A Sami Khedira hat-trick helped Juventus get their Serie A campaign back on track with a sparkling 6-2 win over Udinese despite the first-half dismissal of Mario Mandzukic.
The Bianconeri had taken one point from their previous two games after winning their first six of the season, but a win at Stadio Friuli means they are now just three points behind Napoli at the summit of Serie A.
The hosts took an early lead through Stipe Perica, but it was little surprise that a team who have scored more first-half goals than anyone else in the league this season responded in scintillating fashion.
A comical Samir own goal pulled Massimiliano Allegri's side level before Khedira got the first of his treble with a fine header.
Mandzukic then received his marching orders midway through the opening period for two quick-fire yellow cards and Udinese took advantage of their numerical superiority just after the break as Danilo headed in.
Juve powered back, though, as a header from Rugani, two superb finishes from Khedira and a late Miralem Pjanic goal secured all three points and put the pressure on Inter and Napoli above them in the table.
Udinese started in emphatic fashion and were ahead after just eight minutes.
Perica picked Rugani's pocket just inside the Juventus half before bursting towards the penalty area. The Croatian made light work of Giorgio Chiellini, turning the Italy defender inside out, and fired a crisp left-foot strike past Gianluigi Buffon for his first goal of the season.
Their lead did not last long, though, as the visitors pulled level in slapstick fashion in the 14th minute.
Pjanic's corner was delivered with trademark precision, but Brazilian defender Samir got his positioning horribly wrong and sent a thumping header into his own net.
Chiellini failed to mirror Samir's accuracy moments later with a back-post header before an incisive move resulted in Juve's second after 20 minutes.
Juan Cuadrado ran into space down the right and delivered a teasing cross into the path of Germany international Khedira, who powered a header into Albano Bizzarri's bottom corner to open his account for the season.
Gonzalo Higuain could have put Juve further ahead, crashing an instinctive shot against the post, before a moment of madness from Mandzukic handed the initiative to Udinese.
The Croatia striker was initially booked for confronting Ali Adnan after taking issue with a heavy tackle in the area and then received an immediate second caution for demonstrating vociferously to referee Daniele Doveri.
Clearly buoyed by the 31-year-old's dismissal, Udinese started to display more attacking intent and Jakub Jankto was twice denied a leveller just before the break by two outstanding saves from Buffon.
Udinese started the second period in similar fashion to the first and equalised just two minutes after the restart.
Rodrigo de Paul sent in an inviting free-kick and Danilo took full advantage of some abysmal marking to send a close-range header past Buffon.
Juve did not have to wait long to reclaim the lead, though, as just five minutes later Rugani met a Paulo Dybala free-kick to send a header in off the post.
Another Dybala set piece led to Juve's fourth in the 59th minute. The Argentine's whipped ball was met by Rugani inside the six-yard box, but instead of going for goal the Italian opted to head down towards Khedira, who drilled a left-foot volley home from close range.
Khedira completed his hat-trick with a sweetly struck shot past an exposed Bizzarri in the 87th minute before Pjanic rounded off a memorable evening for Allegri's side in injury time with a deflected shot from long range.
Key Opta stats:
- Juventus scored six goals in a Serie A game away from home for the first time since November 2012.
- Sami Khedira scored his first hat-trick in a competitive match since March 2008 (for Germany U21).
- Mario Mandzukic's red card is the first shown to a Juventus player in Serie A since May 2016 (Alex Sandro v Verona).
- This was also Mandzukic’s first red card in a competitive game played for a club in the top-five European leagues (289 total appearances).
- The assist for Daniele Rugani’s goal was the first provided by Paulo Dyabla in Serie A this season.
