Udinese took the lead after 50 seconds and Antonio Di Natale scored a sensational goal to qualify for Europe, as Inter were crushed 5-2 at home.
The Nerazzurri were already out of Europe, but failure to finish in the top eight would mean starting the Coppa Italia in August rather than November, so there was still more to play for than mere pride. Rodrigo Palacio was back on the bench after six weeks out, but Antonio Cassano, Andrea Ranocchia and Cristian Chivu joined the lengthy absentee list.
Udinese had a great deal at stake, as victory would secure their place in the Europa League, so Antonio Di Natale and Luis Muriel shook off injury concerns to be there at San Siro.
It took all of 50 seconds for Udinese to take the lead! Giampiero Pinzi burst through the middle on an Allan pass and shrugged off Juan Jesus to fire past his former teammate Samir Handanovic.
Juan Jesus aimed a weak effort from distance, but the Friulani made it 2-0 when Maurizio Domizzi was allowed a completely free header at the back post from a flicked on Di Natale free kick.
Inter got themselves back into the game when Juan Jesus saw his angled drive squirm under Zeljko Brkic’s glove from 12 yards. It was his debut Serie A goal and made up somewhat for that earlier error.
Di Natale threatened a third, his angled drive deflected across the face of goal, then Brkic needed a fine save to deny Rocchi’s tap-in on an Alvaro Pereira cross from six yards.
The Nerazzurri moved to a four-man defence after half-an-hour, but Brkic smothered at Fredy Guarin’s feet and was accidentally kicked in the head.
Di Natale restored Udinese’s advantage before the break with an absolutely magnificent strike. From the right-hand corner of the box his right-foot curler looked to be remote-controlled, as it swung round to go in off the inside of the far post. Probably one of the best goals of his extraordinary career.
In the second half Guarin’s deflected free kick flashed just over the bar, but Udinese went 4-1 up on the counter with a wonderful Gabriel Silva chip over Handanovic.
Inter were also unlucky, as Rocchi hit the upright from close range on a Guarin assist. Rocchi did get his goal soon after, placing an angled drive across Brkic.
However, Udinese added a fifth when Pinzi’s chip over the defence sent Muriel clear, but Handanovic and Yuto Nagatomo left it to each other, allowing him to sneak in-between to deposit into an empty net.
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