Italian Recap: McKennie Goes Distance in Juve Win

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Weston McKennie showed his versatility in a narrow win by Juventus that will give them a first glimpse at the top, while Sergiño Dest was unused for wasteful AC Milan in their draw against Roma.

Juventus 1 – 0 Udinese

A seventh straight win for Juventus brought the team to within seven of Serie A’s top spot, with Weston McKennie putting in his first 90-minute performance since late-October.

Head coach Massimiliano Allegri opted for a stout 5-3-2 setup, positioning the American on the right side in a hybrid role. After a solid performance by McKennie in the role in the victory, it would not be a surprise to see a repeat in upcoming fixtures.

The USMNT star had 56 touches, completed 34 of 39 passes, intercepted one pass, made one block won six of eight duels, and drew a pair of fouls from the opposition.

Udinese largely played toe-to-toe with Juventus, forcing keeper Wojciech Szczesny into three saves, the same number of stops required of their own keeper Marco Silvestri.

In the end, the hosts won by simply wearing down the opposing defense and taking advantage of the narrow opening when it momentarily appeared.

In the 86th minute, Leandro Paredes spotted Federico Chiesa making a smart run into the area, and hit him with a perfect ball just to the left of the six-yard box. The Udinese defense over-compensated, leaving Danilo absolutely unmarked at the far post for an easy tap-in from Chiesa’s cross for the winner.

Coupled with AC Milan’s collapse against Roma on Sunday, the victory brings the Bianconeri to second place, a lofty standing that has become unfamiliar in recent years. They will face a huge test to their momentum when they visit league leaders Napoli on Friday night.

Highlights of the game can be seen here.


Sergiño Dest had no part in AC Milan’s home game against Roma on Sunday, watching from the bench as they blew a 2-0 87th-minute lead, settling for a disappointing 2-2 draw.


David Smith

I'm YA's resident doctor, but not the kind of doctor you would want giving you an examination anywhere outside of a lecture hall. I've been YA's feet-on-the-ground in Germany since 2008, have an affinity for overly verbose descriptions of irrelevant minutiae, keep an eye on YAs in most of the destinations on mainland Europe, and watch a whole lot of Serie A.

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