A late Ilija Nestorovski strike ensured that Udinese took all three points with a 1-0 win over Fiorentina in a drab affair at the Stadio Friuli on Sunday afternoon.
With both the Zebrette and the Viola struggling to create any real attacking opportunities for the majority of the game, it was Nestorovski’s headed effort just four minutes from time that settled the contest in the hosts’ favour.
The first half was far from a classic with neither team able to sustain any type of dominance over the contest as they both struggled to create any clear-cut opportunities.
It would take almost 25 minutes before the hosts registered the game’s first shot on target, Jens Larsen forcing Bartlomiej Dragowski into action in the Viola goal with a low stinging drive that brought some life to a dull first half.
In fact, when the half-time whistle eventually came, Larsen’s strike was the only noteworthy moment of a game that had produced only three shots on target and very little in the way of entertainment, as both teams lacked a cutting edge in attack.
The break did little to spur the contest into life and the second half started in much the same vein as the first, with both sides being wasteful with possession as they struggled to create chances.
Despite the lack of attacking prowess, it was the visitors who were looking the more likely to create an opening as the contest wore on, and Dusan Vlahovic had their best chance of the afternoon just after the hour mark but Juan Musso was equal to the task in the Udinese goal.
However, somewhat against the run of play with only four minutes remaining it was the Zebrette that got the game’s only goal. Nestorovski found himself totally unmarked in the Viola box to head home a wonderful cross by Rodrigo De Paul and ensure that his team took all three points from a contest that looked to be heading for a goalless draw.