Davide Frattesi scores winner as leaders Inter Milan leave it late at Udinese

By Sports Desk April 08, 2024

Davide Frattesi scored in the fifth minute of time added on as Serie A leaders Inter Milan snatched a 2-1 win over Udinese.

Frattesi had the simple task of tapping in after Marko Arnautovic’s shot from the edge of the box hit the post and rolled across goal, completing the turnaround after Hakan Calhanoglu’s second-half penalty cancelled out Lazar Samardzic’s goal late in the first half.

There had been an element of fortune about Samardzic’s deflected strike but no luck for Udinese in the end as a battling performance from the relegation battlers went unrewarded, leaving them two points above the drop zone.

Instead, Inter went 14 points clear at the top of the table, still in with a chance of winning their 20th league title when they face arch-rivals AC Milan on April 22.

Simone Inzaghi’s side looked off their best in the first half, dominating possession but doing little with it as Udinese defended in numbers.

Maduka Okoye did not have a serious save to make until the 29th minute, when Lautaro Martinez saw the run of Calhanoglu and pulled the ball back for the Turkey captain to drill a powerful shot at goal, albeit too close to the goalkeeper.

It was against the run of play that Udinese snatched the lead five minutes before half-time.

Samardzic was trying to hit a diagonal cross into the box as Udinese came forward on the break, but the ball took a deflection off Carlos Augusto, with Yann Sommer and Denzel Dumfries looking at each other as it rolled between them and into the far corner of the net.

Inter thought they were level three minutes into the second half when Federico Dimarco curled a free-kick into the box and it came through a crowd of players to fall for Augusto to prod home from close range, but after a lengthy VAR check the goal was ruled out for offside.

Moments later Okoye came off his line to challenge Marcus Thuram for the ball and got his timing wrong to concede the penalty which Calhanoglu dispatched with a drilled shot into the bottom corner.

Inter continued to push in search of a winner but there was a hint of the threat Udinese posed on the break in the 65th minute when Hassane Kamara raced forward and squared the ball. Florian Thauvin looked to have a tap-in but Henrikh Mkhitaryan made a superb recovering tackle to clear the danger.

At the other end, Thuram cut in from the right and tried to pull the ball back for substitute Frattesi, but the pass was slightly behind him and Frattesi could not keep his shot down.

Udinese defended doggedly in the closing stages, with Thauvin playing through injury after they had made all their substitutions, but were cruelly undone deep into time added on.

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