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April 17, 2011
• Stadio San Paolo, Napoli
Referee: P. Tagliavento
• Attendance: 65000
G. Mascara 90'+
G. İnler 55'
G. Denis 61'
What an absorbing game of football once more. The end result is that Udinese are right in the Champions League race, but it's been a great weekend for Milan at the top. Napoli now trail the leaders by six points, so including the head-to-head record it means Milan are just three wins away from the Scudetto. Stick around for full report and ratings, plus all the reaction, here on Goal.com.
90' + 6'
That's it!! It's all over... The game, and maybe the title race, has escaped Napoli. Udinese win 2-1 at the San Paolo despite the late drama.
90' + 5'
GOAL!!! There'll be an additional minute of stoppages, and Napoli are back in it. Cavani chested down in space, but could only send an air shot in. Mascara was sharp enough to turn in the loose ball though.
90' + 4'
Assist Edinson Cavani
90' + 4'
Goal Giuseppe Mascara
90' + 4'
The 10 men are going to hold out here it would seem. They're killing time on the ball and Napoli seem to have realised their chance has gone with that penalty.
90' + 2'
90' + 2'
Off goes Armero... but it's by Guidolin's call, not the referee's. On comes Angella.
90' + 1'
Five minutes of injury time to be played. Most of the stoppages have been for fights, it would seem!
Penalty save Samir Handanoviç
Missed Penalty Edinson Cavani
SAVED!!!! HANDANOVIC IS THE HERO!! It's a poor penalty by Cavani and the Slovenian gets down to make the save to his right. Immediately afterwards the hot heads continue to get at each other. Armero and Lavezzi have another set-to, and there are all sorts of trainers and subs on trying to calm down the situation.
There's a bit of feeling in this one!! Lavezzi and Gargano are having a right old dig at Armero. Cavani will take the penalty.
Red Card Maurizio Domizzi
Penalty! Domizzi punces Lucarelli in the face after an elbow from the striker. Off goes the defender against his old side. You just can't do that!
Well well, Paolo Tagliavento almost put Napoli in then as an Udinese clearance came back off the referee, but the home side couldn't make the most of the moment of fortune.
Benatia sweeps up well when Maggio's cross from the right beats Cavani in the air. Then at the other end Pinzi wastes the chance to put Armero in on goal with a weak pass.
Napoli have scored 17 goals in the last 10 minutes of games this year... they need at least two more to keep their Scudetto dream alive.
Yellow Card Paolo Cannavaro
Paolo Cannavaro just lost his head and gained a yellow card. He dragged his foor right down the back of German Denis' boot. A sure-fire sign of frustration.
Udinese make a change. Pasquale is replaced by Andrea Coda. They'll switch to three at the back for the final 13 minutes.
Final change for Napoli. Off comes Dossena, with the veteran Cristiano Lucarelli being thrown on up front.
Pinzi concedes a corner, Lavezzi takes, but it's behind everyone in blue shirts and Armero can clear. When the ball goes forward again Dossena swings in a cross and OHHHHHH!!! Maggio's header comes back off the bar.
Gargano drags his shot wide when the free-kick is eventually taken, and when Dossena then feeds Lavezzi, Cuadrado makes a great challenge.
Yellow Card Samir Handanoviç
Yellow Card Ezequiel Lavezzi
There's a good 14 or 15 players in a ruck now. It started with Pinzi kicking Lavezzi up in the air and Lavezzi and Handanovic have been booked for their part in the handbags which followed.
Napoli ringing the changes as they play catch-up. Mascara for Yebda now.
Stat time again... That's Denis' first goal as a starter this season. His other three have come as a substitute.
Well what a last 10 minutes we've had. This looks set to be the weekend that will be remembered as the one which won Milan the Serie A title for the first time since 2004.
Off comes Pazienza, who clearly thought twice about making a tackle after Cannavaro messed up. He was on a yellow card and didn't want his side being reduced to 10. On comes Gargano.
Assist Pablo Armero
Goal Germán Denis
2-0!!!! MAYBE THAT'S GAME OVER!!! Armero breaks through the flimsy challenge of Cannavaro before lofting the ball over to Denis, who takes the ball down superbly and strikes a fierce right-foot shot. The ex-Napoli man begins to celebrate with his hand in the air before apologising to the home fans. The away fans don't care... their side are well in control now.
All Udinese at the moment. Napoli have been hit hard by that goal. First Denis and then Armero both get into good positions down the left, the latter winning a corner which is eventually cleared.
Well surely that lack of celebration will only increase the speculation surrounding Inler's future, but in the meantime that could be a massive boost for Udinese's Champions League hopes, as well as Milan's title chances.
Assist Giovanni Pasquale
Goal Gökhan Inler
OOOOHHHHHHH!!! WHAT A GOAL!!!!! Armero goes on a fantastic run down the right, beating two men but he ends up overhitting his right-foot cross. From the goal kick, Pasquale runs the ball forward and feeds Inler, who hits a sensational 30-yard shot into the corner beyond De Sanctis. Magnificent strike. The Swiss doesn't celebrate the goal though, as he's been linked with a summer move to the San Paolo.
Lavezzi plays a slack pass behind Maggio as the wing-back goes on the sprint down the right, letting Udinese off the hook.
As Napoli build up patiently, the visitors keep them at bay, but then Cannavaro tries a speculative 35-yard effort which swings well wide.
Denis and Cannavaro get into a right old tangle before the striker brings down Pazienza in frustration. Napoli free-kick.
Armero gives away a free-kick for a foul on Campagnaro. The centre-back then finds space to cross, Inler only chests it down into the path of Hamsik, but the Slovakian shoots wide at the near post from six yards. He snatched at what was a good chance there.
