When Francesco Guidolin left Parma to manage Udinese, I was disappointed. Guidolin had united a set of strong individuals, managing Parma all the way up to eighth in the table last season. Udinese finished 15th this past season, yet Guidolin saw something in the club and decided to join them.
After a disappointing start of four losses in their first four matches, Guidolin’s decision to join Udinese seemed ridiculous. Given time, Udinese began to play more attacking football, ultimately cruising their way up to eighth in the table, where they are currently situated. With the highest average of goals per match (2.95 goals per match) in the Serie A, Udinese has become a scintillating team, fearing no opponent with their attacking playing style.
Their latest victory came against Inter Milan, an exciting 3-1 victory at the Stadio Communale Friuli. While Udinese conceded first with Stankovic scoring for Inter in the 17th minute, Guidolin’s team quickly made up the lost ground. Zapata took advantage of Inter’s poor defending, smashing the ball into the roof of the goal. While Castellazzi should have done better, Zapata’s shot was powerful and precise.
Di Natale scored Udinese’s second in the 25th minute, a wonderful free kick which looped over the wall, nestling into the bottom corner of the goal. The comeback was complete, but Udinese didn’t stop there. Inter tried to slow the tempo of the game down, doing their best to keep possession and slowly build from the back. Yet Udinese’s relentless pressure was a constant obstacle. Guidolin taught his men well: give the opponent no time on the ball, and once you have it, strike quickly.
Inter suffered for the rest of the first haf, and well into the second. Udinese eventually found the third goal, with Domizzi anticipating everyone, flicking the ball over Castellazzi with his outstretched toe. Leonardo could do nothing to inspire the Inter Milan players against Udinese. Guidolin on the other hand never had to say much, with his players giving everything for the home win.
It was a fantastic victory for Udinese. When Guidolin first joined the club, I feared that the underrated manager would have trouble, but he has shown his worth. Udinese’s next match is away from home, against Juventus. While Udinese seems very strong right now, their away record doesn’t compliment them. Out of eleven matches, Udinese have only three victories away from home. We’ll see if this exciting team will be able to win away from home, and maybe aim for a European spot for the end of the season.
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