Lega Calcio – Udinese 4-1 Siena
Pepe 19, 43 (U), Calaio’ 40 (S), Sanchez 61 (U), Di Natale pen 80 (U)
Udinese made short work of sorry Siena, who now slide closer towards Serie B.
This was a relegation battle, although the Friulani felt relatively safe after a recent upturn in results. Siena had four points from the last two rounds, both from remarkable comebacks, so were putting up a real fight to avoid dropping out of Serie A after seven years. Gaetano D’Agostino, Christian Obodo, Dusan Basta and Andrea Coda joined the suspended Cristian Zapata and Paolo Sammarco in the stands. Abdel Ghezzal and Aleandro Rosi also sat out bans, with Michele Fini and Francesco Parravicini sidelined.
Udinese had a strong start, as Gianluca Curci rushed off his line to close down Antonio Di Natale from an inspired Mauricio Isla pass, then the goalkeeper had to stop Emilson Sanchez Cribari scoring an own goal.
A corner kick found Maurizio Domizzi soaring above the crowd for a header that clipped the outside of the upright.
Emanuele Calaio’ thought he had opened the scoring with a looping header, but the flag had been raised for an offside position after 16 minutes.
The Friulani did break through at the 19th. A looping cross from the right by Isla found Simone Pepe’s towering header at the back post.
Samir Handanovic was at full stretch to palm a Simone Vergassola angled drive past the far post, but at the other end Cristian Del Grosso risked an own goal. Calaio’ rattled the woodwork with an acrobatic finish, but it wouldn’t have counted anyway due to an incorrect offside call.
Siena equalised before the break. Massimo Maccarone deserves much of the credit, as he pushed down the left flank and smartly pulled it back for the on-rushing Calaio’ to drill low into the far bottom corner.
However, some awful defending gifted Udinese with the lead again moments later. Isla robbed Albin Ekdal in the final third and Pepe was sent clear through the middle to score.
Sanchez made it 3-1 by finishing off after great work from Di Natale to slalom between defenders.
Marco Malago’ held back Sanchez in the area for a penalty 10 minutes from time. Di Natale stepped up and converted with his right foot to extend his lead at the top of the Capocannoniere charts.
Udinese: Handanovic; Ferronetti (Cuadrado 83), Domizzi, Lukovic, Pasquale (Badu 72); Isla, Inler, Asamoah; Sanchez, Di Natale, Pepe (Lodi 79)
Siena: Curci; Malagò, Cribari, Pratali, Del Grosso; Vergassola, Ekdal (Jarolim 55), Tziolis (Larrondo 66); Reginaldo (Jajalo 54), Calaiò, Maccarone