Udinese draw provides first point
Udinese picked up their first point of the season after grinding out a goalless draw at Sampdoria this afternoon.
The visitors came into the contest with nothing to show for their efforts from the first four games of the season but return east having broken their duck at the Comunale Luigi Ferraris. And a share of the spoils was the least they deserved for an enterprising display against a Samp side who have now won just one of their opening five games.
The visitors created the first chance after eight minutes with only a fine save from home goalkeeper Gianluca Curci preventing Giampiero Pinzi from converting Antonio Di Natale's pass. Samp responded with a Luciano Zauri effort from long range and an Angelo Palombo drive which Samir Handanovic did well to smother. But it was Udinese who were looking the likelier to get the opener.
Maurizio Domizzi shot over the bar and Italy international Di Natale ought to have done better than shoot over from 15 yards after being played in by Mauricio Isla. The lively Di Natale then fired in a half-volley which flew wide before playing his part in a swift counter-attack which culminated in a shot from Christian Zapata which was also off target.
Udinese captain Di Natale was in the thick of it again nine minutes after the restart, his clever lob beating Curci but not the retreating Zauri who hooked it off the line. Samp finally began to exert some pressure as the second half progressed and, predictably, Antonio Cassano was prominent.
The former Real Madrid star whipped in a dangerous cross after 64 minutes which Giampaolo Pazzini failed to convert by inches before going close himself 13 minutes later with a close-range effort which was easily gathered by Handanovic.
Udinese created two half-chances to grab a surprise win in the closing stages but Antonio Floro Flores shot over before Kwadwo Asamoah lashed a free-kick wide.