Juventus failed to win the 36th league title in club history on Thursday. Despite a goal from Orange-international Matthijs de Ligt, the club from Turin lost to low-flyer Udinese: 1-2. Juventus had to win to secure the ninth national championship in a row.
De Ligt broke the spell in Udine in the 42nd minute with a hard and low long shot of about 25 meters, but Ilija Nestorovski equalized immediately after the break with a nice diving header for the home club. Seko Fofana gave Udinese the surprising victory in the third minute of the injury time with the 1-2.
Despite the defeat, it seems a matter of time before the title for 'Juve' is a fact. The team of trainer Maurizio Sarri has a six-point lead over pursuer Atalanta with three games to go. If the number two of Serie A loses on Friday at AC Milan and number three Internazionale also goes down at Genoa, Juventus is still champion.
If Atalanta and Internazionale do not lose, Juventus can still finish the job at home against Sampdoria on Sunday. The 'Old Lady' must then win the current number fourteen of the rankings.
Matthijs de Ligt opened the score against Udinese with a hard long shot. (Photo: Reuters)
Juventus makes a rusty impression
Juventus got stiff from the starting blocks at Udinese and escaped after seven minutes. Danilo tried to head away a high cross, but accidentally hit the inside of the post behind his own goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny.
The visitors then took the initiative. Before the opening goal of defender De Ligt, Cristiano Ronaldo and Paulo Dybala were close to the 0-1, but the club top scorer and the playmaker had not adjusted their sights.
After Nestorovski's equalizer, Juventus became sloppy and even seemed like a surprise in the making, which also happened. Fofana struck in the counter, rushed past De Ligt and also beat Szczesny. The Dutch started Bram Nuytinck, Hidde ter Avest and Marvin Zeegelaar at Udinese.
View the program, the results and the position in Serie A.