Udinese saw a penalty saved in their surprise 3-2 home defeat to Young Boys, ending a seven-match unbeaten European run at the Friuli. This result drops them to bottom of Group A, while Anzhi beat Liverpool 1-0 to go top.
The Friulani were soundly beaten 3-1 in Switzerland last time out and Raul Bobadilla scored a hat-trick, so he was again the one to watch. The need for a victory was evident by the fact Antonio Di Natale started the match, while Danilo returned in defence. Giovanni Pasquale, Mehdi Benatia, Giampiero Pinzi and Luis Muriel were sidelined, while Maicosuel, Allan, Gabriel Silva and Paulo Vitor Barreto are not on the UEFA list.
Goalkeeper Wolfli had to sprint off his line to close down Antonio Di Natale, while Schneuwly wasted a good opportunity when it was three against three. Bobadilla got away from defenders well, but misplaced his left-foot strike from outside the penalty area.
The first really dangerous opportunity was on 20 minutes, as Dusan Basta threaded through for Di Natale. The captain was closed down the first time, but at the second attempt his shot cracked against the crossbar.
Di Natale also turned another left-foot effort just wide, but it was Young Boys who took the lead at the stunned Stadio Friuli. Bobadilla confirmed his status as Udinese’s bete noir, earning and then scoring from a free kick on the edge of the box by keeping his finish low and finding a hole in the wall to surprise Brkic.
Maurizio Domizzi thought he was going to equalise, but just failed to make contact with the pass from point-blank range. There were penalty appeals for a Di Natale shot charged down by Veskovac, but the referee was right to wave play on. Bobadilla fired wide on the counter and Farnerud’s header into the ground bounced back over the bar.
Udinese thought they had done enough to draw level in first half stoppages when Nef brought down Mathias Ranegie. However, Di Natale’s surprisingly poor and central penalty was saved by Marco Wolfli, so they went into the break 1-0 down and with confidence low.
However, goalkeeper Wolfli did Udinese a favour straight after the restart with his error. He only flapped a Pablo Armero cross into the path of Di Natale, who volleyed it into the ground and over the goalkeeper to equalise.
The Italians were fired up again and Wolfli was tested by Andrea Lazzari, while Armero’s snapshot skimmed the crossbar. Alexander Farnerud should’ve done better on a Brkic error and Ranegie was too slow to trouble Wolfli.
Young Boys soaked up pressure and struck to retake the lead. Farnerud hit a snapshot from 20 metres and found the bottom corner to Brkic’s right.
Ranegie knocked down for Di Natale and Diego Fabbrini failed to make the most of the opportunity. It proved costly, as soon after Young Boys added a third to their tally. Brkic palmed away a Gonzalo Zarate angled drive, but only into the path of Raphael Nuzzolo to tap in from close range.
Wolfli had to perform a tough save to deny Marco Davide Faraoni, but then Ranegie confirmed his poor night by failing to nod in from point-blank range.
Udinese did get one back seven minutes from time, as a ball was floated into the box and pinged around until substitute Fabbrini finished it off with a fierce right-foot shot.
Ranegie tested Wolfli in the final minute as the Friulani poured forward looking for an equaliser, but it was too little too late.
Udinese 2-3 Young Boys
Scorers: Bobadilla 27 (Y), Di Natale 47 (U), Farnerud 65 (Y), Nuzzolo 73 (Y), Fabbrini 83 (U)
Udinese: Brkic; Coda, Danilo, Domizzi; Basta, Pereyra (Faraoni 64), Willians (Fabbrini 53), Lazzari, Armero; Ranegie, Di Natale
Young Boys: Wolfli; Ojala, Zverotic, Veskovac, Nef, Raimondi; Sutter, Farnerud, Schneuwly (Doubai 74); Zarate (Gonzalez 81), Bobadilla (Frey 88)
Ref: Tohver (EST)
Saved penalty: Di Natale 45 (U)