Napoli held by Udinese
Napoli could only reduce the deficit on Serie A leaders Juventus to six points as they were held to a 0-0 draw by Udinese.
Last Updated: 25/02/13 8:49pm
Napoli were only able to reduce the deficit on Serie A leaders Juventus to six points as they were held to a 0-0 draw by Udinese at the Stadio Friuli.
Chances were few and far between with Udinese rarely looking at risk of conceding, but seeming equally unlikely to score.
A late rally from Napoli was not enough for them to take more than a point back home with them as they lacked their usual shine on a disappointing night for Walter Mazzarri's men.
The game never really got going with Napoli carving out the best chances in the first half, but none good enough to test Daniele Padelli in the Udinese goal
After an appeal for a penalty was turned down when Edinson Cavani went to ground inside the penalty area, Cavani then sliced a pass from Marek Hamsik from 10 yards out in the 22nd minute.
Ten minutes before half time, Padelli was finally called into action to save from Hamsik's shot from Juan Zuniga's cross.
Udinese striker Antonio Di Natale got his first sight of goal just before the break when a good burst of pace created room for a shot, which he sent over the crossbar with his weaker left foot.
A deflected Di Natale effort set up Roberto Pereyra for Udinese's best chance of the night, but he lifted the ball over the crossbar from six yards out.
Hamsik volleyed the ball wide at the other end before another penalty appeal was turned down when former Udinese wing-back Pablo Armero went down in the area, but he was shown a yellow card for diving.
Shortly after, Cavani confirmed it was not his night as he made a bad contact with another shot which almost turned into an assist for Armero, who was just too late to meet the ball at the far post.
Napoli spent the last 20 minutes on the attack, but Padelli was protected by a strong defence which held firm without wavering while Mazzarri's men lacked the creativity to break them down.