After the International break it was vital Juventus got back to winning ways immediately to keep up the pressure on Inter. Udinese were the visitors to Turin's Olympic Stadium on Sunday night and made Juventus work hard for the points.
In the end Fabio Grosso's goal was enough to seal the win. Adamo Digby rates the players as always.
Gianluigi Buffon: 6.5
Very little to do for Superman, but still made two vital blocks to help secure the points. Seemed aware he'd be redundant for long spells—wearing sweat pants instead of shorts to keep out the cold!
Biggest involvement came when he sent the Captains armband to Del Piero, only to have it returned due to a petty rule stating captain can only be changed if he is substituted.
Martin Caceres: 6.5
Started well defensively and looked solid throughout. His attacking contribution was poor in the first half, but improved drastically after the interval. Provided a number of good crosses, one of which set up Grosso's goal. Good to see him lose the mask, he is now clearly the first choice at right back.
Fabio Grosso: 8.5
Brilliant all-round performance from a player who seemed to be struggling for form before the international break. This was probably his best game for Juventus so far, giving away nothing in defence and pressed forward all night, providing the width Juve sometimes lack.
A great run into the box, and an even better finish, gave him his first goal in Bianconeri. After Del Piero's introduction he worked even harder to cover the ground behind il Capitano. PLAYER OF THE DAY
Giorgio Chiellini: 8
The break for Italy games has done nothing to break the consistency of Juve's best player so far this season. Another game, another great contribution from the clubs best defender. Some hard tackles, but always fair, not only shut out his own man but covered a number of times when Caceres and Cannavaro made mistakes. His partnership with the Italian captain becomes better every game.
Fabio Cannavaro: 6.5
A quiet night for the defender, Chiellini marked Udinese's lone striker and didn't need any help. Stopped a few attacks with his superb reading of the game. Always one step ahead tonight, which stopped the opposition exploiting his lack of speed.
Felipe Melo: 5.5
Seems unable to play at his best without Sissoko, tries to hard to make an impact instead of keeping it simple. His defensive work was as solid as ever but his passing was very poor, giving the ball away numerous times.
Was taken off early to give Sissoko a run out, hopefully the two will be reunited against Bordeaux. That should see the real Melo return.
Christian Poulsen: 7
Better than Melo, and one of his best games so far, he put in some good passes, one great one picking out Caceres in the build up to the goal. Provided good cover for the defence all night, and maintained a good level of performance throughout the match.
Played well in spurts but simply not his night. Became frustrated at the number of fouls he suffered and got involved in a needless scrape with the Udinese goalkeeper after a silly foul of his own. Seemed to come to life in the short time he and Del Piero were on the field together. Needs to do more than this to command games like we know he can.
Mauro Camoranesi: 7
Played another good game, lots of creativity, lots of running. Helps Caceres defensively and always provides an option out wide in attack. The system is bringing the best out of him and he is consistently good in his new role.
Sebastian Giovinco: 5.5
Many were surprised to see him start tonight, as Del Piero was widely expected to play from the beginning. Had a good chance in the first half which was well saved, but then did very little. Needed a good performance to keep his place but came up short, and will probably be the one sacrificed for Del Piero.
Worked hard and probably deserved a goal for his efforts. Will need to be on form over the next month with Iaquinta and Trezeguet injured. Unlucky not to score when a great move down the left gave him a smart chance.
Del Piero 6.5
Great to see his return, his leadership greatly missed. Vital he contributes in the coming weeks.
Came on for Melo and was everything the Brazilian wasn't. Another who's been sorely missed.
De Ceglie: NM
No time to have any influence on the game as he came on late.