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Udinese focused on UEFA Wednesday 8 March, 2006

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Udinese Coach Loris Dominissini insists he’ll play his best line-up in the UEFA Cup against Levski Sofia, but Vincenzo Iaquinta is out.

“The Bulgarians are a good side with pace, stamina and an organised tactical system,” explained the former Como boss.

“Let’s say that they would be a mid-table team in Serie A. Seeing as we care about the UEFA Cup, we will field the best line-up with the players at my disposal and with those who have shown they have best recovered from the strains of Sunday’s game with Ascoli.”

Udinese had started the season with high hopes and were minutes away from progressing to the Champions League knockout round, but things have gone decidedly downhill.

The Friuli outfit is still in the running for the UEFA Cup and Coppa Italia, but in Serie A they are now just five points clear of the relegation zone. This means that Saturday’s encounter with Palermo in the League takes on an added importance.

“Thankfully, the Sicilians are also in the UEFA Cup this week, so we will both be equally tired,” added the tactician.

Iaquinta is out with a slight injury, while Mirko Pieri has recovered to play in midfield. Christian Obodo is likely to start, as he will be suspended for the Palermo game.

“We must absolutely try to win against Levski,” noted the Nigerian. “This game is doubly important, because we can continue our European progress and boost our confidence to take back to Serie A.”

Udinese squad: De Sanctis, Paoletti; Bertotto, Zapata, Felipe, Defendi, Politti; Zenoni, Candela, Pieri, Obodo, Muntari, Baronio, Tissone, Vidigal; Di Natale, Rossini, Barreto, Lazzari.

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I think Levski is able of getting an away goal in Udine, and although Udinese are favorites I think Levski have shown that they are good enough to eliminate Udinese, best of luck to Udinese in their match against Palermo ,but against Levski I hope they get a draw.
 

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UEFA Cup, Last 16, 1st leg - 9/3/06
Udinese 0-0 Levski Sofia

Stadio Friuli

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Udinese’s frustrating season continues after they were surprisingly held to a 0-0 draw by Levski Sofia. Although the Bianconeri didn’t concede a potentially lethal away goal, their UEFA Cup hopes of a place in the last eight do hang in the balance.

After going 11 Serie A matches without a win, Udinese were looking for a bit of a confidence booster against Levski. Although the Bulgarians are currently second in their championship, even a Vincenzo Iaquinta-less Italian outfit were fancied to take a relatively tight grip of the tie after the first 90 minutes at the Stadio Friuli.

That was the plan, the reality was very different though as a lack-lustre Bianconeri XI struggled to impose themselves in a game which Levski seemed to control in the opening half-an-hour. So much so that the peninsula boys were forced to switch from a 3-5-2 to a 4-4-2 system after just 20 minutes.

That tactical reshuffle by the coaching duo of Loris Dominissini and Nestor Sensini certainly led to an improvement. That in turn saw the Italians create their first real dangerous effort of the night when a Baronio free-kick was headed just off target by Zapata on 28 minutes.

Udinese finished the half strongly and were unfortunate to not break the deadlock through veteran defender Vincent Candela. An excellent move from the home side saw Rossini lay the ball off for the Frenchman, but he wasn’t accurate enough to beat Petkov in the Levski goal.

Udinese started the second period brightly with Baronio, Obodo and Di Natale all threatening in front of goal. The first two saw their long-range efforts fail to ripple the net, while the latter’s shot on the turn ended up over the crossbar.

Nevertheless, the home side survived a major scare in the 63rd minute when Levski squandered the best chance of the night. Telkiyski delivered an inch perfect cross from the right and Angelov somehow headed his effort over the bar from close range.

Udinese continued to look for that elusive winner and their best remaining effort fell to Baronio. The former Italian Under-21 international took advantage of a penalty area scramble, but failed to get his shot on target. Levski held on in a wet Udine for a priceless draw.

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Udinese: De Sanctis; Bertotto, Felipe (Defendi 51), Zapata; Zenoni, Obodo, Baronio, Tissone, Candela (Muntari 60); Rossini, Di Natale (Barreto 67)

Levski: Petkov; S Angelov, Topuzakov, Milanov, Wagner; Richard, Boriminov, Telkiyski, Bardon (Hristov 93); Yovov (Bukarev 81), E Angelov (Domovchiyski 64)

Ref: De Bleeckere (Hol)

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0-0 but that can mean a good thin for Udinese if they can get the first goal in Bulgaria...

Im surprised you do not score with Rossini in attack.
 

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I should just tell you that Levski have yet to be beaten in Sofia and furthermore no team in this year's UEFA cup has scored a goal in Sofia even though the fallowing teams have played-OM ,Auxerre, Dinamo B, Artmedia ,Publicum
 

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Im surprised you do not score with Rossini in attack.
Really? I am surprised Rossini is actually a Serie A player. :)

And the game was unbelievably boring. Since I don't like Levski at all, I wanted them to be crushed but it wasn't to be.
 

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Udinese in confident mood Friday 10 March, 2006

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Despite the 0-0 draw with Levski Sofia, Udinese boss Loris Dominissini can still see the UEFA Cup quarter-finals.

“We have a good possibility of qualification,” said the tactician after his side were held at the Stadio Friuli on Thursday.

“I think it is clear that we have a 50 per cent chance of going through. We’ll go to Sofia with it all to play for.”

