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Serie A

  • February 13, 2011
  • • 14:00
  • • Stadio Dino Manuzzi, Cesena
  • Referee: D. Orsato
  • • Attendance: 16704

Cesena 0-3 Udinese: Inspired Antonio Di Natale Fires Zebrette To Convincing Victory

Cesena 0-3 Udinese: Inspired Antonio Di Natale Fires Zebrette To Convincing Victory

The high-flying Friuli outfit grabbed a convincing result away from home...

Udinese kept up their positive streak in Serie A with a 3-0 win over Cesena at the Stadio Dino Manuzzi, a brace from Antonio Di Natale sandwiching a strike from Gokhan Inler. It was their eight consecutive match in Serie A without a loss. In contrast, the struggling hosts have only ensured just three points from their last eight matches.

The Seahorses were second from bottom going into the match and continued to look in danger of relegation after last week's loss to Napoli. Meanwhile, Udinese had been in rampant form as of late, climbing up to sixth place in the standings.

Cesena were without suspended playmaker Luis Jimenez while youngster Davide Santon missed the match with a minor injury. Alessandro Rosina made his first start for his new club after arriving from Zenit St. Peterburg in the winter transfer window. Udinese coach Francesco Guidolin stuck with the usual 3-5-2 formation as prolific couple Antonio Di Natale and Alexis Sanchez made up the attack once again.

The match began in scrappy fashion, with both Rosina and Maurizio Lauro earning bookings early on and neither side able to carve out a real chance in the first 20 minutes.

The home side eventually took a more attacking posture and Erjon Bogdani brought down a cross in the area, but he couldn't tap it past Samir Handanovic in goal, who quickly rushed off his line to block.

Udinese were on the back foot and Paolo Sammarco's backheel following Emanuele Giaccherini's break down the flank nearly set up Bogdani once again on 34 minutes.

Sanchez eventually burst into life at the end of the first-half and won a set piece on the edge of the area after out pacing Steve Von Bergen and Di Natale fired the freekick into the top corner as the Friuli outfit took the lead against the run of play.

At the start of the second-half Udinese had the ball in the back of the net again, but Giampiero Pinzi was ruled offside. Sanchez was shown a yellow card after handling the ball, not his first particular offence in that regard during the match.

In search of an equaliser, Seahorses tactician Massimo Ficcadenti replaced the tiring Rosina with former Palermo hitman Igor Budan. After some nice build-up play, Bogdani's strike on the turn was deflected away by Medhi Benatia and they somehow could not convert the corner after ball ricocheted around in the area.

After an hour the home crowd and players made their voices heard as they appealed for a penalty, however, Bogdani appeared to go down too easily under pressure in the area.

The Zebrette put the result beyond doubt by grabbing their second on 68 minutes. Pablo Armero won a duel with Luca Ceccarelli on the left and prodded the ball to Di Natale. The Italian drew in the defence before setting up Inler who finished well after displaying some nice control on the edge of the area. The Swiss international had been quiet up to that point but bagged his first goal of the season.

It was soon 3-0, as Di Natale bagged his 18th goal of the season with a tap-in following Mauricio Isla's cross on the counter attack.

As a result, Udinese move up to fifth in the Serie A standings ahead of Palermo and Cesena remain on 21 points in the drop zone.

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