Udinese rescue point against Lazio
Udinese dropped valuable points in the Serie A title race as they were held to a 2-2 draw at Lazio tonight.
Antonio Floro Flores put the visitors in front in the 27th minute, but an equaliser from Senad Lulic before half-time and a Miroslav Klose goal early in the second half looked to have turned the game on its head. But Giampiero Pinzi levelled matters in the 73rd minute.
The result has left Udinese third in the standings, two points behind Serie A leaders Juventus, before they end the year at home against the table-toppers on Wednesday. Lazio, meanwhile, are fourth, two points behind Udinese, and are set to take on Chievo next.
Both teams went into the game at the Stadio Olimpico on a high after having progressed to the last 32 of the UEFA Europa League in midweek. Udinese coach Francesco Guidolin left the team's top scorer Antonio Di Natale on the bench opting to play with Floro Flores from the start.
Mobido Diakite almost put the hosts ahead in the eighth minute, but his drive from outside the area was kept out by Lazio goalkeeper Albano Bizzarri.
The hosts continued to press forward, but it was the visitors that went ahead before the half-hour mark. Floro Flores got his head to Giovanni Pasquale's cross and his powerful effort beat Bizzarri.
The home side reacted and restored parity in the 43rd minute, though. Alvaro Gonzalez fed Lulic just outside the area and his bullet strike towards the bottom left corner beat Udinese goalkeeper Samir Handanovic.
Handanovic could do nothing to prevent Lazio taking the lead five minutes into the second half when Damiano Ferronetti deflected Klose's right-footed volley into the back of the net.
Lazio almost extended their lead in the 68th minute, but Handanovic made a fine save to parry Klose´s goal-bound shot from ten yards. Udinese never gave up, though, and were rewarded when substitute Di Natale fed an unmarked Pinzi inside the area and he fired past Bizzarri.
The visitors could have clinched three points soon after, but Bizzarri kept out Di Natale's close-range effort in what was the last chance of the game.