Amauri’s header made the most of comical Udinese defending to give Parma a fourth straight win.
The Ducali were unbeaten in nine Serie A fixtures, won three on the bounce and hosted an Udinese side fresh from knocking Milan out of the Coppa Italia quarter-finals, but on three consecutive League defeats that left them hovering above the relegation zone. Captain Alessandro Lucarelli sat out a ban, while the Friulani were without Maurizio Domizzi, Jadson, Neuton and Francesco Benussi. Antonio Di Natale was only fit for the bench and Gabriel Silva pulled out in the warm-up for Douglas, so the visitors did not have a single Italian in the starting XI.
Afriyie Acquah’s impressive half-volley from distance forced Zeljko Brkic to punch it round the base of the post and it was a tense start with three bookings in the opening 11 minutes.
Marco Parolo also turned just wide and Francesco Guidolin made an early tactical switch, replacing Douglas with Giampiero Pinzi.
However, Parma took the lead thanks to comical defending. Brkic clattered into teammate Thomas Heurtaux when Antonio Cassano floated in a cross from the by-line, allowing Amauri a comfortable header.
On 55 minutes Udinese had their best chance, as Antonio Mirante used his legs to deny Nico Lopez and Felipe risked an own goal on the clearance.
The second half was largely quiet, as Parma comfortably defended against a sluggish Udinese reaction. In fact, in the final minute Jonathan Biabiany fired straight at Brkic from a Raffaele Palladino counter-attack.
Mauri made his Serie A debut and almost scored with the last kick of the game, forcing a desperate Brkic save from Cassano’s assist.
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