Serie A - Udinese held to goalless draw

Sun, 19 Feb 21:00:00 2012

Udinese are up to third in Serie A despite only managing to draw 0-0 against Cagliari at the Stadio Friuli.

FOOTBALL 2011 Udinese - Di Natale - 0

It was a match low on quality and with few chances, with ex-Manchester City man Gelson Fernandes missing perhaps the best chance of the match for the home side with a header late in the first half.

Udinese move up a place because Lazio, who were a point better in the table, were thrashed 5-1 at Palermo. The result keeps Cagliari in ninth position.

Danilo had a chance early on for Udinese as he got on the end of a free kick floated into the box, but his effort went narrowly wide of the near post.

Pablo Armero had a half chance after 19 minutes as he sliced a half volley wide of the near post, but it was Fernandes who had the best opportunity as Gabriel Torje swept a brilliant cross to the back post. Fernandes was there on cue, but he headed into the ground and the ball bounced wide of the near post.

That let off seemed to spark Cagliari into life as they almost scored twice in the last two minutes of the half. Mauricio Pinilla first hit a world class volley after watching the ball drop for an age from 20 yards. The ball was dipping into the top corner, but Samir Handanovic pulled off an equally impressive save.

The last kick of the period came from the right boot of Albin Ekdal, as from all of 40 yards he swept a half volley towards goal. It was creeping under the crossbar and yet again Handanovic was forced into a decent save.

Chances were at a premium even more in the second half. The first chance of note came just past the hour. Udinese won the corner and at the near post Michele Pazienza got his foot onto it, but at point blank range the effort was blocked by the shoulder of Alessandro Agostini.

On 70 minutes Antonio Floro Flores created something out of nothing with a flicked header from an Armero cross that went narrowly wide of the far post.

It would be the Columbian who had the final chance of the match. He was found in the inside left channel, but his first touch was heavy and he was forced to dink the ball back across the face of goal with no one there to meet it.

Tom Embury-Dennis / Eurosport

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