Udinese and Atalanta Cancel Out Each Other at Stadio Friuli

Atalanta stretched their unbeaten run to 12 games in all competitions with a 1-1 draw against Udinese in a rematch from Round 10. The original game had been cancelled due to bad weather.

Luca Gotti’s Little Zebras counted their lucky stars as they withstood pressure from Gian Piero Gasperini’s men and came out. They are without a win in eight games but will take home the point to show for their efforts.

After struggling to give a good account of themselves in games against Sampdoria and Napoli, Udinese started brightly. The successive 2-1 defeats were in the rear view mirror as soon Manchester United loanee, Roberto Pereyra, gave them a perfect start.

The attacker’s brilliant individual goal in the first minute of the game hinted towards a cracker of a fixture. Pierluigi Gollini could not stop his low shot from going into the back of the net to give an early start. However, the game did not live up to the expectations as Udinese were on the back foot for the game’s duration.

La Dea took their time settling into the game, and their first real crack at goal came after the quarter-hour mark. Luis Muriel’s poor shot gave advance notice of what was to follow, a scrappy affair where Udinese used their physicality to keep off Atalanta.

Rafael Toloi and Ruslan Malinovskyi tried their luck, but it was Joakim Maehle who came the closest. The unmarked Dane should have buried his shot into the back of the net, but Juan Musso kept the ball out. On the other side of the pitch, Pereyra’s strong claim for a penalty was waved off.

After toiling for the duration of the first half, Atalanta got back on level terms in the dying moments of the period. Matteo Pessina cut open the Udinese defense and released Muriel. The Colombian did not disappoint as he evaded defenders and got one-on-one with Musso to make it 1-1.

The exciting start and finish to the first period hinted at more goals to come after the break. However, fans hopes were dashed in the scrappy performance by sides in the restart. Aleksey Miranchuk came close, but his shot was wide of the left post in the 54th minute. In the final 20 minutes, Josip Ilicic had a shot blocked, and Cristian Romero send a header wide.

The Little Zebras were ineffective in creating a valuable chance in the second half. However, Udinese could have dashed and grabbed the game in the 87th minute. Marvin Zeegelaar got past Gollini, but a foul in the buildup ruled it out. Referee Gianpaolo Calvarese had a perfect view and was never going to allow it.

When the full-time whistle blew, both sides could not be separated and with good reason. Atalanta moved to sixth place, on equal points with Juventus in fifth and a point behind third-placed Napoli. A win would have allowed them to reduce that gap at the top and will rue their missed opportunities.

Gotti will take the point for Udinese but needs to arrest their decline. They have a four-point cushion over relegation slots, but their eight-match winless run is concerning. Their three-match winning streak finished in the middle of December, and they have yet to recover from it. With in-form Inter arriving at the Stadio Friuli over the weekend, their fortunes might take another beating before it gets better.  



January 20, 2021 – Serie A 2020-21 Round 10

SCORERS: 1′ Pereyra (U), 44′ Muriel (A)

UDINESE (3-5-1-1): Musso; Becao, Bonifazi, Samir; Stryger Larsen (88′ Molina), De Paul, Arslan (89′ De Maio), Mandragora (56′ Walace, 72′ Deulofeu), Zeegelaar; Pereyra; Lasagna (Scuffet, Gasparini, Ouwejan, Makengo, Nuytinck, Micin, Nestorovski, Palumbo) Coach: Gotti
ATALANTA (3-4-1-2): Gollini; Toloi, Romero, Palomino; Hateboer (58′ Gosens), De Roon, Pessina, Maehle; Miranchuk (58′ Ilicic), Malinovskyi (81′ Freuler); Muriel (58′ Zapata) (Sportiello, Rossi, Sutalo, Lammers, Caldara, Djimsiti, Depaoli, Ruggeri) Coach: Gasperini

REFEREE: Mr. Calvarese from Teramo
NOTES: Yellow Cards: Pereyra, Zeegelaar, Bonifazi (U), Romero, Freuler (A)