Udinese ended their crisis with a 4-0 result, including three penalties, and inflicted the first defeat of the season on 10-man Sampdoria.
The Blucerchiati were still unbeaten, albeit with a game in hand, and fresh from a 2-0 victory over big-spending Milan. It was a return to the Dacia Arena for Duvan Zapata, who spent the last two years on loan to Udinese, and was partnered by another ex-Friuli forward, Fabio Quagliarella. The hosts had lost five of their six games and missed Danilo, Emil Hallfredsson and Silvan Widmer.
Samp had been unbeaten against Udinese since a 1-0 result here in November 2015, earning a win and two draws, home and away.
Rodrigo De Paul really should’ve opened the scoring after two minutes, but horribly scuffed the finish from 12 yards, while Antonin Barak also failed to make the most of a promising position.
Bram Nuytinck’s sliding block prevented Duvan Zapata scoring from a tight angle on the Dennis Praet assist.
Udinese had the better of the overall play, showing the effects of spending a week in a training retreat, but were gifted the opener when Christian Puggioni mistimed his run and clattered into the back of Maxi Lopez just inside the area. The referee pointed to the spot and De Paul converted into the near bottom corner.
Puggioni almost made another naïve error, parrying De Paul’s cross-shot at the base of the near post. It was an ill-tempered game with many mistimed tackles and Edgar Barreto was responsible for two of them, sending Sampdoria down to 10 men on 40 minutes.
Gaston Ramirez still forced Bizzarri to fingertip his header out from under the bar on a free kick.
Udinese should’ve doubled their lead after the restart on the counter when Jakub Jankto sprinted from his own half and rolled across for Lasagna, but Puggioni performed a remarkable reaction save from close range.
Quagliarella’s snapshot from distance tested Bizzarri and he fired another effort wide, but within two minutes of coming off the bench, Seko Fofana had gone on a mazy run and was tripped by Lucas Torreira. This time Maxi Lopez converted the penalty into the bottom corner against his former club.
Valon Behrami was stretchered off with what appeared to be an upper thigh strain, making way for Andrija Balic.
Samp didn’t give up, even down to 10 men, and substitute Dawid Kownacki saw his strike charged down in the box by desperate defending.
Maxi Lopez hit the underside of the bar after a chaotic move with Jankto and De Paul shots ricocheting around, but had strayed offside.
Moments later, Maxi Lopez sprung the offside trap on a De Paul assist and placed a delightful chip over the on-rushing Puggioni to complete his brace.
Deep into stoppages, Fofana went on another brave run and went over as he was nudged in the back by Ferrari. This time, Fofana decided to take the penalty himself and put it in the same corner as Maxi Lopez for 4-0.
Sent off: Barreto 40 (S)