The match opened with the expected energy and furor considering what was on the line. Udinese was all over Lazio early, looking to get the biancocelesti on their back foot and put some doubts into the struggling side's mind. The initial push yielded a penalty shout (that was ignored by the referee) and free kick from Antonio Di Natale that was pushed away with an excellent save from Lazio's Federico Marchetti, but no goals.
Lazio's attack was absent until the 44th minute when Abdoulay Konko floated a lovely cross to Tommaso Rocchi whose header was acrobatically pushed over the bar by Samir Handanovic. It look to be a sure goals for the Lazio striker who's failed to find the back of the net in nine matches, dating back to February.
Both sides had players cautioned in the first half. Francesco Matuzalem saw yellow for Lazio, while Almen Adbi, Giampiero Pinzi and Diego Fabbrini were carded for Udinese. Matuzalem's yellow won't be an issue in the second half as the Brazilian was subbed off before the half after picking up an injury. Lazio defender Giuseppe Biava was also forced to leave the match late in the half due to injury,compounding issues for Edoardo Reja's already thin squad and leaving the Italian boss with only one sub for the final 45 minutes.
Udinese will spend the intermission wondering why they couldn't score despite having the lion share of possession. Lazio will be happy to reach the break and look to find a way to even out the play in the second half to at least secure the point they need to retain their slim hold on third place and a Champions League spot.