Genoa showed great resilience to come back from 3-1 down to hold Udinese 3-3 with Alberto Gilardino’s brace.
Both teams were on improving form and breaking well clear of the drop zone, but wanted to keep their men on their toes. The Friulani were fresh from two consecutive League victories and narrowly went out of the Coppa Italia semi-final to Fiorentina this week. Alessandro Gamberini, Giuseppe Sculli, Luca Antonini, Sime Vrsaljko and Juraj Kucka were out, while Andrea Lazzari didn’t make the trip. Despite being back to full fitness, Zeljko Brkic was still dropped in favour of 17-year-old Simone Scuffet.
Marco Motta’s header was over the bar from a corner, then Mattia Perin rushed off his line to close down Bruno Fernandes on a Luis Muriel assist.
The goal arrived on 34 minutes when Emmanuel Badu’s cross from the right found Dusan Basta completely unmarked to volley home at the back post.
Udinese doubled their advantage with a classic counter-attack, as Roberto Pereyra sprung the offside trap and Perin was able to parry his shot, but only into the path of Bruno Fernandes.
It was a fiery game with chances for both sides, as Scuffet did well to deny another Motta header and Perin rushed out to stop Fernandes after a Daniele Portanova error.
Genoa managed to claw one back before half-time with a powerful soaring header from Moussa Konate into the near top corner on Giovanni Marchese’s cross.
Straight after the restart Nicolas Burdisso was booked for a shirt-tug on Thomas Heurtaux in the box and Luis Muriel stepped up to convert the resulting penalty.
Konate’s header from another Marchese cross was this time inches off target, then Muriel failed to make the most of a dangerous Udinese counter-attack. The tension got to Genoa Coach Gian Piero Gasperini, who was sent off for dissent.
Scuffet performed a wonderful save on Motta’s free header from five yards on a touched-on free kick, a great stop from the 17-year-old.
Heurtaux almost scored an own goal when deflecting a cross inches wide of the upright, but Genoa got themselves back into the game. Ivan Fetfatzidis won back the ball in midfield and rolled through for Alberto Gilardino, who smashed a powerful finish from the edge of the box.
Genoa completed the comeback from 2-0 down to 3-3 with Gilardino’s second of the game. Scuffet did everything possible with a point-blank range reaction save, but Gila pounced on the loose ball.