Cristiano Ronaldo Rested as Moise Kean Inspires Juventus Past Udinese in Serie A

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistMarch 8, 2019

TURIN, ITALY - MARCH 08: Moise Kean of Juventus celebrates after scoring his second goal during the Serie A match between Juventus and Udinese at Allianz Stadium on March 08, 2019 in Turin, Italy. (Photo by Tullio M. Puglia/Getty Images)
Tullio M. Puglia/Getty Images

A Moise Kean brace inspired a much-changed Juventus side to a 4-1 victory over Udinese in Serie A on Friday.

Manager Massimiliano Allegri made numerous alterations to the XI with Tuesday's UEFA Champions League showdown with Atletico Madrid in mind, meaning Cristiano Ronaldo watched on from the bench.

In his place, Kean excelled, netting twice in the first half to leave the Italian champions in total control of the contest. Emre Can's penalty midway through the second period ended any lingering hopes of a comeback for the visitors before Blaise Matuidi added the gloss to the scoreline. Kevin Lasagna then bagged a consolation for Udinese.

Juventus are now a staggering 19 points clear at the summit of the table, having played a game more than Napoli. Udinese are in 15th, although successive wins prior to this encounter means they're still seven points clear of the drop zone.


Moise Kean Deserves Chance to Help Reignite Ronaldo

Given the circumstances going into this game, it was anticipated that Kean would get an overdue start in the Italian top flight on Friday. Prior to the encounter, he had only made two substitute appearances in Serie A all season, totalling three minutes.

Quickly it became clear why Juventus supporters want to see more of the youngster, as he made his mark with a poacher's finish after 11 minutes:

Premier Sports 📺 @PremierSportsTV

⚫⚪ Goal! Moise Kean scores on his first start of the season 👊 JUV 1-0 UDI #SerieA https://t.co/w5ZBTzl1bg

Six minutes before the interval, he then scampered into the left channel and prodded an effort past goalkeeper Juan Musso: 

Premier Sports 📺 @PremierSportsTV

⚫⚪ Moise Kean gets his second of the night! 👏 JUV 2-0 UDI #SerieA https://t.co/BahXgebCOg

Throughout the match, there were indications as to what Kean can offer. Off the ball, his movement was dynamic and dangerous, while the 19-year-old operated with a fearlessness that provided Juventus with a different edge.

Given Juve are so far clear in the Italian top flight, it would make sense for Allegri to give him more domestic chances. After all, in attack as of late, the Bianconeri haven't been at their fluid best, with Ronaldo going three successive games without scoring.

Matteo Bonetti of beIN Sports praised the temperament Kean showed in this big opportunity:

Matteo Bonetti @TheCalcioGuy

Moise Kean’s coming out party with Juventus. Make that a first half brace from the teenager. Showing plenty of personality here today

So far this season there have only been flashes of Ronaldo linking well with Mario Mandzukic and Paulo Dybala. A player like Kean alongside him in attack could prove key in expediting the Portuguese's return to peak form.


What's next?

Juventus face the unenviable task of trying to beat Atletico Madrid by a three-goal margin on Tuesday, having lost the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie 2-0 in the Spanish capital.

After a visit to the top side in the division, Udinese's tough run continues next weekend, when they make the trip to Napoli.