Juve blow opportunity to seal the title after Udinese rout


Maurizio Sarri slammed a “messy” performance as Juventus fell to a shock 2-1 defeat at struggling Udinese on Thursday to miss the chance to seal the Serie A title for the ninth time in a row.

Dutch defender Matthijs de Ligt had put the defending champions ahead three minutes before the break in Udine. But a diving Ilija Nestorovski header seven minutes after the interval got Udinese level with Seko Fofana scoring the winner in injury time.

Juventus remain six points ahead of second-placed Atalanta with three games left to play, and have another chance to seal the title for the 36th time on the pitch at home against 14th-placed Sampdoria on Sunday.

Maurizio Sarri’s side needs just three more points and the coronation could come on Saturday, depending on the results of their rivals Atalanta, Inter Milan, and Lazio.

But Juventus’ performance against the minnows from the north-east was worrying ahead of their crunch Champions League last 16 games against Lyon on August 7.

“We paid for a lack of order after a good first half,” said Sarri.

“We wanted to win at all costs, we were messy and we took the game on a dangerous track and lost it on 93 minutes because we wanted the three points. “At this stage of the season it is difficult, we are all tired. We have lost aggression.”

The game started with a clumsy header from Danilo, which almost resulted in an own goal before bouncing off Wojciech Szczesny’s post. Udinese keeper Juan Musso denied Paulo Dybala — who was wearing the Juventus captain’s armband — after 13 minutes with Ronaldo’s long-range effort wide before De Light broke through, smashing in after 42 minutes.

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