Serie A - Lecce escape relegation zone
Lecce beat Udinese 2-0 at Stadio Via Del Mare to move out of the Serie A relegation zone.
Andrea Bertolacci scored two second-half goals to earn Lecce their eighth win of the season.
Udinese will be disappointed as they missed out on the chance to move close the gap on the top three in the table.
There was little to talk about in the first-half with neither side creating many chances. The best opportunity fell to Bertolacci when the ball dropped to him in the penalty area.
However the midfielder, on loan from AS Roma, could only strike the ball straight at goalkeeper Samir Handanovic from 12 yards out.
Udinese’s best effort came when Alexis Sanchez whose shot from 22 yards sailed wide of Antonio Rosati’s right post.
The referee Andrea de Marco was kept busy in the opening 45 minutes, showing five yellow cards with three of them in as many minutes.
The second-half, though, was a different story. Udinese started the half with far more purpose and Sanchez got a shot in on target within two minutes of the restart.
But just a minute later Lecce struck when a brilliant run from David Di Michele set up Bertolacci.
Di Michele, who caused problems all afternoon for Udinese, cut in from the left wing and beat two players before taking a shot. His effort was well blocked by Benatia but the ball came to Bertolacci and this time, from six yards out, he did not miss.
The midfielder drilled the ball low into the net with the Udinese defence just standing still.
10 minutes later Sanchez thought he had scored the equaliser but he was incorrectly ruled offside. Replays showed the ball was headed on by Lecce’s Fabiano but the officials missed that and Sanchez was left livid.
Udinese never recovered from that decision and when Bertolacci scored his second just after the hour mark there was only going to be one winner.
A great run by Jeda Capucho Neves saw the Brazilian reach the byline before cutting the ball back for Bertolacci who only had to apply the finishing touch inside the six yard box.
The win means Lecce have moved up to 17th in the table leapfrogging Cesena and Brescia with seven games left to play.