Bertolacci brace ends Udinese run
Lecce moved out of Serie A's bottom three and dented Udinese's hopes of UEFA Champions League qualification. Andrea Bertolacci scored twice in the second half to secure a 2-0 victory and hand fourth-placed Udinese their first loss in 14 matches, who had won six of their previous seven games and were unbeaten in 13 going into this contest.
"Unfortunately, we have not been able to extend our good run of form," said Udinese coach Francesco Guidolin. "We knew that this would be a tough game and Lecce deserved the win without question.
"We didn't play our usual game and we were not as sharp as in our previous matches. Lecce were hungry and they were always first to the ball."
Udinese, the league's top scorers away from home with 32 goals, were the first to threaten, but goalkeeper Antonio Rosati saved the hosts in the sixth minute after Antonio Di Natale had taken advantage of a slip by Giuseppe Vives.
Lecce, beaten in their three previous matches, were denied in the 12th minute by an excellent save from Samir Handanovic, who blocked Bertolacci's close-range effort from David Di Michele's cross.
Kwadwo Asamoah blasted over for Udinese in the 19th minute, before Di Michele was off target at the other end two minutes later. Di Michele was closer in the 24th minute, heading Ruben Oliveira's free-kick narrowly over from ten yards.
Six minutes before the interval Asamoah headed Di Natale's free-kick over, and soon after Alexis Sanchez skimmed the post with a drilled effort from 30 yards as the visitors finished the first half on top.
Two minutes into the second half Sanchez tried his luck from 20 yards, but was denied by Rosati as the visitors sought the breakthrough. However, it was the home side who opened the scoring a minute later when Di Michele cut in from the left and beat four defenders before the ball broke for Bertolacci to blast high into the net from eight yards with his left foot.
Rosati tipped a powerful Almen Abdi effort onto a post six minutes later and soon after Di Natale had a header ruled out for offside. Lecce's Jedais Jeda saw an effort cleared off the line by Christian Zapata, but in the 65th minute the hosts had their second goal.
Jeda made good progress down the right and he squared the ball back from the byline for Bertolacci to blast high into the net from six yards with his right foot. Five minutes from time Di Michele almost netted a deserved goal against his former team, but Zapata made a vital tackle to deny the forward after he had rounded two Udinese defenders.