Khedira hat-trick lifts 10-man Juventus to thumping win

Milan: Sami Khedira hit his first hat-trick as ten-man Juventus kept pace with leaders Napoli and Inter Milan in a 6-2 goalfest at Udinese on Sunday as AC Milan’s campaign unravelled further with a goalless draw at Genoa.
Massimiliano Allegri’s champions desperately needed to win at Udine after claiming just one point in their previous two league games.
And the reigning six-time champions fought back after Stipe Perica opened after eight minutes for the hosts and Mario Mandzukic was sent off on 25 minutes for a second yellow card.
But a Samir own goal after 14 minutes and a Khedira strike got the Turin giants back in front within six minutes.
“There was a good response from the boys. It wasn’t easy,” said Allegri.
“In fact I want to thank him (Mandzukic), because we had to get back to winning games by defending and suffering for the result, so we can only thank him,” Allegri told Mediaset Premium.
“Over the last two games we had decent performances, but we needed something like this. Down to 10 men, the team was much more focused
“This was a turning point in the championship. A negative result would have been hard to swallow.”
Udinese equalised with Danilo’s header, but it was Juventus all the way in the second half with a Daniele Rugani header on 52 minutes followed by two more from Khedira with Miralem Pjanic adding a sixth in the final minute.
“It’s the first hat-trick of my career, so that’s great, but I’m above all happy with the win,” said the Germany international.
“It’s always difficult for Juventus when we’re not winning, especially after Mario’s red card. It was not easy for us, but we are still one of the best teams in Europe and we proved that today.”
Juventus remain joint third with Lazio who beat Cagliari 3-0 but are just a point behind second-placed Inter Milan and three adrift of leaders Napoli, who have 25 points from nine games.
On Saturday, Inter Milan ended Napoli’s winning streak with a goalless draw despite a hard-fought top of the table clash in Naples.
Career-changing
But former Juventus player Leonardo Bonucci’s nightmare start at his new club Milan continued as he was sent off for elbowing — a first red card decided by the video assistant referee in Serie A — that could cost coach Vincenzo Montella his job. Montella had already been under huge pressure after three straight Serie A losses and Thursday’s 0-0 Europa League draw with AEK Athens in Milan. — AFP