Italian football news: Livorno 0-2 Udinese
Sanchez 8 (U), Di Natale 35 (U)
Livorno are practically relegated after this home defeat on Gennaro Ruotolo’s comeback.
This was the Amaranto’s last chance saloon, as Serse Cosmi was sacked and replaced by the Coach who started the campaign, Gennaro Ruotolo. They had amassed just five points from the last 13 rounds and needed a result against Udinese, who were hovering on the edge of the drop zone despite thrashing Juventus 3-0 last week.
Leonardo Miglionico, Alessandro Bernardini, Antonio Filippini, Diniz and Andrea Esposito were sidelined, while the Friulani missed Andrea Coda, Gaetano D’Agostino, Christian Obodo and Dusan Basta. Surprisingly, Cristiano Lucarelli was left on the bench.
It was Udinese who got off to the stronger start, as within 120 seconds Antonio Di Natale’s snapshot was fingertipped out from under the crossbar.
The Friulani broke through thanks to Chilean youngster Alexis Sanchez. He got in front of Pieri and with a great first touch went round the goalkeeper to slot home.
Rubinho struggled to deny a deflected Simone Pepe effort, while Di Natale drilled just wide. Samir Handanovic comfortably dealt with a Nico Pulzetti header.
Di Natale added to his seasonal tally with a classic counter-attack, sweeping in relatively undisturbed from a Simone Pepe assist down the left channel.
Handanovic flew across the face of goal to deny a Mozart snapshot, but Livorno fans protested and play was temporarily halted for flares thrown on to the pitch.
Ruotolo made a double substitution at the break, introucing Claudio Bellucci and Vitale, but still no sign of captain Lucarelli. Moments later Livorno also lost goalkeeper Rubinho, who seemed to catch a chill in the freezing rain and was visibly shivering as he was led away wrapped in a blanket.
Handanovic parried a Francesco Tavano strike and prevented Tomas Danilevicius from getting on to the rebound.
But those were brief respites from an Udinese monologue at the Stadio Picchi. Substitute goalkeeper Alfonso De Lucia was kept busy by a Giovanni Pasquale snapshot and Sanchez strike.
Livorno: Rubinho (De Lucia 49); Raimondi, Peticone, Knezevic, Pieri (Vitale 46); Pulzetti, Prutsch (Bellucci 46), Mozart, Moro; Danivelicius, Tavano
Udinese: Handanovic; Ferronetti, Zapata, Lukovic, Pasquale; Isla, Sammarco (Badu 82), Asamoah; Pepe, Di Natale, Sanchez (Lodi 91)