Udinese's chances of UEFA Champions League football became ever more distant as they collapsed to their fourth defeat in five Serie A games, losing 5-2 to in Florence. Juan Vargas opened the scoring for Fiorentina after nine minutes before braces from Gaetano D'Agostino and Alessio Cerci sealed a comprehensive win.
Udinese twice pulled themselves back to within a goal through Giampiero Pinzi and Kwadwo Asamoah, but they were well beaten. The defeat means Lazio, who occupy the fourth and final Champions League spot, will have the opportunity to build a four-point cushion with three games to play by beating Juventus tomorrow.
"The result was not what I expected," said Udinese coach Francesco Guidolin. "But Fiorentina were the better team today and deserved the victory. We are not happy and there are no excuses. But we must now look ahead to our next game."
Vargas set the tone early on as his angled strike from the left corner of the box had Samir Handanovic well beaten. Udinese's top scorer Antonio Di Natale, returning from a knee injury, then crossed for Asamoah, who headed a great chance over from close range. Vargas was involved in La Viola's second after 21 minutes, crossing for D'Agostino to finish from the edge of the six-yard box.
Resurgence proves futile
Udinese pulled one back eight minutes later through Pinzi's right-foot strike, but it proved brief respite as the onslaught continued at the other end with Alberto Gilardino heading narrowly wide from Manuel Pasqual's cross.
Fiorentina had goalkeeper Artur Boruc to thank for preserving their lead four minutes after the break as he dived to keep out Pinzi's 30-yard strike. And just two minutes later it was 3-1 as D'Agostino's long-range drive deflected in off the head of Christian Zapata.
Still Udinese weren't beaten and they pulled one back through Asamoah in the 57th minute following a great first-time pass from German Denis. After that the hosts stepped up a gear, though, with Gilardino and Cerci both going close.
They grabbed a fourth in the 71st minute, Cerci capitalising on a fine long pass from Valon Behrami to finish from outside the box. And Cerci finished things off for minutes from time, finishing from inside the box to make the most of a beautiful pass from Marco Marchionni.