Antonio Di Natale scored a first-half hat-trick to fire Udinese to a comprehensive 4-0 victory over Lecce this afternoon.
Di Natale opened the scoring in the 11th minute before adding his second before the half-hour mark. The Italian international made it 3-0 five minutes before the break and Antonio Floro Flores capped off a wonderful afternoon for the hosts in the 55th minute.
David Di Michele had a chance to give Lecce a consolation goal deep in injury time but his penalty was saved by Udinese goalkeeper Samir Handanovic.
Udinese coach Francesco Guidolin had demanded an immediate response from his team after Wednesday's 1-0 defeat at Catania ended a six-match unbeaten run. His side were bolstered by the return of Di Natale, who had missed the game at Catania with a thigh injury, and they dominated the encounter from the outset.
Alexis Sanchez fed Di Natale inside the area and his angled strike beat Lecce goalkeeper Antonio Rosati. Lecce could have equalised midway through the first half but Djamel Mesbah's right-footed shot from the heart of the area went over the bar.
Di Natale made no such mistake in the 24th minute. Sanchez acted again as provider and Di Natale's eight-yard shot beat Rosati. Shortly afterwards, Giuseppe Vives tried his luck from long range but his effort did not trouble Handanovic.
Udinese went into the break 3-0 up after Flores spotted an unmarked Di Natale and he struck the ball from the centre of the area past Rosati.
The hosts picked up where they left off after the interval and were unlucky not to extend their lead in the 50th minute when Pablo Armero's close-range effort beat Rosati but hit the crossbar.
Armero then served Flores inside the area and he struck home his team's fourth of the afternoon. The visitors felt that Flores was in an offside position but the referee waved away their complaints.
Handanovic made sure Udinese kept a clean sheet for the fourth time this season as he saved Di Michele's spot-kick after Jeda had been brought down inside the area by Medhi Benatia.