Francesco Guidolin can finally admit Udinese are the hot favourites for the Champions League. “Now it’ll be a Final against Catania.”
The Friulani are now clear in third place after beating nine-man Genoa 2-0 and took advantage of Napoli’s defeat in Bologna.
“This team has head, heart and legs. At this moment you need all of those elements to reach the objective,” said the Coach.
“We are at a stage that I frankly did not expect to reach. We dominated the game today, but without the usual pace and clarity, because after 50 matches you can have a dip in form.
“We struggled to put ourselves on a par with the other teams after playing more than them. If we’d maintained the away record we had last season, then we would’ve been fighting for the Scudetto. We have changed a lot compared to last year, but our results have not changed, as we are again in the race for the Champions League to the very end.”
Last season Udinese got into the qualifying round via fourth place, but now Serie A has only three slots for the competition.
“Undoubtedly our game with Catania will be a difficult challenge against one of the brightest sides in the League. We have two out of three results, but it means nothing, as it will be like a Final.
“To be honest, I didn’t expect Bologna to give us this gift of beating Napoli. We knew that we had to win and wait to see what the other results said. Fortunately, it went well.”
It was a chaotic win, as Genoa went down to nine men before half-time and Rodrigo Palacio insisted he had insulted teammate Emiliano Moretti rather than the referee.
“Moretti and Palacio were arguing near the touchline about 30 seconds before the red card. Palacio asked me to tell the referee that they had been bickering and I confirmed it, but I don’t know what happened after that.”