Serie A - Udinese stun Inter in dramatic finale

Sat, 03 Dec 21:47:00 2011

Udinese clinched a 1-0 victory over struggling Internazionale in a tempestuous Serie A encounter which saw two penalties missed and both sides reduced to 10 men at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza.

Udinese - Inter Milan - 0

In the day's other match, a double from Uruguayan striker Edinson Cavani and one each by Ezequiel Lavezzi and Blerim Dzemaili helped Napoli climb to fifth with a 4-2 win over bottom club Lecce.

At the San Siro, Mauricio Isla broke the deadlock in the 73rd minute in what was always a feisty match, before Javier Zanetti was sent off as he conceded a penalty five minutes from time.

Antonio Di Natale missed his spot kick, before Giampaolo Pazzini squandered a chance to equalise in the final minute from the penalty spot with Damiano Ferronetti sent off for his protestations before Udinese held on to inflict yet another defeat on beleaguered Inter.

Diego Milito went close just before the half hour mark with a thunderous strike which fizzed narrowly over the crossbar from a 25 yard free-kick in what was the first real chance of the match.

Inter had the better of the first-half chances, and a raking diagonal pass from Cristian Chivu picked out Pazzini but, after controlling the ball, the forward could only fire high and wide.

Just before the break, Udinese defender Medhi Benatia made a crucial and timely intervention to deny Pazzini as Inter broke at pace, and the forward was dispossessed with the last-ditch challenge.

Claudio Ranieri introduced Yuto Nagatomo at the expense of Ricardo Alvarez at the break, and a flurry of substitutions followed early in the second half from both sides.

Udinese enjoyed less of the overall possession, but always looked threatening on the counter-attack, and Gabriel Torje headed on target and drew a fine save from Julio Cesar after meeting a deep cross from Pablo Armero out on the left on the hour mark.

The deadlock was finally broken in the 73rd minute, and it was the hosts who were left stunned after committing too many bodies forward.

Udinese broke incisively on the counter-attack as Kwadwo Asamoah clipped a through ball over the top of a static Inter defence before substitute Antonio Floro Flores laid the ball off for Isla, who beats Cesar with a clinical finish.

But the drama had only just begun as Di Natale was scythed down by Zanetti as he hurtled into the Inter box, and the referee had no hesitation in awarding the visitors a penalty and dismissing the Inter captain five minutes from time.

Di Natale promptly missed the penalty with Cesar pulling off a very fine stop to his left to save what was a tame effort from the forward, and he was almost made to pay for his profligacy seconds later.

Inter proceeded to win a penalty straight up the other end as Milito was hauled down by Ferronetti in the Udinese box, and the Argentine's strike partner was handed the opportunity of levelling for his side in the final minute.

But Pazzini crucially slipped as he stepped up to take the spot kick, and subsequently ballooned his effort over the crossbar to hand Udinese a reprieve which effectively ensured they secured the three points.

The still infuriated Ferronetti continued to remonstrate with the referee to the cost of a second yellow card, followed by the inevitable red after the spot kick had been missed, much to the disappointment of his team-mates.

Udinese held on during a frantic four minutes of added time to seal a hard-fought victory, while another defeat heaped more misery on the home supporters as Inter's torrid season took another hit.

Dan Quarrell - follow on Twitter @danquarrell / Reuters

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