Udinese moved level on points with fellow UEFA Europa League hopefuls Lazio and Roma with a narrow 1-0 Serie A victory over the Biancoceleste at the Stadio Friuli this evening.
Antonio Di Natale was once again Udinese's hero with the only goal of the game in the 19th minute, getting the home team right in the frame for a place in Europa next term. Only an inferior head-to-head record after a 3-0 defeat to Lazio in the capital kept them below today's opponent with five games of the season remaining.
Lazio had two good early chances to catch Udinese cold, but Zeljko Brkic was alert to thwart the first threat from Antonio Candreva before Miroslav Klose arrived just too late to meet Candreva's cross in the third minute. As Lazio continued to search for a route back into the game, Di Natale went close again to making it 2-0, but his first touch let him down and allowed Michael Ciani to get in a saving tackle.
In the earlier Serie A match today, Genoa remained in the bottom three of Serie A with one fewer game to play after being held at home 1-1 by Atalanta.
Antonio Floro Flores gave the Grifone an early lead, but Cristiano Del Grosso replied within two minutes to earn the Nerazzurri a point and maintain a nine-point gap over their rivals with five games of the season remaining. Visiting coach Stefano Colantuono was sent off in a fiercely-contested encounter.
Genoa were back at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris, but this time as the home team after a draw at city rivals Sampdoria a week ago. That result left them on the wrong side of the drop zone and needing to react against Atalanta, which they did immediately, taking the lead in the sixth minute.
Floro Flores rose to beat Del Grosso in the air and head past Andre Consigli. The joy was short-lived for the Rossoblu, though, with Del Grosso making up for his mistake by bringing Atalanta level.