Udinese 2-0 Atletico Madrid: Late strikes from Benatia and Floro Flores keep Italians top of Celtic's group
The Moroccan defender and Italian striker did the damage to clinch a last-gasp victory and edge three points clear at the top of Europa League Group I
By Victor Ferreira
With two late goals from Medhi Benatia and Antonio Floro Flores, Udinese defeated Atletico Madrid 2-0 in Europa League Group I, catapulting the Italian side to first place in the section.
Through the quick passing of Diego and the rapid wing play of Pizzi, Atletico took control of the game, along with the midfield early on, but looked unlikely to break their recent inability to put the ball in the back of their opposition’s goal.
|Bet:||Returns:||Inter £33.00||Draw £36.00||Udinese £22.50|
|Bet:||Returns:||Inter £33.00||Draw £32.00||Udinese £22.50|
|Bet:||Returns:||Inter £33.00||Draw £35.00||Udinese £21.00|
|Bet:||Returns:||Inter £32.50||Draw £35.00||Udinese £21.00|
|Bet:||Returns:||Inter £34.00||Draw £35.00||Udinese £21.00|
Radamel Falcao, Atletico’s €40 million [£36.2m] summer signing, was largely quiet, as the main threats at goal came from Pizzi. The young Portuguese winger twice cut into the middle of the pitch to threaten keeper Samir Handanovic’s goal with curling efforts from outside the box.
The second half continued where the first concluded as Los Colchoneros controlled the game and looked to pressure their opposition. The Spanish’s side best chance came from a corner kick which saw the ball bounce around the 18-yard box before finding an Diego Godin, but the Uruguayan struck his effort well over the Udinese goal.
The home side responded with a free-kick taken by Pablo Armero which found the head of Medhi Benatia and forced a sprawling save from Courtois.
At a time when the supporters of both sides were prepared to accept the deadlock, a weak effort from Diego Fabbrini was struck against a well-placed Benatia, who took control of the ball and easily placed it in the back of Courtois’ net to give Udinese the 1-0 advantage in the dying moments of the contest.
Atletico looked to find a late equaliser, and they were caught on the counter-attack. Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu found Floro Flores, who placed the ball perfectly into the corner of the goal, giving the keeper no chance.
With the win, Udinese finds themselves at the top of the Group I table with seven points while Atletico are confined to a disappointing second place, and will have to their scoring touch if they are to regain first place in the reverse fixture.
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