Antonio Di Natale’s 206th Serie A goal gave Udinese their first ever victory away to nine-man Verona.
The two teams were relatively comfortable in mid-table, but eager to get their strikers on target in the Capocannoniere race. Antonio Di Natale equalled Roberto Baggio’s record of 205 Serie A goals midweek against Inter, while Luca Toni had 18 for the season.
Maurizio Domizzi and Emmanuel Badu were suspended after red cards against Inter, while Juanito Gomez Taleb, Artur Ionita, Bosko Jankovic and goalkeeper Rafael were injured.
Cyril Thereau had the ball in the net during the opening five minutes, but was offside when nodding in at the near post.
A Verona corner was cleared to the edge of the box, where Panagiotis Tachtsidis controlled with his thigh to smash on to the crossbar.
Bosko Jankovic’s curler skimmed the far top corner and Stipe Perica should’ve done better with a free header. Nico Lopez struck the side-netting from a Mounir Obbadi through ball.
Cyril Thereau went on a long counter-attack straight after the restart, but ran out of steam and Francesco Benussi was able to parry with a leg.
Verona went down to 10 men, as Jacopo Sala rather harshly received a straight red card for his challenge from behind on Thereau in midfield.
Moments later Antonio Di Natale scored his 206th Serie A goal and did it with real style. Silvan Widmer pulled across from the right and Di Natale redirected with a back-heel flick from six yards to stun the goalkeeper.
Toni curled over the bar, but Thereau’s low snapshot thumped the base of the near post from distance.
Despite being down to 10 men, Verona gave it everything to the very end and Orestis Karnezis had to palm away a Rafa Marques free kick, then Ivan Piris had to clear off the line when Toni’s attempt from six yards took a deflection.
Rafael Marquez saw red late on, leaving Verona with nine men.
See the latest Serie A predictions and betting tips with Eurotips.co.uk
Sent off: Sala 60 (V), Marquez 91 (V)