Amauri header boosts Parma
Last Updated: 26/01/14 5:30pm
A solitary goal from Amauri earned red-hot Parma a narrow but deserved 1-0 Serie A win over struggling Udinese.
Amauri's header in the 35th minute handed the Crociati their fourth straight league win, lifting the club to seventh in the table, where they are just one point adrift of fifth-placed Inter Milan.
However, Udinese's fourth consecutive loss has left the team in 15th and only three points clear of the drop zone.
The visitors went into the game at the Stadio Ennio Tardini inspired by Wednesday's 2-1 triumph at AC Milan, which earned them a place in the semi-finals of the Coppa Italia.
It was the hosts, though, who had the first chance in the fifth minute when Amauri got behind Antonio Cassano's cross and sent a header wide.
Soon afterwards, Marco Marchionni fed Walter Gargano in the box and his right-footed shot was kept out by Udinese goalkeeper Zeljko Brkic.
The visitors struggled to break through Parma's well-organised defence and were limited to shooting from outside the box.
Midway through the first half, Douglas Santos' bullet-strike from 30 yards was off target.
Parma broke the deadlock when Amauri's powerful header from Cassano's cross beat Brkic.
Udinese showed more intent after the interval and in the 49th minute, Parma goalkeeper Antonio Mirante was called into action to make a save from Silvan Widmer's long-range volley.
In the 55th minute, Parma defender Felipe tried to clear an Udinese cross but his attempt went behind him and almost surprised Mirante.
Thankfully for the hosts, the ball went wide.
With seven minutes remaining, Giampiero Pinzi's goal-bound attempt was deflected by a Parma defender and proved an easy catch for Mirante.
The home side almost doubled their lead with one minute remaining but Brkic kept out substitute Jose Agustin Mauri's left-footed shot from the centre of the area.