Antonio Di Natale broke his six-game goal drought to give Udinese a victory away to Pescara.
The Delfini were increasingly desperate and question marks hung over Coach Cristiano Bergodi. Damiano Zenon, Manuele Blasi and Vladimir Weiss returned from suspension, though Francesco Modesto, Alessandro Sforzini and Gaetano D’Agostino were still out. Udinese had one point from their last four away games and Antonio Di Natale was on a six-round drought. Mehdi Benatia, Giampiero Pinzi and Andrea Lazzari were unavailable, but they switched to a trident attack and goalkeeper Zeljko Brkic returned.
Elvis Abbruscato nodded just wide at the back post, but it was Di Natale who broke his six-game drought. He sprung the offside trap from a Luis Muriel ball across the face of goal and fought his way through to fire in from six yards at the second attempt. It was Di Natale’s 150th strike in an Udinese jersey.
It was nearly 2-0 on 28 minutes, as Gabriel Silva pulled back to the edge of the box for Muriel’s daisy-cutter that thumped the base of the upright with the goalkeeper well beaten.
Emmanuel Cascione’s blockbuster from 30 metres was just over the bar and Abbruscato’s looping header whistled inches wide. Brkic was at full stretch to smother a Weiss daisy-cutter and needed two touches to get an Abbruscato angled drive under control.
Udinese should’ve finished it off on the counter, but Muriel wasted Maicosuel’s assist. Birkir Bjarnason saw his penalty appeals waved away for a slight shirt-tug and Ivan Pelizzoli used his foot to beat away a Maicosuel effort at the base of the near post.
Pescara wanted a penalty for a Danilo push on Giuseppe Sculli, but they had to play the final 10 minutes practically with 10 men as Gianluca Caprari had a should injury after the substitutions had been completed.