Udinese well placed for Europe
Udinese's European hopes remain healthy thanks to a convincing 3-1 win over Sampdoria.
Last Updated: 05/05/13 2:38pm
Udinese's European hopes remain healthy thanks to a convincing 3-1 win over a Sampdoria side who are looking over their shoulder with a great deal of concern.
The two now have just three Serie A games left to play and this success put Udinese to within four points of Fiorentina in fourth - losers at home to Roma last night - and are one behind fifth-placed Roma.
More importantly they have a four-point buffer over Inter Milan in seventh and, with Roma still to try and take a European spot via the Coppa Italia, Udinese are a good bet for the Europa League at least.
Antonio Di Natale was their matchwinner today, scoring twice to take his tally for the season to 21, with their other goal arriving from Luis Muriel. Eder had levelled for Samp, who have six points on the bottom three heading into the games later today.
With a European campaign on offer to them, it was no surprise to see Udinese fly out of the blocks as Di Natale went close to putting them ahead with five minutes gone, scuffing wide from a Dusan Basta cross.
Samp responded with a cross-shot from Eder which skipped wide, and the same man was then denied by the legs of Zeljko Brkic as the visitors impressed.
They were behind with 29 minutes gone, though, as Di Natale took in a pass from Maurizio Domizzi and did the rest.
But Samp hit back and got the goal their play had warranted five minutes later, with Eder curling in a beautiful 18-yarder.
It was end-to-end fayre and Di Natale's header flew over the crossbar, before the seasoned striker made it two seven minutes after the break, snaffling possession inside the area and lobbing in a brilliant goal.
That did not deter Samp, though, and Eder, on a one-man mission, drilled in a strike that was hacked off the line, while the same man's free-kick drew a save from Brkic.
Eder needed help and Gianluca Sansone nearly gave him some with a low strike which thumped the post, while Brkic was called upon again to repel another Eder free-kick.
The wasted chances would cost the away team, however, as with three minutes left Sergio Romero failed to clear and Muriel was able to tuck in a clincher.