On Sunday, Massimiliano Allegri’s second reign kicked off in a disappointing fashion. In their first Serie A fixture of the season, Juventus had a healthy 2-0 lead by half time, but somehow managed to waste it, as Udinese mounted an unlikely comeback with the match ending in a 2-2 result.
Paulo Dybala scored after just two minutes, and Juan Cuadrado doubled the Old Lady’s lead, but two howlers from Wojciech Szczesny allowed the Zebrette to go back on level terms, and Cristiano Ronaldo’s injury-time winner was denied by VAR due to the slightest of offside calls.
So let’s check out the three major takeaways from the Dacia Arena clash.
Juventus live to regret Donnarumma
Reminiscently to any other major Italian footballer, Gianluigi Donnarumma was closely courted by the Bianconeri. But unfortunately for the club, the goalkeeper’s contract with Milan expired during Juve’s toughest financial hour, and he ended up joining PSG instead.
The Old Lady’s inability to sign the Italian meant that Szczesny will continue to serve as the main man between the posts, and the Pole put on a horrendous second half showing, gifting two goals for the hosts who almost couldn’t believe their luck.
The former Arsenal man has been on a skid since the second half of last season, and if he’s unable to find his best form soon, Juventus will be left with a major problem to deal with.
Ronaldo remains a mystery
Speaking of problems, one would have thought that the beginning of the new campaign will allow us to focus on the action on the pitch and put all transfer speculations behind us.
And yet, one hour before the match, Fabrizio Romano dropped a major bomb by claiming that Ronaldo asked to be left on the bench as he’s still hoping to seal a move this summer.
Although we’re still unsure whether this rumor is true or not, the Portuguese’s future is a major distraction for the whole club at this point, and we can only hope that Juventus would, one way or another, put this saga to rest and shift the squad’s focus back to the pitch.
Allegri still tactically uncertain
The returning manager started with a hybrid formation between 4-4-2 and 4-3-3, but in the second half, we’ve seen a shade of 3-4-3 following the introduction of Giorgio Chiellini who formed a three-man defense alongside Leo Bonucci and Matthijs de Ligt.
The coach’s tactical flexibility is always a welcomed addition, but it seems that the switch hurt the team’s rhythm, and helped the opponents in dominating the middle of the park.
Nonetheless, Allegri can’t be faulted for his decision amidst the lack of midfielders at his disposal at the moment, and we’re hoping that the team will find a clearer identity once most of the players rediscover their best physical shape.