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Udinese Calcio dealt a blow to Fiorentina’s European qualification hopes with a 4-0 win at the Stadio Artemio Franchi, marking their first away win in 16 games against ‘I Viola’.

The hosts came out of the blocks quickly, with Krzysztof Piątek seeing his shot from inside the area well saved by Marco Silvestri. The fleet-footed Nicolás González then caused danger inside the Udinese penalty area when he put a couple of ‘Zebrette’ players on the floor, before his shot was saved.

However, perhaps somewhat against the script, the visitors took the lead when defender Pablo Marí advanced forward and saw his cross cleared back into his path, allowing the Spaniard to find his way into the area before unleashing a powerful shot which beat Pietro Terracciano at the near post. The home fans were stunned 10 minutes before HT when Gabriele Cioffi’s side doubled their advantage. Destiny Udogie’s shot from inside the area was saved by Terracciano, but the ball rebounded to Gerard Deulofeu, who tapped the ball into an unguarded right side of the net to make it 2-0 with his 12th league goal of the season.

If ‘I Viola’ were to complete a league double over Udinese, they knew they would have to find at least three second-half goals, and they came very close to finding the first of those when Lucas Torreira remarkably rose highest to head on goal at the near post, but Silvestri reacted quickly to deny the diminutive Uruguayan.

Udinese’s first-half display had given them plenty of confidence going forward, and they nearly made it 3-0 early in the second when a defence-splitting pass played Deulofeu in, but Terracciano did well to deny a shot heading for the left corner.

With Fiorentina committing men forward in desperate search of a goal, Udinese were able to take full advantage with Walace and Udogie finding the net in stoppage time to add extra gloss to the scoreline. This damaging defeat takes European qualification out of Fiorentina’s hands, while Udinese consolidate 12th position.

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