Kevin Pogorzelski Date: 24th July 2020 at 10:30am
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With the match balanced evenly at 1-1, the clock ticking down at the Dacia Arena and Juventus gradually increasing the pressure on a tiring Udinese team, few would have predicted that it would be the relegation threatened hosts securing a vital victory late in injury time.

However, while the Old Lady have faced significant challenges for their domestic crown from Atalanta, Inter and Lazio, this season it feels as though the Bianconeri are in no hurry to clinch a ninth consecutive Serie A title.

Juventini might take to social media to remind people that with a six point lead over La Dea and three games remaining, the Scudetto has merely been delayed by this minor setback, they cannot deny that Maurizio Sarri’s team do not share the look of invincibility of previous incarnations.

Leading through a stunning long-range strike by defender Matthijs de Ligt just before half time in Udine, the Bianconeri have now lost an astonishing 18 points from winning positions this term.

Add to that the late escapes against Sassuolo and Atalanta in recent weeks, and supporters must fear that the title might be secured with something of a whimper, before a humiliating exit in the Champions League to Lyon – who they trail 1-0 from the Last 16 first leg.

Some other numbers do not make pleasant reading either, with the loss to Udinese the fifth away defeat of the campaign. The last time that happened was the 2009/10 season, when Juventus were finishing seventh and watching Inter win an historic treble.

That year, the Old Lady conceded 27 goals away from home. Seko Fofana’s late strike for Udinese was the 24th this term, but with only Cagliari left to play outside of Turin, can probably sleep easy given that another unwanted record is unlikely to be achieved.

Unlike at the Friuli on Thursday night, the Bianconeri now only need a point when Sampdoria travel to the Allianz Stadium on Sunday so the Scudetto is coming, but largely because the others have run out of time and displayed their own failings.

Before the coronavirus enforced halt to play, Serie A was one of the most evenly posed championships in Europe, only for Lazio to completely implode, Inter flatter to deceive too often and the keen eyed VAR cameras punishing Atalanta.

Any drama that was expected to fill the final few weeks of the season have instead been replaced by Juventus’ slow and awkward stumble towards a title could so easily slipped from their grasp had others not faltered with them.