Udinese fought back to beat Fiorentina in a chaotic game with dubious penalties, an own goal and an absolute howler.
These sides started 2013 in very different ways, as the Friulani hammered Inter 3-0, while the Viola lost their unbeaten home record to minnows Pescara. David Pizarro was unable to face his former club due to injury, while Ruben Olivera was suspended, so Giulio Migliaccio stepped in. Udinese had to do without Mehdi Benatia and Emmanuel Badu due to the African Cup of Nations.
This fixture last ended in a draw back in 2006, followed by five home wins and one away. Stevan Jovetic volleyed wide with the outside of his foot from seven yards.
Fiorentina broke the deadlock in chaotic fashion, as a Borja Valero free kick found the Gonzalo Rodriguez header on to the underside of the crossbar. It bounced on to the back of Zeljko Brkic’s head and into the net, so will be registered as an own goal.
Having scored an own goal, Brkic’s day got even worse, as he rushed out to close down Juan Cuadrado and broke his finger in the process.
An Alberto Aquilani snapshot was charged down and Cuadrado hit the side-netting, but the referee pointed to the spot in first half stoppages. Borja Valero was at full stretch to challenge Maurizio Domizzi, but insisted he only made contact with the ball.
After several minutes of debate and bookings for dissent, Di Natale kicked Aquilani because the ex-Liverpool man was digging a hole on the spot with his studs. Di Natale eventually stepped up and converted by sending Neto the wrong way for his 166th Serie A goal.
Andrea Lazzari’s header whistled just wide of the near post from a corner after a deflection from point-blank range.
Adem Ljajic got round goalkeeper Daniele Padelli, but Thomas Heurtaux’s sliding tackle stopped him netting from a tight angle.
Udinese turned the game around completely with that man Di Natale, who had turned down an offer from Fiorentina this summer. He sprung the offside trap in a very tight decision on a Lazzari ball over the top, let it bounce and hit the half-volley past Neto.
The Friulani were still celebrating when they netted a third, as Luis Muriel attempted a long-range shot at the near post and Neto’s absolute howler pushed it into his own net.
Fiorentina were shell-shocked and moments later Neto used his elbow to turn another angled drive off target.
Dusan Basta’s daisy-cutter skimmed the far post.