward.
Youth given a chance Udinese
Udinese coach Andrea Sottil used this game to grant playing opportunities to a few youngsters such as James Abankwah and Axel Guessand.
The 19-year-old Irishman played for 59 minutes in defence before coming off injured while the 18-year-old Frenchman was on the pitch for 80 minutes, and he was replaced by 20-year-old Portuguese defender Leonardo Buta.
Udinese are known to be a selling club, and have the ability to unearth their share of hidden gems. Perhaps these youngsters could have impressive 2023/23 campaigns before going on to better things elsewhere.