Nikola Milenkovic’s header proved the difference, as Fiorentina made it three wins in a row to see off plucky Udinese.
The Viola were on a roll with back-to-back wins over Sampdoria and Milan, while the visitors welcomed back Rodrigo De Paul after his three-match ban for slapping Antonio Candreva.
The Argentina international made an immediate impact, as within three minutes he had tested Bartlomiej Dragowski from a tight angle.
Fiorentina should’ve taken the lead on a corner, but German Pezzella’s diving header bounced off the ground and back over the crossbar from six yards.
Udinese hit the back of the net with Ilija Nestorovski on 34 minutes, but the goal was inevitably disallowed, as Nicolas Opoku had knocked down the corner with his arm in the build-up.
Set plays continued to be the major talking points, as Nestorovski was crucial in his own penalty area to deny Gaetano Castrovilli at the near post on another corner.
Chiesa started to move up the gears in the second half. His wonderful ball from the right flashed across the six-yard box with both Castrovilli and Dalbert sliding in a second too late.
Moments later, Chiesa pounced on a William Troost-Ekong error to force Juan Musso into a desperate save, then Ribery’s free kick whistled just wide of the far post.
The deadlock was finally broken on an entirely avoidable corner. Erick Pulgar’s free kick took a deflection, but Mato Jajalo allowed it to run out of play, not realising there had been a touch. On that resulting set play, Nikola Milenkovic soared above the crowd for a towering header.
Udinese fought back immediately and almost equalised within 40 seconds, as Kevin Lasagna combined with Stefano Okaka and the substitute’s angled drive forced a desperate save from Dragowski.
Dalbert stung Juan Musso’s gloves at the near post on the half-volley, but Udinese laid siege to the Viola box for the final 10 minutes without finding a way through.
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