SERIE A MATCH REPORT

Serie A Week 27 - 8 Mar 2014 (17.00 UK)
Udinese 1 - 0 Milan
Di Natale 67 (U)
Stadio Friuli

Antonio Di Natale finished off a brilliant team move to give Udinese a 1-0 victory over Clarence Seedorf’s Milan.

The Rossoneri rested several stars ahead of their Champions League trip to Atletico Madrid, while Stephan El Shaarawy, Andrea Poli, Bryan Cristante and Andrea Petagna were injured. The Friulani missed Andrea Lazzari and the suspended Danilo, but still ended their month-long winless streak. Coach Francesco Guidolin was on the bench, but still suffering from flu symptoms.

Udinese had a great chance after three minutes when Roberto Pereyra burst through down the left on a mazy run and forced Christian Abbiati into a desperate one-handed save, then a Cristian Zapata clearance prevented Antonio Di Natale getting the rebound.

Moments later Giampaolo Pazzini’s header was over from six yards after Mattia De Sciglio ran on to a Riccardo Montolivo cross-field pass.

Pazzini nodded another De Sciglio cross inches wide when 17-year-old goalkeeper Simone Scuffet failed to intervene. At the other end, Abbiati had to smother at Widmer’s feet when his first touch let him down on a free kick. Remarkably, Abbiati made his Serie A debut when Scuffet was only two years old.

It was a fiery affair with three bookings in the opening 17 minutes, including De Sciglio who’ll be suspended against Parma next week. Zapata wasted a golden opportunity when a corner found him unmarked at the back post, but his diving header was wide.

Moments later Scuffet performed a fine one-handed save on Pazzini’s effort from close range and parried a Robinho snapshot. A splendid Di Natale first touch trapped a ball over the top and Philippe Mexes crucially deflected the finish off target.

After the restart Scuffet performed a great reaction save on Robinho’s glancing header from an Urby Emanuelson cross. Honda showed his talents in defence with a sliding tackle to stop Di Natale going clear.

Mexes gave the ball away in his own penalty area, but was fortunate Di Natale rushed the finish and fired wide.

Udinese did break the deadlock with a well-worked team move. There was great one-touch passing between Pereyra, Bruno Fernandes down the left and rolled into the middle for Di Natale to tap in from eight yards. It was the veteran’s 12th career goal against the Rossoneri, his 185th in Serie A.

Substitute Mario Balotelli blasted over the bar, but the hosts continued to have the better of the game and Allan’s curler skimmed the far top corner.

Balotelli’s flick with his back to goal sent Pazzini clear, but Scuffet was alert to block at his feet. Scuffet also flapped away a Michael Essien header, while from that corner Luis Muriel went on the counter to test Abbiati.


Udinese: Scuffet; Heurtaux, Domizzi, Bubnjic; Widmer, Pinzi (Badu 85), Allan, Pereyra (Basta 89), Gabriel Silva; Bruno Fernandes, Di Natale (Muriel 77)
Milan: Abbiati; De Sciglio, Zapata, Mexes, Emanuelson; Montolivo, Muntari (Taarabt 70); Honda, Birsa (Essien 57), Robinho (Balotelli 63); Pazzini
Ref: Russo