Antonio Di Natale scored after 23 seconds, but Genoa emerged 4-2 winners and leapfrogged Udinese in the table.
The Friulani had lost two of their last three games, but still went into the weekend in joint third place with Milan, Sampdoria and Lazio. Genoa caused a huge upset by inflicting the first Serie A defeat of the season on leaders Juventus, so were eager to build on that enthusiasm. Gabriel Silva, Zeljko Brkic, Ioann Fetfatzidis and Tomas Rincon were unavailable.
It took 23 seconds for Udinese to break through with captain Antonio Di Natale, who sprung the offside trap on a Panagiotis Kone assist and kept his cool to beat Mattia Perin. It was the veteran’s 199th Serie A goal and the fastest of the season so far.
Alessandro Matri fought back, but fired straight at Orestis Karnezis, and the pressure paid off with Giovanni Marchese’s equaliser. A corner was cleared to the edge of the box, where Marchese met it with a spectacular volley.
Genoa turned the game around completely, as Allan and then Bruno Fernandes messed up their attempted clearances, allowing Iago Falque to pounce from six yards and score his debut Serie A goal.
Udinese got back on track for 2-2 with Silvan Widmer running on to an inspired Di Natale through ball to place his angled drive into the far bottom corner.
It was almost 3-2 for Genoa before half-time, but Marchese’s deflected finish dribbled inches past the upright.
Genoa did restore their lead with Matri, whose shot cannoned in off the inside of the upright after Diego Perotti let Iago Falque’s cross through. Remarkably, that was the ex-Milan striker’s fifth goal in the last four away games.
Di Natale’s angled drive went through a defender’s legs and shaved a coat of paint off the far post, while at the other end Andrea Bertolacci just failed to get on the end of Iago Falque’s cross as he came sliding in.
Di Natale did not give up and his header whistled just wide, Danilo nodded over from a corner and Thomas Heurtaux charged down from Luca Antonelli.
Genoa put the points under lock and key during the final minutes with a Juraj Kucka scorcher from outside the box that cannoned in off the underside of the bar. Karnezis had no chance of stopping that one.
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