Friday, 5 October 2012

Liverpool 2-3 Udinese

Antonio Di Natale was Udinese's hero as the Serie A side hit back from a goal down to beat Liverpool 3-2 in the Europa League.The veteran striker was superb, helping Udinese produce a fine second-half display despite Liverpool enjoying the majority of possession and creating the better chances.The home side crafted the first opening in the ninth minute, Udinese goalkeeper Zeljko Brkic doing well to keep out Sebastian Coates' powerful header. Six minutes later, after Giampiero Pinzi had been bundled over by Jonjo Shelvey, Pepe Reina was forced to make a smart stop to keep out Mehdi Benatia's header from Di Natale's free-kick.In the 23rd minute, Brendan Rodgers' side broke the deadlock when Stewart Downing's pinpoint cross was headed powerfully into the back of the net by Shelvey.Udinese struggled to respond although just before the half-hour mark, the impressive Di Natale tried an ambitious curling shot that flew only just wide of the target, after Joe Allen had carelessly given the ball away in midfield.Downing then cut inside his man and unleashed a powerful shot that was blocked by Giovanni Pasquale, as the Reds ended the first half on top.However, the Serie A side shocked Liverpool by scoring within 60 seconds of the restart, Di Natale guiding his shot past Reina from 15 yards out, after good play by Andrea Lazzari.Udinese took the lead in the 70th minute when they scored the first of three goals in five minutes, Coates contriving to head the ball into his own net.
With virtually the next attack, the imperious Di Natale set up Giovanni Pasquale, whose powerful low left-footed drive flew past Reina.
Substitute Luis Suarez smashed home a free-kick to give Liverpool hope and the Uruguayan went close to grabbing an equaliser, but Udinese hung on to claim a precious three points.

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