Udinese have clinched a massive three points away to Inter Milan in their race for a UEFA Champions League spot, but this match will be remembered for much more than a good Udinese performance and a mildly surprising result. After a fairly dull first half and a slow start to the second half, things truly got interesting when Mauricio Isla scored the eventual winner in the 73rd minute, but that would be nowhere near the last of the clear cut chances in an unbelievable 1-0 victory.
Isla's winner came on a spectacular counter-attack, which was the only way Udinese created their chances on the night. It started with a ball forward to Antonio Di Natale, who made a fantastic turn and pass to Antonio Floro Flores. Flores laid the ball off with a great pass to his right for Isla to run onto, and Isla quickly snapped a low shot into the back of the net at the far post.
The final five minutes plus stoppage time were among the wildest you'll ever see anywhere in the world. In the 85th minute, Javier Zanetti cleaned out Kwadwo Asamoah in the penalty area, forcing the referee to point to the spot and show Zanetti a straight red card. The Argentinian legend accepted his sending off with class, shaking the referee's hand before he walked off the pitch. It was only Zanetti's second career red card in an Inter shirt in Serie A.
At that point, the match seemed over. According to the match announcers, the fans at the San Siro began to exit the stadium when Zanetti was sent off. Stepping to the spot was Di Natale, arguably the most lethal finisher in the world. Inconceivably, he took a poor penalty that was easily saved by Julio Cesar, keeping the result in doubt for the Zebrette.
Just three minutes later, Damiano Ferronetti made a challenge in the opposite box on Diego Milito that looked eerily similar to Zanetti's The referee pointed to the spot, but only showed Ferronetti yellow as it was not clear denial of a goal scoring opportunity. Giampaolo Pazzini, a deadly finisher in his own right, stepped up to the spot. During his run-up, he slipped in a way that was reminiscent of John Terry's miss in the 2008 Champions League final and skiied his shot over the bar, keeping Udinese in the lead.
Even though Pazzini missed and Udinese were up a goal, Ferronetti couldn't stop himself from arguing with the referee about the call after the miss. The official didn't react well to whatever Ferronetti said and he was shown a second yellow card, taking Udinese down to ten men for the remainder of the match.
Inter had one more chance to win the match, as Dejan Stankovic was set up with a wide-open shot at the top of the penalty area, but he powered his shot over the bar. That would be the last real chance of the match, and Udinese walked away with a 1-0 win.