Benevento are already relegated, but just do not give in and down to 10 men snatched a 3-3 draw on Udinese boss Igor Tudor’s debut.
There was an odd atmosphere, as Le Streghe were already relegated last weekend despite a shock 1-0 win away to Milan. Udinese, on the other hand, were on a record run of 11 consecutive defeats and made their debut under new Coach Tudor after Massimo Oddo was sacked. The Friulani were only four points clear of the drop zone and made the trip without Gabriele Angella or suspended Jakub Jankto. Benevento’s top scorer Cheick Diabate sat out a ban with Luca Antei and Guilherme sidelined.
Tudor is a former Juventus and Siena defender, but this was his first experience as a Serie A Coach, having most recently been at the helm of Galatasaray. The Croatian was Udinese’s third boss of the campaign after Gigi Del Neri and Oddo.
It didn’t take long for Tudor’s men to get their first goal, as an Ante Balic free kick was floated in for the looping header back across the face of goal of Silvan Widmer.
However, Le Streghe won’t give up without a fight this season, even if they are already doomed to the drop, and Nicolas Viola was left in acres of space for a diving header on Lorenzo Venuti’s cross from the left.
Alberto Brignoli made a fine one-handed save on Danilo’s header from another Balic free kick, but this time the offside flag was up anyway.
Djimsiti used himself as a human shield on a Balic volley, Pietro Iemmello’s stop and volley skimmed the woodwork and Benevento lost Filip Djuricic to a thigh injury.
Benevento went down to 10 men for the last half-hour, as Danilo Cataldi received his second bookable offence for hauling back Kevin Lasagna.
Brignola almost beat Albano Bizzarri directly from the corner flag, but 10-man Benevento incredibly turned it around to take the lead. Pezzella’s handling offence was considered voluntary and Massimo Coda blasted the penalty into the roof of the net.
Udinese suddenly surged into life and scored twice in two minutes to turn the game on its head yet again. Lasagna was the star of the show, first springing the offside trap to get the slightest flick on to a Rodrigo De Paul cross from the left, then being ready when a comical Venuti diving header accidentally set him up.
Udinese nearly added a fourth, as Balic fired wide and De Paul saw his counter-attack kept out by Brignoli’s save.
Deep into stoppages, 10-man Benevento proved they will not be bowed and scored for 3-3 with Bacary Sagna’s diving header from a Viola corner, his debut Serie A goal.
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Sent off: Cataldi 57 (B)