Thursday August 29 2013
EL: Udinese crash out in Liberec

Udinese crashed out of the Europa League after a 1-1 draw away to Slovan Liberec, losing 4-2 on aggregate with Roberto Pereyra sent off.

There is still an extremely slim chance of a recall to the group phase, as on Friday UEFA will hold the draw and pick one team to replace Fenerbahce. The Turkish club is banned due to match-fixing.

The Friulani had a mountain to climb after their shock 3-1 home defeat, in which they hit the woodwork three times. Giampiero Pinzi was not even fit enough for the bench after picking up a knock, so made way for Andrea Lazzari, while Ivan Kelava still deputised for the injured Zeljko Brkic in goal. Slovan Liberec were without one of the first leg scorers Ondrej Kusnir.

Antonio Di Natale couldn’t keep an angled drive on target from Lazzari’s assist, while Luis Muriel missed the target from his captain’s corner.

Kelava was forced into a desperate reaction save on Rybalka, who was sent clear by Delarge after a defensive error from Thomas Heurtaux.

Slovan Liberec further extended their advantage on aggregate when Delarge got away from his marker on a long throw-in and was able to power past Kelava at the near post from six yards.

Di Natale tried to fight back with a fierce right-foot shot that skimmed the crossbar. The night got worse for Udinese, who lost Maurizio Domizzi to a muscular problem. Francesco Guidolin gambled by introducing attacking midfielder Maicosuel in place of the defender, moving Gabriel Silva back into a 4-2-4 formation.

Lazzari pulled one back for the visitors, as Slovan lost the ball on the edge of their penalty area and Muriel dribbled past two to set up the midfielder’s curling finish into the far bottom corner.

After the break Kelava smothered a Rybalka effort and Kelic’s header was just over from a Sackey free kick.

Any residual hopes vanished when Pereyra received a second yellow card, reducing Udinese to 10 men. It was a tad harsh, but he reacted to a foul by body-checking Sural as he ran towards him, effectively making the player clatter into his shoulder and elbow.

Roma-owned Nico Lopez made his Udinese debut and immediately had a good scoring opportunity, but was crowded out by Slovan Liberec defenders.

Maicosuel thought he had at least given Udinese a victory on the night, but Kovar flew to fingertip a precise right-foot strike out of the top corner.

Slovan Liberec 1-1 Udinese (4-2 on agg)

Scorers: Delarge 23 (S), Lazzari 42 (U)

Slovan Liberec: Kovar; Frydek, Kovac, Kelic, Fleisman; Delarge, Sackey, Pavelka, Sural (Kolar 84); Rybalka; Rabusic (Kalitvintsev 86)

Udinese: Kelava; Domizzi (Maicosuel 31), Danilo, Heurtaux; Gabriel Silva, Allan, Lazzari, Basta; Pereyra, Muriel; Di Natale (Lopez 80)

Ref: Sidiropoulos

Sent off: Pereyra 71 (U)

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