Atalanta goalkeeper Andrea Consigli performed heroics to ensure Udinese were unable to score at the Stadio Friuli.
This represented a big battle of the hitmen, as Udinese-owned German Denis was on stunning form against Capocannoniere Antonio Di Natale. The Friulani were without Almen Abdi, Emmanuel Badu and Mauricio Isla. The visitors missed Daniele Capelli, Stefano Lucchini and banned duo Maxi Moralez and Federico Peluso.
Atalanta have a strong record at the Friuli, winning two of their previous four visits. Andrea Consigli blocked a Diego Fabbrini right-foot effort and Di Natale’s strike, but Atalanta lost Guglielmo Stendardo to a suspected thigh strain, quickly followed by Carlos Carmona.
Kwadwo Asamoah was strangely the most threatening Udinese player of the first half with a series of long-range efforts.
Udinese came out stronger for the second half, as Maurizio Domizzi’s screamer was over the bar and Michele Pazienza turned a corner on to the side-netting.
Antonio Floro Flores was introduced and immediately the Friulani seemed a more dangerous attacking force. Di Natale tested Consigli and Gelson Fernandes had a great chance on 63 minutes, when nodded over from six yards as Dusan Basta swung in a cross from the right.
Desperate Udinese defending cleared a dangerous Marilungo cross-shot, while Di Natale almost made the most of a Floro Flores wayward strike. Ezequiel Schelotto’s header from a Carrozza cross sailed over, as neither side could find a breakthrough.
Di Natale thought he’d won it in stoppages with a sensational volley from seven yards, but Consigli somehow managed to palm it over the line!