- Juventus scored six goals with only five shots on target (one own goal, no save for Bizzarri).
|Muntari joins Seedorf at Deportivo La Coruna|
|F1 champs Mercedes launch new W09|
|Wigan coach Wane ponders Hardaker lifeline|
|Hamilton hopes for pre-season contract resolution|
|Winter Olympics 2018: Joy for Gisin, Hirscher´s woe and record-breaking win for Wu|
|Rooney: Moving to China for the money would have been easy|
|Carrasco left out of Atletico squad amid China move reports|
|Arthur: Move to Barcelona still on track|
|Blatter backs Morocco 2026 World Cup bid|
|Moeen backs Rashid, Hales white-ball decisions|
|Wenger sees Welbeck emerging from torrid struggles|
|Zidane stands by selfless Benzema|
|Sodhi earns New Zealand ODI recall|
|´Important names´ keen on Inter star Icardi|
|Hughes returns in only England change|
|Manchester United v Chelsea: Mourinho and Conte´s feud in their own words|
|Manchester United v Chelsea: Grant´s disastrous debut, Drogba´s ´offside´ goal and other Old Traffor|
|Walker motivated by EFL Cup final showdown with Arsenal|
|Manchester United v Chelsea: ´Specialist in failure´, eye-pokes and Mourinho´s other best rows|
|CONCACAF Champions League Review: America close in on quarters with huge win|
|Keane defends Pogba as former United captain demands more from Lukaku and Sanchez|
|Stoger labels Reus ´indispensable´ amid Milan links|
|Ferdinand and Man United team-mates doubted De Gea|
|Sock, Isner and Raonic crash out at Delray Beach|
|Rain sees Cilic-Monfils suspended at crucial stage|
|Djokovic steps up rehab as Federer leads the way|
|Cuban fined $600K for tanking comments|
|Fowler says PGA National demands full attention|
|Rory McIlroy curbing expectations before Masters|
|Shakhtar would´ve won by more if not for Roma´s Alisson – Fonseca|
|Popovich would be ´surprised´ if Leonard returns for Spurs this season|
|Championship Review: Wolves squander two-goal lead to Norwich, Cardiff City take advantage|
|Mourinho happy with ´big effort´ from Pogba|
|Benneteau ousts Bautista Agut in Marseille|
|Mourinho questions medical staff after ´bad´ Herrera injury|
|Sarri demands better from Napoli ´buffoons´|
|Mourinho hugs reporter for asking about McTominay instead of Pogba|
|Di Francesco slams Roma: I should have substituted half of them!|
|Curtains for Konta and Ostapenko in Dubai|
|De Gea happy with ´important´ wonder save|
|Woods eager to experience Masters ´rush´|
|Vazquez and Asensio important to Madrid, says Zidane|
|Shakhtar Donetsk 2 Roma 1: Fred stunner seals first-leg comeback|
|Sevilla 0 Manchester United 0: De Gea ensures Mourinho´s men stay level|
|Klaasen and Duminy half-centuries set up T20 decider|
|Herrera injury gives dropped Pogba chance for reprieve|
|Tindall urges England to ´hunt´ vulnerable Scotland|
|Firmino insists he did not abuse Holgate|
|Leganes 1 Real Madrid 3: Casemiro inspires comeback for Zidane´s men|
|Milan have everything to lose – Gattuso worried about complacency|
|United a big team in defeat - Mourinho aims dig at City|
|Firmino escapes punishment after Holgate allegation|
|Mourinho benches Pogba for Sevilla clash|
|Cavendish withdraws after Abu Dhabi crash|
|Rugby greats put on show in French Alps snow|
|Gremio refute claims of €40m Arthur agreement with Barcelona|
|Messi will sign another Barcelona contract, predicts Bartomeu|
|UEFA rejects PSG appeal over Rabiot´s Real Madrid booking|
|Hardaker sacked by Tigers after failed drugs test|
|James to miss ´a few days´ of Bayern training with calf injury|
|Bellew not feeling Haye love|
|Nantes not stopping Ranieri if Italy come calling|
|Milan owner Li slams ´fake news´ over financial woes|
|Italy make three changes for France encounter|
|Wenger still gunning for top four spot with Arsenal|
|AFC Champions League Review: Kanazaki braces inspires Kashima|
|Gloucester centre Scott to re-join Edinburgh|
|Ospina to get Wembley nod as Wenger waits on Ramsey|
|Pogba not struggling at United, claims Deschamps|
|No police action against Gloucester coach Ackermann or son after nightclub incident|