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Unlucky Di Natale Failed To Give European Glory for Udinese

UEFA EURO 2008 - Campionati Europei di Calcio - Spagna ItaliaAntonio Di Natale might just cursed his luck for Udinese as he could’ve bring his team into the next round of the Champions League if it were not for the missed chances the striker made in the game against Arsenal, which ended with a 2-1 defeat for the Italian side.

Despite scoring the opening goal which temporarily lifted his team’s hope in squashing the Gunners on that game, but a missed penalty, two shots hitting the post, and several other missed chances simply becoming the deciding factor in the final result of the match.

Starting the game with plenty of enthusiasm after performing very well at Emirates last weekend, Udinese did try to immediately take the game from Arsenal, but a nervous performance from the home team’s players allowed the visitor to have more of the possession and created several dangerous chances. However, after around 10-15 minutes, the home team’s mentality starts to grow again as they finally managed to create several dangerous goal scoring chances, mostly involving Di Natale, who has really been lively in that first period.

After a fierce end to end attacking stuff, it was Udinese who get the break through in the last few minutes of the first period after Di Natale headed in Giampero Pinzi’s lovely cross in the penalty area, beating Arsenal’s goalie, Szczesny stranded in the net. The goal lifted the home team’s spirit as they simply took control of the match with the Gunners’ players looking a bit lost and simply just playing until the first half whistle blown by the referee, while the Italian looked determined in getting the second goal which would confirm their passage to the Champions League group stage.

Unfortunately, Udinese simply changed their attitude a bit in the second half as they’re playing a pretty dangerous waiting game, hoping to catch the Gunners on the brake, allowing more possession given to Arsenal. By having plenty of the ball, the London outfit finally managed to score an equalizer through Van Persie, who converted a low pass from Gervinho, who was very much involved in the build up to the Dutchman’s equalizing goal.

Just when things can’t go much more wrong for Udinese, the home team wasted a golden chance that could really turn the tie as Di Natale missed a penalty kick after seeing his shot being saved by the Gunners’ new goalie. The captain’s failure seems to affected the player’s morale as the Bianconeri really looked lost and simply didn’t have the same appetite as the first half. Not long after Di Natale’s missed, the match is all be set and done for the away team as Theo Walcott, scored a second goal after springing the offside trap and beat Handanovic on Udinese’s goal without any problem

The match pretty much ended after that second goal, since the Italian team would bee needing three more goals to have a sniff at chances in qualifying for the next stage of the Champions League. Arsenal simply uses the situation into playing a much more controlling football, which simply tamed the Udinese boys, although the Italian can claim that they were a bit unlucky in not getting a favorable results from the match.


Match Reports:
Udinese v Arsenal 1-2
Goals: Di Natale 39 (Udine); Van Persie 55 (Arsenal), Walcott 69 (Arsenal)

Udinese: Handanovic; Ekstrand, Benatia (Pasquale 86), Danilo, Neuton; Isla (Denis 82), Badu, Asamoah, Armero; Pinzi (Fabbrini 63); Di Natale
Arsenal: Szczesny; Sagna, Djourou, Vermaelen, Jenkinson; Frimpong (Rosicky 46), Song, Ramsey; Walcott (Arshavin 90), Gervinho (Traore’ 85), Van Persie



photo credit:  manfrotto tripods