Juventus 2-0 Udinese: Dybala and McKennie seal routine victory
Juventus maintained their push for a Champions League qualification spot as goals from Paulo Dybala and Weston McKennie sealed a 2-0 win over Udinese at the Allianz Stadium.
Massimiliano Allegri's side produced a stirring fightback to beat Roma 4-3 last weekend, but they needed no such drama to record a 10th win in their last 13 top-flight games against Udinese on Saturday.
Dybala was comfortably Juve's brightest spark and he put them ahead in composed fashion, with McKennie adding a second late on.
The result lifted fifth-placed Juve onto the same points as Atalanta, who occupy the last Champions League qualification spot, although Gian Piero Gasperini's men do have two games in hand.
Juve were dominant in the early stages and deservedly went ahead in the 19th minute courtesy of Dybala's seventh Serie A goal of the season.
The Argentina international did well to adjust his feet after receiving a deflected pass from strike partner Moise Keane before coolly lifting the ball over the onrushing Daniele Padelli.
Udinese's goalkeeper pushed away a Juan Cuadrado free-kick from an acute angle on the hour mark, while Dybala whipped narrowly wide from the edge of the penalty area.
Yet the result was wrapped up when an unmarked McKennie headed in Mattia De Sciglio's left-wing cross from six yards, the United States international's third league goal of the campaign.
What does it mean? Juve rarely tested by tepid visitors
Juve were miles off their best but they scarcely needed to get out of second gear to ease past a poor Udinese outfit, who have lost two Serie A matches in a row for the first time since September.
Allegri's men have now won their last six top-flight home games against Udinese, scoring at least two goals in all of them. The last time they registered a longer home winning streak against the Friulians was between 1980 and 1987 (seven).
Dybala proves his worth
Dybala, whose contract expires at the end of the season, has been linked with a move to Serie A rivals Inter and he showed here why Juve are desperate to tie him down.
The 28-year-old was his side's best player and has now scored more times against Udinese than any other side in the Italian top flight (10 goals in 17 games).
Kean off the pace
Kean struggled in attack for the hosts, taking just one shot and failing to play a single key pass before he was hauled off for Morata in the 64th minute.
He did play a crucial part in Juve's opener, however, with his flick turned into Dybala's path by a defender's accidental touch.
Key Opta facts
- Juve have collected the most clean sheets in Serie A since the beginning of November (seven).
- From the start of November, Juve have gained 26 points in Serie A. It is the most points in this period, but Inter (25) and Atalanta (22) have played fewer matches.
- Only Inter (12) have a longer unbeaten streak in Serie A than Juventus (eight).
- Dybala is the only Juventus player able to be directly involved in at least 10 goals in the Serie A 2021-22.
- Four of McKennie's eight Serie A goals have come with his head, including two of three in this campaign.
Both sides are in Coppa Italia round-of-16 action on Tuesday, with Juve hosting Sampdoria and Udinese visiting Lazio.