Luis Muriel cancelled out Erik Lamela’s strike and Udinese held on to a 1-1 draw with Roma despite a controversial red card.
This was a head-to-head for Europe and saw Aurelio Andreazzoli return to the Stadio Friuli, where he was part of Luciano Spalletti’s staff before the move to Roma. He had three consecutive victories under his belt, welcomed back Leandro Castan and dropped Pablo Daniel Osvaldo, while Marquinhos, Mattia Destro, Miralem Pjanic and the banned Michael Bradley missed out. Alessandro Florenzi became a trequartista. Udinese were without Mehdi Benatia, Giampiero Pinzi, Andrea Lazzari, Giovanni Pasquale and Marco Davide Faraoni.
After just three minutes Antonio Di Natale had his first shot on target, stinging Maarten Stekelenburg’s palms from the edge of the box for a corner.
Roma had a fantastic opportunity when Francesco Totti took a free kick quickly, rolling it through to the totally unmarked Florenzi, but the youngster was denied by Zeljko Brkic when one-on-one.
Moments later it was 1-0 to the Giallorossi. Gabriel Silva gave the ball away and a curling Totti cross found Florenzi’s diving header, which Brkic deflected on to the crossbar, but Erik Lamela was ready to tap in the rebound. The Argentine has now put three goals past the Friulani.
Dusan Basta and Daniele De Rossi blasted well wide from promising positions. Before the break Totti was booked for lashing out an arm at Danilo when backing into him.
After the restart a Totti through ball sent Florenzi forward, but the angled drive was off target. Maurizio Domizzi was booked for simulation in the box and will be suspended for next week, though he seemed to lose his balance after a fresh-air shot.
Maicosuel fired straight at Stekelenburg, then Marquinho turned a free header over from Florenzi’s marvellous cross. Osvaldo was given his chance, replacing a frustrated Totti.
Udinese equalised as Luis Muriel got to the by-line, cut back to commit Nicolas Burdisso to a sliding tackle, skipped past Vasilis Torosidis and smashed it low between Stekelenburg’s legs at the near post.
Torosidis was furious when he went down under a sliding Gabriel Silva tackle in the box, but the defender got a slight touch on the ball.
Moments later the referee showed a straight red card to Thomas Heurtaux for a sliding studs-up tackle on Florenzi in midfield. It seemed a relatively harsh decision.
Torosidis was booked for diving in the penalty area as he went over Danilo’s leg, though this too was a debatable decision.
Lamela turned a free kick into Brkic’s arms after a discussion with Marquinho over who was going to take it.
The Udinese goalkeeper had a real scare when a wayward Torosidis cross turned into a shot and Brkic had to punch it out at the near post.
Osvaldo hasn’t scored in six weeks and it showed, as in stoppages he fired wide of an open goal with his weaker right foot. He had plenty of time and space to take aim, but rushed the finish.
Sent off: Heurtaux 73 (U)