Udinese vs. Fiorentina, Final Score 3-1: Udinese smash and grab the points

Dino Panato

Udinese consigned Fiorentina to a second consecutive defeat in 2013, despite the Viola dominating for much of the encounter.

Udinese somehow managed to take all the points from this encounter, despite Fiorentina dominating for long periods in both halves. A brace from Antonio Di Natale and a howler from Viola goalkeeper Neto which allowed Luis Muriel to score gave the Zebrette the victory after going behind to an unlucky own goal from Zeljko Brkic.

Both sides struggled to establish themselves early on but the first chance of the match fell to Fiorentina, Juan Cuadrado heading wide following a diagonal ball from Manuel Pasqual. Fiorentina began to control the ball, with Borja Valero being the key creator, getting down the left hand side to cross in for Stevan Jovetic who poked a difficult chance just wide. Soon after this, Jovetic took advantage of a mistake from Danilo to break into the box but Thomas Heurtaux recovered to clear. Alberto Aquilani had his shot from the resulting corner blocked by Heurtaux.

In the 20th minute, La Viola took the lead as Gonzalo Rodriguez rose highest to meet Valero's free kick from the right hand side, heading on to the bar with the ball then rebounding off the luckless Zeljko Brkic and in.

Conceding seemed to shock Udinese into life and they began to maintain possession a lot more effectively. Antonio Di Natale volleyed straight into Neto's arms following a long punt forward and shortly after hit a free kick straight at the Brazilian. Giovanni Pasquale's dangerous-looking ball from the left was cleared when all Di Natale had to do was steer it into the net.

Fiorentina's next attack saw Cuadrado set free in the box, with Brkic meeting the colombian bravely. This would be the last action of the afternoon for the Udinese stopper, the collision dislocating a finger and meaning that Daniele Padelli would be called upon to replace him.

On the stroke of half time, Udinese were level as Giulio Miglaccio took down Andrea Domizzi in the area and the referee had no choice but to point to the spot. Miglaccio was placed in the book, as was Alberto Aquilani for attempting to sabotage the penalty spot. This was to no avail as Di Natale sent Neto the wrong way to level the scores.

Fiorentina largely dominated the opening exchanges of the second half, creating a host of chances and Manuel Pasqual had the ball in the net after being put clean through by a Stevan Jovetic through ball, only to see the linesman's flag raised. Borja Valero volleyed over following a magnificent diagonal pass from Gonzalo Rodriguez put him behind the Udinese defence and Adem Ljajic had two consecutive opportunities, Padelli saving the first and Ljajic firing the second over.

Fiorentina were made to pay for their profligacy however, as Antonio Di Natale got in behind the Fiorentina defence following a fantastic ball from Giampiero Pinzi and finished past Neto to put the Udinese ahead with their first attack of the half.

Things went from bad to worse for Fiorentina just a minute later, as Luis Muriel's speculative effort was fumbled by Neto and trickled in through the Brazilian's legs. Following that, a first-team return for Emiliano Viviano may be on the cards.

Fiorentina huffed and puffed for the remainder of the match but for all their possession, could only really create half-chances, Aquilani heading over the best of them and Stevan Jovetic's long-range effort went just wide. In the end Udinese held on reasonably comfortably and continue their climb up the table, whilst Fiorentina slip away from the Champions League places with the sides around them all winning.

Udinese: Brkic (Padelli 40); Domizzi, Heurtaux, Danilo; Pinzi, Lazzari, Pereyra (Allan 46), Pasquale, Basta; Muriel (Gabriel Silva 77), Di Natale

Fiorentina: Neto; Savic, Rodriguez, Tomovic (Toni 71); Miglaccio, Valero, Aquilani, Cuadrado (Romulo 77), Pasqual; Ljajic (Seferovic 78), Jovetic

Goals: Brkic (OG) 20 (F), Di Natale (Pen) 45 (U), Di Natale 66 (U), Muriel 67 (U)

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