Udinese stop the rot
Last Updated: 01/02/14 8:01pm
Udinese celebrate against Bologna
Udinese ended a run of four successive Serie A defeats with a 2-0 win at Bologna that will ease their relegation fears.
Udinese have finished fifth, third and fourth in the last three seasons but they have recently found themselves battling at the wrong end of the table after failing to take point from their first four matches of 2014.
However, they brought that miserable run to a close on Saturday after goals from Antonio Di Natale and Nicolas Lopez earned them a three-point haul from their trip to fellow strugglers Bologna.
Di Natale opened the scoring from the penalty spot in the 15th minute after Andrea Lazzari had been fouled in the area by Michele Pazienza.
The visitors had a chance to double their lead in the 24th minute but Gianluca Curci denied Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu from close range, and then it was Bologna's turn to pose an attacking threat.
Teenager Simone Scuffet, making his debut in the Udinese goal, was called upon to save an Alessandro Diamanti free-kick in the 34th minute before Nicolo Cherubin made a mess of trying to head in another Diamanti free-kick six minutes later when he should have done much better.
Italy international Diamanti was proving Bologna's best hope of getting back into the match and he twice went close again at the start of the second half, seeing his first effort punched away by Scuffet before the 30-year-old curled a 25-yard free-kick just over.
The hosts continued to press during a purple patch but Panagiotis Kone, Davide Moscardelli and Archimede Morleo all failed to hit the target with shots and Udinese were able to weather the storm before fighting back.
They should have made it 2-0 in the 72nd minute but Curci kept out Lopez's shot with Di Natale unable to tuck home the loose ball, and then Lopez saw a shot go wide 10 minutes from time.
Udinese were kept on edge right until the end but they finally secured a much-needed victory when Maicosuel found Lopez and he beat Curci with a left-footed strike.
Italian Serie A