Inter earned a 2-1 victory, but Udinese pushed them right to the end with nine men and Antonio Di Natale matched Roberto Baggio.
Andrea Stramaccioni welcomed his former club, fresh from beating Milan here 2-1 at the weekend. The Nerazzurri started Dias Felipe in defence, as Andrea Ranocchia and Juan Jesus were suspended, though Gary Medel returned from his ban. Thomas Heurtaux and Molla Wague were ruled out by injury.
The Friulani had won 2-1 at San Siro earlier this season and these sides had drawn only once in their last 14 meetings, home and away.
Orestis Karnezis got down to beat away a long-range scorcher from Fredy Guarin and Hernanes free kick at the near post.
Mauro Icardi’s looping header went wide and Hernanes nodded a Guarin cross at Karnezis.
It was an even game, but Maurizio Domizzi received a second yellow card for his sliding tackle on Hernanes. The first booking had been entirely avoidable for dissent, especially as the referee did change his mind on awarding the corner to Inter on that incident.
Hernanes blasted inches over and Karnezis stuck out a hand to deny Icardi at the near post. In first half stoppages Hernanes managed to turn from 12 yards, but Karnezis deflected the finish off target with his knee.
Within 40 seconds of the restart, Danilo had gone into a sliding tackle on Mateo Kovacic and the referee awarded a penalty. Udinese were furious, feeling not only had he got the ball, but Kovacic had already kicked it, so could not be damaged by the move. Nonetheless, Icardi left Karnezis rooted to the spot by converting the low spot-kick.
However, Udinese equalised moments later when Di Natale got on the end of an Allan pass and squirmed between two players on the edge of the box to smash home the finish. It was his 205th Serie A goal, allowing the veteran to equal Roberto Baggio in the all-time charts.
Kovacic curled just wide and Guarin again stung the goalkeeper’s gloves, then Karnezis scrambled back to smother a deflected Palacio back-heel flick.
Udinese were reduced to nine men for the last half-hour. Emmanuel Badu foolishly received two yellow cards in the space of a few seconds for dissent after arguing with the referee.
Lukas Podolski came off the bench and scored with his second touch. The first was charged down on the edge of the box, the second on the rebound smashed into the top corner. It finally allowed the German to break his Serie A duck.
Podolski curled another left-footer inches past the post and Hernanes blasted just over, yet Udinese almost equalised when Allan robbed Medel and surged forward to send Thereau clear, forcing Handanovic to smother at his feet.
Icardi had the ball in the net, but was offside when performing the back-heel flick. Udinese poured forward for the final 10 minutes and pegged Inter back despite being down to nine men, as Handanovic flapped at corners and Stipe Perica’s diving header was deflected on to the side-netting from six yards by a desperate intervention.
With the final kick of the game, Panagiotis Kone chipped over in a wasteful finish. The Stadio Friuli fans celebrated at the end as if it were a victory.
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Sent off: Domizzi 40 (U), Badu 58 (U)