Juventus succumbed to a 1-0 defeat to Udinese on Serie A Matchday 24, and the Bianconeri performance was uninspiring at best.
La Vecchia Signora conceded a goal in the first half from new Zebrette defender Lautaro Gianetti, and despite their efforts, they did not display enough quality to pose a serious threat on the Friulani goal.
Federico Chiesa is a player that can provide some guile, but he was unable to find a breakthrough, and many others failed to inspire Juventus. Arkadiusz Milik returned from suspension, and took the place of the injured Dusan Vlahovic, but he squandered a great opportunity to score in the first half.
Chiesa ineffective against resilient Udinese defence
Juventus vs Udinese was a tight and cagey affair with the Bianconeri showing that they lacked the guile to break down a resolute Zebrette backline. Chiesa is a player that is expected to provide some flair and individual brilliance, but he was lacking in effectiveness.
The Italy Men’s National Team player completed 28 out of 37 passes, one out of nine crosses, won four out of nine ground duels, created just two chances, and took two shots with one hitting the target against Udinese.
Although he posed little threat to the Friulani, Chiesa did not get much help from his teammates. Without the Italian winger firing, the Juventus attack struggles for ideas.
Milik rusty on return
With Vlahovic on the sidelines, Milik was brought into the starting line-up and this was a great opportunity for the Pole to make an impact. Unfortunately for Juventus, he failed to take his chances.
The 29-year-old had the least touches out of anyone who played the whole match, touching the ball just 25 times. He was still able to take four shots: two on target, one off target, and one blocked. It was the one that failed to hit the target that should have gone into the back of the net.
After Udinese had taken the lead, Juventus had the chance to equalise soon after. Andrea Cambiaso suppled a powerful low cross from the left, and instead of driving the ball into the net, Milik gave it a small poke and the shot flew horribly wide. It was arguably their best chance of the match and the Pole was right in front of goal.
After a slow start, Vlahovic has recently jumped to second in the capocannoniere race. However, Milik needed to show how valuable his experience is and he was not clinical when Juventus really needed him to be.
Gianetti comes from nowhere to become Udinese hero
Signed from Velez Sarsfield on a free transfer in January, Gianetti is another player that Udinese have plucked from obscurity. The 30-year-old spent 12 seasons at the Argentinian club, he represented Argentina at Under-20 level and at the 2016 Olympics, and this is his first foray abroad.
It might seem baffling that a veteran defender, who did not play for one of the giants of Argentinian football and has never won a senior cap, would attract the interest of a Serie A club, but Udinese love a bargain.
In only his second game with the Zebrette, he emerged as a hero after Juventus defender Alex Sandro did not clear the ball properly, and Gianetti capitalised like an opportunist striker, poking the ball into the net. He wasn’t tested too often at the back, but he was still able to complete 83% of his passes, made three clearances, and one interception.
For a player that arrived without any fanfare, the Argentine has suddenly become a hero thanks to his goal against one of Italy’s giants.