Serie A - Udinese earn draw at Lazio

Sun, 18 Dec 21:45:00 2011

Giampiero Pinzi struck with 17 minutes remaining to secure a 2-2 draw for Udinese away at Lazio in an entertaining Serie A clash at the Stadio Olimpico.

Udinese's Antonio Floro Flores (2nd L) celebrates with his team mates after scoring against Lazio during their Italian Serie A soccer match at the Olympic stadium in Rome December 18, 2011 - 0

The visitors had gone in front midway through the first half through Antonio Floro Flores, only for Senad Lulic to level shortly before the break.

Klose had put Lazio ahead early in the second half courtesy of a wicked deflection off Damiano Ferronetti, before Pinzi popped up against the run of play to level things once more.

It was a fair result between two sides who are performing well in Serie A again this season, and who keep their fourth and third places respectively with a point apiece.

In the absence of regular goalkeeper Federico Marchetti, Albano Bizzarri started for Lazio, while Udinese made six changes from the side which drew with Celtic in the Europa League three nights earlier.

Perhaps unsurprisingly for two sides who had been involved in Europa League action in midweek, the game began slowly, though the visitors very nearly sprang a surprise just three minutes in when playmaker Gabriel Torje picked out Giovanni Pasquale with a teasing cross, and Mobido Diakite was forced to make a lunging block.

Lazio had more of the possession, but Udinese fashioned the better of the limited chances, with Kwadwo Asamoah nearly getting on the end of Dusan Baata's centre in the 13th minute.

The hosts did respond, with Lulic's teasing cross almost allowing Luis Pedro Cavanda to hook home from an acute angle.

But despite an improvement from Lazio, it was the visitors who struck when Pasquale delivered an inviting cross from the left hand side and Floro Flores finished the move with a diving header.

It could have been two for Udinese had Mauricio Isla's stunning volley not been blocked - a goal that would have capped a superb run down the left from Torje after the Romanian had caught Alvaro Gonzalez in possession.

But just before the interval Lazio hit back, with Lulic afforded far too much space by the Udinese defence, and firing a low shot on goal which took just enough of a deflection off Medhi Benatia to beat Samir Handanovic in goal.

The hosts continued their momentum into the second half, enjoying another slice of fortune as Klose's volleyed effort was turned past Handanovic via Ferronetti's block.

That sparked Lazio's best spell of the match, as the Biancocelesti went after a third goal. Tomasso Rocchi almost provided it, forcing a decent save from Handanovic with an angled shot on the break just before the hour mark.

Eight minutes later, the newly-introduced Hernanes played in Klose with a perfectly-weighted pass, only for the German's one-on-one effort to be well smothered by Handanovic.

And having weathered the storm, Udinese hit back, with substitute Antonio Di Natale playing a crafty pass to release Pinzi, who finished well over Bizzarri into the far corner.

Lazio went in search of a winner, but could not find one - perhaps getting closest deep in injury time when Libor Kozak so nearly stretched to meet a low cross at point-blank range.

Udinese host Juventus in the league on Wednesday and could climb above them with victory in the last game before the short winter break, while Lazio have a chance to continue their good form when they entertain Chievo.

Mark Patterson - on Twitter @Mark_Eurosport / Eurosport

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