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UEFA Champions League: Udinese in Contention with 1-0 Win over Cesena

Fabbrini scores for Udinese
Fabbrini scores for UdineseMario Carlini / Iguana Press/Getty Images
Michael KohCorrespondent IIIMay 4, 2012

In their match on January 8th, Udinese scored four goals against AC Cesena—a team to be relegated next season. 

Now, with two games left in the season, Udinese find themselves in fourth, in contention for the Champions League spot. Right on their tail are SSC Napoli, SS Lazio and Inter Milan, with 58, 56, and 55 points respectively. Udinese plays Genoa (17th) at home on May 6th and ends the season with an away fixture, at Catania (10th).

On May 2, Udinese played at Cesena's Stadio Dino Manuzzi for their 36th game in the 2011-12 season.

The game started off quickly, with Diego Fabbrini finding the net for the away side within five minutes. It came from a Gelson Fernandes lob over a defender, which found the foot of Fabbrini, who volleyed the ball into the back of the net. 

Cesena replied almost immediately, but Damjan Djokovic couldn't slot it past Udinese goalkeeper Samir Handanovic. The hosts had a chance to level the game after they were rewarded a penalty from a clumsy challenge by Maurizio Domizzi, but Adrian Mutu could not convert and hit the post, perhaps demonstrating Cesena's disastrous season—the team has scored just 22 goals in 36 games.

At the 24 minute mark, Cesena goalkeeper Nicola Ravaglia saved Udinese defender Danilo's header, and with 32 minutes played in the first half, Ravaglia made another save, this time from Di Natale shooting from outside of the box. 

Kwadwo Asamoah could have put Udinese up by two, but his shot hit the woodwork, keeping him at three goals this season. 

The second half saw a more defensive Udinese, content with their one goal over Cesena.

Hopefully, we get to see this wonderfully defensive side progress to the Champions League—the club has allowed only 35 goals in 36 games. 

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