Serie A | Lecce 0-2 Udinese: Friulani soar out of danger zone


Lorenzo Lucca of Udinese celebrates with his teammate after scoring his team's first goalduring the Serie A TIM match between US Lecce and Udinese Calcio at Stadio Via del Mare on May 13, 2024 in Lecce, Italy. 

Udinese climbed out of the relegation zone with this desperately-needed victory away to already secure Lecce, as Lorenzo Lucca and Lazar Samardzic came up big.

The hosts were already celebrating their Serie A safety, but Roberto Piccoli sat out a ban, with Lameck Banda, Mohamed Kaba and Kastriot Dermaku missing the rest of the season. The Friulani knew a victory would take them out of the bottom three, but the lengthy absentee list included Florian Thauvin, Sandi Lovric, Marco Silvestri, Gerard Deulofeu and Enzo Ebosse, but Nehuen Perez and Martin Payero returned from suspension following the 1-1 draw with Napoli.

Both teams were wearing special edition jerseys with their maternal names in honour of Mother’s Day.

Perez was immediately called into action with a desperate block to stop Nikola Krstovic firing in the Pontus Almqvist pull-back from 12 yards, while Lazar Samardzic saw his free kick deflected over the bar and Thomas Kristensen nodded the resulting corner off target.

Isaac Success fired inches over from the edge of the box and Udinese finally broke through when Lorenzo Lucca soared above the crowd to nod a Payero cross into the far bottom corner.

Lecce took a while to get going, but started to test Maduka Okoye with a ferocious Santiago Pierotti strike from a tricky angle that stung his gloves, then a Federico Baschirotto header from the Remy Oudin free kick.

Just as Udinese were sitting deeper and deeper and Lecce pushed for an equaliser, they scored on the counter-attack to lock down these three precious points.

Roberto Pereyra’s cross found the head of Keinan Davis at the back post, forcing a reaction save from Wladimiro Falcone, but only into the path of Samardzic to turn in the rebound.

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