Roma left it very late to get the points, but eventually managed to get Udinese down with Francesco Totti among those on target.
The Giallorossi were in crisis and fans protested at the training ground after Easter Saturday’s shock 4-2 defeat to Lecce, where they had been 4-0 down until the final minutes. Champions League qualification was a mirage and a series of injuries ruled out Nicolas Burdisso, Juan, Leandro Greco, Marco Cassetti and Bogdan Lobont. Francesco Totti and Miralem Pjanic returned to the starting XI, but Bojan Krkic, Gabriel Heinze and Aleandro Rosi were dropped.
Udinese were in fourth place despite poor recent form and were also missing a host of stars such as Antonio Floro Flores, Dusan Basta, Mehdi Benatia, Christian Battocchio, Diego Fabbrini, Emmanuel Badu and Mauricio Isla, so Almen Abdi supported Antonio Di Natale.
Pablo Daniel Osvaldo broke through after eight minutes when he gathered a Rodrigo Taddei pass and squirmed between three defenders on the edge of the box, but while Samir Handanovic parried the first shot, he could do nothing on the follow-up.
Marquinho had a shot charged when he probably should’ve passed it to Osvaldo, while Pasquale crucially intercepted a dangerous pass with Erik Lamela ready to tap in at the back post. Handanovic had his gloves stung by a long-range Totti snapshot, while Pereyra’s first touch badly let him down on a Di Natale assist.
Udinese managed to equalise just before half-time with Gelson Fernandes running on to a splendid Di Natale through ball to beat the on-rushing Maarten Stekelenburg.
A clever Almen Abdi dummy almost let a ball through for the unmarked Di Natale, but Roma were saved by a lucky deflection. Moments later, Totti threaded through for Osvaldo, who hit the base of the near post from close range with help from Handanovic’s foot.
Handanovic at full stretch palmed a Lamela solo effort round the far stick, while Osvaldo wandered offside to waste a promising Totti assist. Andrea Coda risked an own goal when Handanovic flapped at a Bojan cross.
Totti marked his comeback from injury with a goal just four minutes from time, his 15th career goal against Udinese. Di Natale was dispossessed in midfield to spark a counter and Osvaldo kept his cool to dribble round Handanovic, but when the angle was too narrow he rolled across for Totti to tap in at the back post.
Roma put the result beyond doubt in stoppages with Bojan bursting down the left for a cross as Marquinho’s powerful header beat Handanovic from six yards.
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