Udinese held Atalanta to a 1-1 draw at the Dacia Arena, as Roberto Pereyra gave them an early lead, before Luis Muriel equalised before the break.
La Dea were in Udine to recover the postponed match from Serie A Week 10 due to a waterlogged pitch and it was an intense affair at the Dacia Arena.
Pereyra scored with the first chance and a neat finish underneath goalkeeper Pierluigi Gollini and the home side were up after only 23 seconds, but Muriel responded with a great run into the oppositions box to tie the game at the death of the first 45 minutes.
Udinese played a physical match and Juan Musso did well to keep out the few, but big, chances created by an Orobici side who dominated possession before the break.
But the Friuli were dangerous going forward and showed they had intentions of upsetting the visitors.
Right before Muriel’s goal, the Nerazzurri goalkeeper Pierluigi Gollini dropped the ball in the area and dived down to block Pereyra. He seemed to have caught the player and the home side protested Calvaresi’s decision to let the play continue.
After a quick look at VAR, the match official stood by his decision and no penalty was given, only for Muriel and Atalanta to go straight up and score the equaliser.
Two important moments for Atalanta, who will have boosted their confidence ahead of the second half.
Udinese continued to play a physical game and slow down the proceedings in the second half, but were seemingly nervous when Atalanta made three changes early on.
Josip Ilicic, Duvan Zapata and Robin Gosens were introduced after 58 minutes and Gian Piero Gasperini showed his intent to go for the three points.
La Dea huffed and puffed but couldn’t find a way past Juan Musso, who had another impressive game in goal, despite the few clear cut chances created by the visitors.
Udinese sent on Walace to replace Rolando Mandragora in the second half but he only lasted 15 minutes before he was replaced by Gerard Deulofeu having suffered to a back injury.
The Friuli were mostly concentrated on keeping out the Atalanta attack and Ruslan Malinovskiy should have done better when he for once had pulled himself free at seven yards but decided against concluding the attack and back-heeled it to nobody.
Zeegelaar bashed Gollini with a high boot in the 86th minute and the play was stopped before the ball entered the back of the net, but Udinese did show signs of being dangerous going forward too.
A professional second half to pick up a point against one of the big teams in the League and Luca Gotti’s men seemed to be content with a draw.
Atalanta, on the other hand, missed an opportunity to claim a place among the top four in Serie A.
See the latest Serie A predictions and betting tips with Eurotips.co.uk