Udinese and Sassuolo went to battle in what turned out to be a fairly entertaining match. While neither side has a chance at finishing among the European places, there was still plenty of pride on the line.
Two mid table sides took to the pitch at the Dacia Arena Sunday afternoon. After an early Seko Fofana volley, Sassuolo would come from behind thanks to two goals from second half substitute Gregoire Defrel. In the early stages of the match Udinese controlled the pace of play and took advantage of an errand pass from Sassuolo keeper Andrea Consigli. However, following the goal it was all Sassuolo from there on. Aside from the odd Domenico Berardi touch of creativity, Sassuolo were simply to static in attack to really threaten their opponents after the first forty-five minutes.
Leading into the second half, it was to be expected that the neroverdi would press to find the equalizer. After another twenty minutes of failed attacks, Eusebio Di Francesco made an attacking change bringing on Gregoire Defrel for Alfred Duncan in the hopes of adding more pressure up front. This move would prove to be crucial as Defrel would volley home a cross from Matteo Politano only four minutes since entering the match. Defrel would then cap off his man of the match performance with a curler that left Karnezis with no chance only five minutes after his first goal.
It was a well deserved victory for the Emiliani, and while they struggled at times in the attacking third, they were able to show some resilience to earn a nice three points on the road. From an Udinese perspective, it has to be seen as a clear three points dropped. Besides Seko Fofana’s volley, the Friuli side were static in attack and were very stale up front. Front man Duvan Zapata almost seemed disinterested at times and lacked any sort of energy, ultimately leading to his exit after an hour of play. Udinese came close to an equalizer in second half stoppage time when Rodrigo De Paul’s free kick was headed just wide by Felipe. Coming into the game two points behind their opponents, Di Francesco’s men now sit one point ahead of the zebrette in the standings.
Both sides face tough match-ups next weekend where Sassuolo will play host to Milan at the Mapei Stadium. Udinese on the other hand will head to the Stadio Olimpico to face a Lazio side who is fresh off a come from behind victory over Empoli yesterday evening.