SERIE A MATCH REPORT

Serie A Week 22 - 3 Feb 2019 (14.00 UK)
Udinese 1 - 1 Fiorentina
Stryger-Larsen 55 (U), Edimilson Fernandes 66 (F)
Dacia Arena

Fiorentina had to come back from a classic Udinese counter-attack to grab a point here with Edimilson Fernandes.

The Viola were fired up after beating Chievo 4-3 in a Serie A thriller, then annihilating Roma 7-1 in the Coppa Italia quarter-final midweek. Marco Benassi was suspended with Vitor Hugo injured, but Kevin Mirallas was chosen . Udinese had lost their way after a strong start under Coach Davide Nicola. They continued to miss Samir, Lukasz Teodorczyk, Emmanuel Badu and Antonin Barak, but gave January buy Sebastien De Maio his debut.

The visitors dominated possession early on, but were nearly beaten by a sensational Rodrigo De Paul solo run through a crowd of Viola jerseys, his angled drive skimming the far post.

There was a round of applause from the entire stadium on 13 minutes to remember Davide Astori. The Fiorentina captain died in Udine in March 2018, as he went to sleep in the team hotel the night before a Serie A game here and never woke up.

Luis Muriel sent Federico Chiesa through, denied by a well-timed tackle, then on the resulting corner Juan Musso needed a sensational reaction save to deny German Pezzella’s bullet header from close range.

Nikola Milenkovic was booked and will be suspended for next week’s big match against Napoli.

Ignacio Pussetto sprung the offside trap on De Paul’s assist, but could only hit the side-netting from a tight angle.

Unsurprisingly, Giovanni Simeone replaced Kevin Mirallas for the second half and the Viola were pushing forward, but became unbalanced and allowed Udinese to strike on the counter from their own corner. Pussetto floated a ball to the back post for Jens Stryger-Larsen to come sliding in undisturbed.

Fiorentina did get back on level terms, as a loose ball came to Edimilson Fernandes for a daisy-cutter from outside the box into the far bottom corner.

Chiesa had a double opportunity to turn the game around completely from a corner. His first attempt with the right boot was parried at the near post, so he fired the rebound inches wide of the far stick with his left foot.

A deflected Stefano Okaka effort turned into an assist for Pussetto to hit the side-netting, but Fiorentina had the last chance in stoppages with Ceccherini’s header from a Jordan Veretout corner forcing Musso into a fingertip save.

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Udinese: Musso; De Maio, Troost-Ekong, Nuytinck; Stryger-Larsen, Behrami, Mandragora, Fofana, D’Alessandro; Pussetto (Lasagna 83), De Paul (Okaka 74)
Fiorentina: Lafont; Laurini (Ceccherini 82), Pezzella, Milenkovic, Biraghi; Gerson (Pjaca 59), Veretout, Edimilson Fernandes; Chiesa, Muriel, Mirallas (Simeone 46)
Ref: Orsato