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Juventus 4 - Udinese 1: Initial reaction and random observations

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Did somebody say something about Moise Kean?

Juventus v Udinese - Serie A Photo by Tullio M. Puglia/Getty Images

Just as was the case when he made his first career Juventus start back in January against Bologna in the Coppa, everybody’s eyes were collectively set on Moise Kean. On a team filled with big-money acquisitions, he is the new great hope who has come through the Juve youth academy, dominating every level he played at along the way.

On that frigid night in Bologna, Kean’s first start resulted in his first goal of the season.

Two months later, making his first Serie A start in a Juve shirt and playing in front of a nearly-packed house at Allianz Stadium, Kean took things one step further.

Kean not only made it two straight starts with a goal, his first-half brace was the clear highlight on a Friday night where Juventus absolutely dominated Udinese in a 4-1 win to, at least for the next 48 hours or so, the lead atop the Serie A table to an astonishing 19 points. (NINETEEN, YOU GUYS!) And not only was it a first-half brace, but Kean’s goals were two very different kinds of finishes, ones that clearly showed what kind of range of skill that the incredibly talented 19-year-old striker has.

It was on full display Friday night, that’s for sure.

Kean’s first goal, off a brilliant run and cross from the left wing by Alex Sandro, showed off the kind of instincts and finishing skill in the box the youngster has. His second goal, which started with a run a lot like Sandro’s, showed off Kean’s power, pace and then creativity to shoot with the outside of his foot and beat the keeper at the near post (with some help from a bit of a deflection, but still).

We’ve said the same kind of thing before when Paulo Dybala was bursting onto the scene his first couple of years with Juventus. This was, without a doubt, the Moise Kean Show. And it was safe to say that everybody in attendance at Allianz Stadium was sitting up in their seat just that much more whenever Kean was anywhere close to getting a touch on the ball.

But that’s the kind of potential this kid has. He’s done it at the youth level for both Juventus and for Italy. He has already gotten a good bunch of Serie A experience under his belt during his loan spell at Hellas Verona last season. The 2018-19 campaign has obviously been one where he’s done far more watching than actually playing, but even then he’s shown his quality despite going weeks — and even months — in between game action.

So, thank you, Moise Kean for turning a night where there wasn’t much of anything riding on the result based on Juve entering the day with a 16-point lead and a good number of folks were probably already thinking about Atlético Madrid into something to be happy about. And let’s hope that we don’t have to go another two months in between seeing Kean’s name on the starting lineup.

That was fun — and a lot of it had to do with Juve’s young hotshot who, for the second straight start, got to dance on ‘em as much as he wanted to.

If only he had gotten the chance to take the penalty to try and finish off his hat trick ...

RANDOM THOUGHTS AND OBSERVATIONS

  • Juventus announce that the formation is the usual 4-3-3 on Twitter an hour before kickoff. Once there’s actually kickoff, Juventus rolls out in a 3-5-2 with Leonardo Spinazzola on the right and Alex Sandro as a left wingback. Oh, Max, you sneaky little devil.
  • Through the first 20 minutes of game time, Juventus recorded 82 percent of the possession.
  • Of course in his first game in months Andrea Barzagli is forced to leave the field after 25 minutes because of injury.
  • Wojciech Szczesny had to make one save and it was probably the easiest one he’ll be called into action for all season long.
  • I guess if you’re going to lose your shutout in the dying minutes, it’d at least come on a pretty good finish like that one from Kevin Lasagna.
  • (mmmmmmm lasagna ...)
  • Spinazzola as a right back/right wingback — not bad!
  • You could definitely see why Udinese is one of the worst offenses in all of Serie A. Until Lasagna’s goal, they had barely any kind of threat going forward. Szczesny had barely anything to do all night and Juve’s second-string backline was rarely put into any kind of difficult situations. I guess if you’re going to roll out your backup defense, doing so against a team that doesn’t do much offensively is the way to go.
  • I’m happy Blaise Matuidi got a goal. He worked his ass off in that game.
  • Federico Bernardeschi’s game was one that was filled with plenty of positives, plenty of missed opportunities and plenty of frustration. Go home and give Spike and Wendy a hug or two, buddy.
  • MOISE KEAN MOISE KEAN MOISE KEAN MOISE KEAN MOISE KEAN MOISE KEAN
  • Sorry, had to get that out of my system.
  • If you had Moise Kean scoring a brace and Nicolussi Caviglia making his senior squad debut all in the same game, you probably should place some money on other sporting events. (And also help me out with some “financial planning” advice because I’ve got a mortgage to pay here, folks.)
  • Something tells me that Allianz Stadium is going to be just a little bit more lively and rowdy when Atlético Madrid comes to Turin on Tuesday night. (It better be.)
  • In conclusion: Moise Kean.