Jakub Jankto’s brace helped Udinese ease to a 3-0 win at Crotone, lifting the Zebrette five points clear of the relegation zone.
The Czech international scored either side of half-time, before Kevin Lasagna sealed the result with a tap-in.
Maxi Lopez returned to lead the line for Udinese, as they looked to make up for back-to-back Serie A defeats.
The Argentinian striker didn’t play in the 1-0 defeat to Napoli in Week 14, but his four goals in the Coppa Italia against Perugia convinced Massimo Oddo.
The opening stages were cagey, with Marcello Trotta smashing a shot into the side netting after a mistake by Gabriele Angella.
Maxi Lopez claimed for a penalty when he chested the ball off Stefan Šimić, but the ball struck the defender’s side before accidentally bouncing up and striking his arm.
It took until the 35th minute for the first real chance of the game, and it took a fantastic save to deny Andrea Nalini.
The Crotone man cut inside from the left, and curled a right-footed shot toward the top corner, but it was clawed away by Zebrette goalkeeper Albano Bizzarri.
It had been something of a war of attrition, but Udinese took the lead with five minutes until half-time.
Kevin Lasagna played a clever one-two with Antonin Barak, but saw his shot beaten away by Alex Cordaz.
However, Jankto was on hand when the ball rebounded into space and he tucked the ball into the empty net.
The Czech got his second of the night shortly after the break, but he had Maxi Lopez to thank.
The striker surged down the right at pace before cutting the ball back to Jankto, who curled a fine right-footed strike into the net.
Lasagna put the game to bed after 66 minutes.
Barak was cleverly played in on the right of the penalty box, and he kept his head to square the ball for the striker to side foot it home with his left foot.
Ali Adnan came close to making it four, but his low strike went just wide of Cordaz’s far post.
Substitute Simy could have grabbed a last-minute consolation, but he blazed his shot over the crossbar.
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