SERIE A MATCH REPORT

Serie A Week 24 - 19 Feb 2012 (19.45 UK)
Udinese 0 - 0 Cagliari
Stadio Friuli

Cagliari snatched a point at the Stadio Friuli, as only a goalline clearance managed to keep out Udinese.

The Friulani were urged to “hang on” by their Coach Francesco Guidolin after a difficult spell. Mauricio Isla is out for three months and Antonio Di Natale suffered a microfracture to his foot, while two consecutive Serie A defeats were followed by a disappointing 0-0 home draw with PAOK in the Europa League on Thursday.

Emmanuel Badu and Giampiero Pinzi were also sidelined. Cagliari had Daniele Conti on a ban, joining the injured Moustafa El Kabir, Nene, Rui Sampaio and Sebastian Eriksson.

Danilo went close from a corner straight away, but at the other end Thiago Ribeiro fired over after shaking off Mehdi Benatia in the driving rain.

The home side had a great chance on 20 minutes when Dusan Basta burst down the right flank and set up Pablo Armero to drill wide from a very promising position.

Gelson Fernandes hit a fresh-air shot in the box and Michele Pazienza’s follow-up was straight at Michael Agazzi.

It really should’ve been 1-0 to Udinese on 37 minutes when a delightful Torje cross was chipped to the back post for Fernandes, but he incredibly nodded wide with the goalkeeper stranded.

Cagliari had a fantastic opportunity out of nowhere just before half-time. Mauricio Pinilla hit an amazing volley that was looping under the bar before Samir Handanovic flew for the fingertip save.

The Sardinians had a similar effort moments later, this time from midfield, as Albin Ekdal’s chest and volley just scraped a coat of paint off the crossbar.

Cossu was carrying a knee injury and eventually had to limp off on the hour mark. There was controversy from an Udinese corner when Mehdi Benatia got the header at the near post, but Alessandro Agostini was standing in the right spot for a decisive goalline clearance. The Friulani complained there was a handling offence, but that did not seem clear from the replays.

The home side went very close again, as Floro Flores’ glancing header skimmed the upright from an Armero cross.

Agazzi had to flap a dangerous Paulo Vitor Barreto cross off the head of Armero from a yard in a crucial intervention. From the corner, the goalkeeper also smothered a Floro Flores effort.

Armero pounced on a defensive error in the final five minutes, but his chip from a tight angle only went across the face of goal with nobody ready to tap in. 


Udinese: Handanovic; Benatia, Danilo, Domizzi; Basta, Pazienza, Abdi, Fernandes, Armero; Torje (Barreto 67); Floro Flores
Cagliari: Agazzi; Pisano, Canini, Astori, Agostini; Dessena, Ekdal (Ibarbo 52), Nainngolan; Cossu (Ariaudo 59); Thiago Ribeiro (Ceppelini 75), Pinilla
Ref: Celi