In a rather tedious match, the Udine-based side have leapfrogged Juventus and Lazio in the Serie A table prior to this weekend's big match at the Stadio Olimpico
The home side got off to lively start and could have scored as early as the ninth minute, but Simon Kjaer cleared the ball away from danger just as Antonio Di Natale was about to put the finishing touch on Giampiero Pinz's low cross from the right.
Shortly after, Udinese coach Francesco Guidolin saw his plans take a considerable blow as an injured Maurizio Domizzi had to make way for Damiano Ferronetti.
Still, the hosts remained in the driving seat and almost broke the deadlock in the 44th minute, as Di Natale had just the keeper to beat after a highball into the area, but his shot went high and wide. Just moments later, Miralem Pjanic dribbled into the box and with plenty of room to operate, he could not direct his low shot goalwards.
In the second half, Roma came out strongly and Pablo Osvaldo almost gave his side the lead in the 61st minute. The striker received the ball on the edge of the box and moved past Mehdi Benatia as he cut inside, but his shot went high.Roma goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg was put to the test just three minutes later as he blocked Dusan Basta's close-range shot after a scramble in the box.
Udinese were again in control of proceedings, but only managed to beat Stekelenburg on 79 minutes. Pinzi picked out a long ball to Di Natale, who dodged the challenge of the injured Kjaer to volley the ball home.
Roma surged forward in search for an equaliser, but it would be Udinese to score, again on the counter: Pablo Armero picked up the ball just outside the box and sent a pass across the face of the goal for Isla to side-foot home.
With this result, Udinese have moved up to first in the Serie A standings, while Roma remain in fifth place.
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