Fiorentina squeezed past Udinese in a thrilling 3-2 encounter that saw Stevan Jovetic net twice.
The Friulani hoped to continue their remarkable campaign that had them in third place, while the Viola aimed to turn around a troubled season. Per Kroldrup was injured against his former club, joining Houssine Kharja and the suspended Ruben Olivera in the stands. Stevan Jovetic returned from injury to work on that new partnership with Amauri. Udinese missed Diego Fabbrini, Andrea Coda, Paulo Barreto, Gianpiero Pinzi and banned Danilo.
Udinese had a poor record in Florence, losing their last three visits in which they conceded 13 goals and scored just five. The away team wore their all-orange strip.
Riccardo Montolivo lost possession in midfield and Pablo Armero went on the counter-attack, as Antonio Di Natale kept his cool to chip the helpless Artur Boruc. It was a wonderful goal from the veteran hitman.
Amauri snuck between goalkeeper and defender only to prod the cross just wide of the upright, while Samir Handanovic had to flap an Andrea Lazzari cross-shot out from under the bar, given new direction by the wind.
Di Natale attempted another lob, but this time Boruc stood tall to prod it off target.
However, the referee pointed to the spot when Mehdi Benatia blocked the ball with his arm for a penalty. Stevan Jovetic coolly converted to draw Fiorentina level.
Boruc flapped another splendid Di Natale right-foot volley round the near stick.
Fiorentina took a surprise lead on 56 minutes, turning the game around completely. The defender was totally unmarked as he ran in from the back, allowed a free header from six yards.
Manuel Pasqual risked a third on the counter, but he went round Handanovic and by that time the angle was too narrow. Boruc palmed a Di Natale chest and strike over the bar, but in the final stages Benatia blatantly shoved Jovetic for a second penalty. The Montenegro international converted his second of the day, sending Handanovic the wrong way.
It still wasn’t over, as Udinese pulled it back to 3-2 when Gabriel Torje curled a beautiful finish from the edge of the box on Di Natale’s assist.
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