Hello again everyone. You timed that well. Referee Paolo Tagliavento gets us underway again.
Marek Hamsik tells the Sky cameras at half-time that Udinese are making it difficult with their counter-attacks. He's not wrong. This is a tight one. Come back in 10 for more from the San Paolo.
45' + 2'
Paolo Cannavaro fails to get his head on a flat free-kick and tries to blame an Udinese defender! The referee decides he's seen enough. Half-time.
45' + 1'
We'll have two extra minutes for that injury to Mauricio Isla.
Great chance for Udinese!!! Pinzi took down a cross from the left, but on his swinger left foot he couldn't get enough power on his shot and De Sanctis was thankful that it came straight at him.
Yellow Card Michele Pazienza
Pazienza enters the book for a foul on Armero, but it was a good foul to commit as the Colombian was winding up for one of his scintillating runs.
OHHHH!!! GREAT SAVE!!!! Cavani crosses low from the right, and Lavezzi beats his man to get a shot in on the slide, but Handanovic pulls off a spectacular save to keep the effort out. Superb stuff.
Francesco Guidolin and German Denis are left incredulous when the striker is pulled back for a fou on Victor Ruiz. There didn't seem a lot in it, it has to be said.
Remember, you can tweet your thoughts on the game to @krisvoakes.
One South American replaces another as Cuadrado comes on for Isla.
Udinese are going to be forced into a change here. Mauricio Isla seemed to badly twist his ankle as he turned to compete for a second ball and he's being stretchered off. That's a blow for the Friulani.
Napoli fans momentarily think they have a penalty, but the referee was signalling a free-kick after Cavani launched himself into Handanovic punched away a left-wing cross.
A long crossfield ball puts Victor Ruiz under pressure, but Denis lays the slightest of hands on him and the ref's assistant says it's a free-kick.
Stat Time... Napoli haven't scored in the first half in any of their last three games at the San Paolo. Cue a goal, you just watch!
Pinzi wins another free-kick, but when it breaks wide Armero's cross is headed over by Benatia.
Well, there's a controversial one. Hamsik does brilliantly to beat the bruiser that is Cristian Zapata for power, but when he takes the ball inside he sees the flag's gone up for a foul. That was nothing more than a superbly executed shoulder charge. A shame for Napoli.
Pazienza tries twice to get the ball in behind, but when it eventually falls for Lavezzi he drags a left-foot shot wide.
Pazienza does well to break up an Udinese attack. The midfielder has doen really well over the past few weeks, really coming into his own in the absence of Walter Gargano.
Domizzi sends an accurate crossfield ball onto the chest of Pasquale, and he immediately carries it out of play. Hmmm.
Nice build-up play by Napoli down the right once more, but Yebda drags a shot wide. Still no breakthrough for the Partenopei.
Christian Maggio hits a short worth forgetting. It might get you 6 points in Aussie Rules Football, but in the greatest game of all that'll get you nowhere.
There's probably only one major flaw in Udinese's gameplan, and that's that Napoli will generally take advantage if you give them so much possession and space.
Yellow Card Kwadwo Asamoah
He's getting closer! Denis is robbed by Maggio and Napoli break in that same channel. This time Cavani shoots just wide of the far post with a low drive.
CAVANI!!! NO!!! Should have buried it! The Uruguayan was bearing down on goal in the right channel but struck his shot over the bar with Handanovic stood wathcing. Napoli's best chance so far.
You can't knock Udinese, they're really going at the home side on the break. Both sides seem reasonably with the current flow of the game. Napoli dominating the ball, with the Zebrette causing them trouble with the fast countering ability of Armero.
Don't let that Udinese chance fool you... Napoli have had a very sizeable amount of the possession and territory so far.
It so nearly was 0-1!!!!! De Sanctis dives low to his right to keep out a ferocious left-foot effort from Denis after Pinzi won a free-kick. Very good stop from a great effort.
SasanP doesn't seem to care about the losses of Di Natale and Sanchez... Napoli 0-1 Udinese.
Cavani is put away down the left and delivers what was either a wayward shot or an audacious shot from a narrow angle. Either way, Handanovic was alert to it at the near post.
Referee Tagliavento blows his whistle... it can only mean one thing. Napoli playing in their usual azzurro, Udinese in black and white stripes.
Do you think that Walter Mazzarri might cut his hair if Napoli go on to win the Scudetto? It's not exactly a 21st century 'do' is it?! They're doing the handshakes and such right now. Kick-off only a minute or so away. Predictions? Tweet me on @krisvoakes.
Get involved in the commentary tonight... tweet me (@krisvoakes) and we'll include your comments when there's a quiet moment. That's if there is one, of course, as these two are known for the ability to play some scintillating stuff. Udinese are missing Toto Di Natale and Alexis Sanchez though.
UDINESE (4-5-1): Handanovic; Benatia, Zapata, Domizzi, Pasquale; Isla, Pinzi, Inler, Asamoah, Armero; Denis.
NAPOLI (3-4-1-2): De Sanctis; Campagnaro, Cannavaro; Ruiz; Maggio, Pazienza, Yebda, Dossena; Hamsik; Lavezzi, Cavani.
Good evening and welcome to Goal.com's coverage of the final game of a rip-roaring Serie A weekend. Milan sent Sampdoria into the bottom three, Inter were pushed out of the title race and wins for Palermo and Lazio reduced the chances of Roma or Juventus sneaking into the Champions League. We finish here with Napoli against Udinese at the San Paolo, with the Azzurri looking to close the gap at the top to three points, while the visitors need a win to keep the pressure on fourth-placed Lazio. Team news coming up.
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