Udinese paid for a sluggish performance in Switzerland, as Raul Bobadilla’s hat-trick saw Young Boys emerge 3-1 winners.
The Friulani were joint top of the group thanks to a shock 3-2 victory in Liverpool, but rested Antonio Di Natale and others while Giampiero Pinzi was injured. Marco Davide Faraoni started on his 21st birthday and Mathias Ranegie took the centre-forward role. Young Boys had lost their last three European outings and were bottom of the group.
It could not have been a worse start for Udinese, who were 1-0 down after just four minutes to an all-Argentine goal. Gonzalo Zarate’s through ball allowed Raul Bobadilla to burst through the distracted Friulani defence and beat Zeljko Brkic.
Ranegie tried to fight back immediately, forcing a Marco Wolfli save at the near post, while Elsad Zverotic stopped Diego Fabbrini’s foray forward with a well-timed tackle.
Willians had a long-range attempt well off target and Danilo hit a free kick into the wall, as Udinese struggled to make any kind of dent in the Swiss defence.
Francesco Guidolin had to fire up the squad, so introduced Di Natale and Roberto Pereyra for Ranegie and Emmanuel Badu. It seemed to wake them up and Wolfli did well to block Fabbrini’s right-foot shot set up by Di Natale.
Di Natale’s first touch let him down in the box and Fabbrini just failed to get on the end of a deflected cross at the back post.
Udinese had been improving, but Pablo Armero gave away the ball in midfield and Andrea Coda mistimed his tackle, allowing Bobadilla to prod past the helpless Brkic.
Moments later Coda made up for his error by getting his team back into the game. Maurizio Domizzi flicked on an Armero corner and Coda was there to nod in at the back post.
Di Natale’s volley was off target from an Armero cross, but Domizzi brought down Alexander Gonzalez for a penalty just 60 seconds after the Venezuelan had come off the bench. Bobadilla converted successfully to complete his hat-trick and secure Udinese’s defeat.
The Italians ended the game with 10 men, as Mehdi Benatia picked up an injury with all the substitutions completed and limped off seven minutes from time.
Young Boys 3-1 Udinese
Scorers: Bobadilla 4, 71, pen 81 (Y), Coda 74 (U)
Young Boys: Wolfli; Sutter, Nef, Ojala, Raimondi; Costanzo (Schneuwly 71), Zverotic; Zarate (Gonzalez 80), Farnerud (Veskovac 87), Nuzzolo; Bobadilla
Udinese: Brkic; Coda, Danilo, Benatia; Armero, Willians, Lazzari (Domizzi 71), Badu (Pereyra 46), Faraoni; Fabbrini; Ranegie (Di Natale 46)
Ref: Turpin (FRA)
Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's tipster competition - £11,000 to be won monthly!