Although the Bianconeri have had a disastrous season after almost reaching the Champions League knock-out phases, they were expected to beat their Bulgarian opponents last night.

However, Levski proved to be tough to break down even if Dominissini insists he knew that would be the case.

“We were aware that they were a good side,” he added. “Nevertheless, it was important for us to not concede at home.”

One man who was shocked with what his side was up against was Udinese striker Fausto Rossini.

“We didn’t think we would be up against such an organised outfit, but we can still do it in Bulgaria,” he noted. “We are still in three competitions and we look to always give it our best.”

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Sorry I put the post wrong I was supposed to say.. I am not surprised you do not score with rossini in attack... you know what I mean. He is a crap player.
 

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I guessed as much and I was mainly joking. :)
BTW, I laghed really hard when I read a Bulgarian newspaper today. It's owned by the president of Levski and it was full of such praise as if Levski had won the CL by beating Barcelona 7-0 with three of their players sent-off in the first half. :howler: If you ask me, Levski's progress just serves to show what a joke the UEFA Cup has become and how little the big teams care about it.
 

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Same about Middlesbrough over here. I was reading it and I thought I actually saw Totti, De Rossi, Chivu and Montella on the pitch as well :D They were saying that Roma were one of the greatest teams in Europe bla bla bla, when possibly we are but not without even a support striker type player and also without our leaders.
 

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wow levski are doing so well and i dont see any reason why they shouldnt be proud... i dont care what the uefa cup has become its still a good competition and making it to the 1/4 final will be a huge achievment for bulgaria football... i cant wait till the game in sofia where the stadium will be packed.
 

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Udinese 'shelve' UEFA ambition Tuesday 14 March, 2006

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Udinese are still in contention for two trophies, but President Giampaolo Pozzo and his men admit they are focusing on Serie A survival rather than Levski Sofia.

“Our priority is to stay in Italy’s top flight,” warned the club patron after Sunday’s 2-0 defeat saw their advantage over the relegation zone cut to just two points.

“It would be pointless to win the UEFA Cup or Coppa Italia if we then found ourselves in Serie B. The second string side will play against Levski Sofia, as I want the team to be at its best for the League. We cannot prepare adequately if we play twice a week with the same men.”

The first leg at the Stadio Friuli ended goalless, so they need to score in Bulgaria to have any chance of qualifying, but Vincenzo Iaquinta (pictured), Diaz Felipe, Cesare Natali, Antonio Di Natale, Vincent Candela and Sulley Ali Muntari have not even made the trip.

Seemingly the only man at the club who believes in a quarter-final berth is 19-year-old defender Cristian Zapata.

“You’ll see that we will win in Sofia. We are a stronger side than Levski and the pressure to come forward will be on them now, so we will be able to take advantage of that extra space. I know our focus is on Serie A, but I say we are capable of working successfully in all three tournaments.”

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Final score: Levski 2-1 Udinese
Not a bad result considering the weakend team they put out, Serie A survival has to be the priority. :undecide:

From channel 4:

UEFA Cup, Last 16, 2nd leg - 16/3/06
Levski Sofia 2-1 Udinese (2-1 on agg)
Tissone 22 (U), Borimirov 52 (L), Tomasic 63 (L)
Sofia, Bulgaria

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Udinese’s season has gone from bad to worse after they were knocked out of the UEFA Cup by Levski Sofia. The relegation threatened club did take the lead against the capital outfit, but two second half goals from the Bulgarians saw their European dreams come to an end.

Udinese may have gone into the game just 90 minutes away from reaching the last eight, but the club openly admitted in the build up that Serie A survival is their only aim this season. That stance was reflected in their starting XI given the omissions of their big name players like Vincenzo Iaquinta and Antonio Di Natale amongst others.

A youthful Bianconeri side started the game well and after causing panic in the Levski area on 10 minutes, before also having a Roberto Baronio effort fly over the bar, they took the lead. Fernando Tissone netted a crucial away goal after the Bulgarian defence got their offside trap horribly wrong for the midfielder to benefit with just the ‘keeper to beat.

Fausto Rossini and Baronio had further efforts in the opening period to increase Udinese’s lead only for Petkov to make decent saves in the 29th and 39th minute for the home side. Not that the first half belonged to the Italian outfit whatsoever.

Levski seriously threatened on 25 minutes when Morgan De Sanctis did well to keep out a Yoyov effort from distance. The Italian just had to watch a Topuzakov header fly over his bar before he really should have been beaten on the stroke of half-time. Yoyov, with the goal wide open, shot over the bar from just a few metres out.

Sofia wasted little time in turning the game on its head in a devastating 10-minute spell. Levski levelled things up on 52 when Boriminov capitalised on a weak Rossini effort to put the ball past the diving De Sanctis.

That strike invigorated Levski who forced the Udinese custodian to tip a Topuzakov header over the bar. He was simply delaying the worst though as the shot-stopper was beaten just 60 seconds later. A Wagner cross from the left resulted in Tomasic’s accurate header making the score 2-1.

Udinese still only needed another strike to go through on the away goals rule but they were limited to a Rossini header in the last 10 minutes. In fact, it was Levski who created the best chance after taking the lead. Bardon made space for himself on the edge of the box but De Sanctis again kept his side in contention.

Nevertheless, it made little difference as Udinese followed fellow Italian entrants Roma out of the competition at the last 16 stage.



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Levski: Petkov; S Angelov, Topuzakov, Tomasic, Wagner; Richard, Borimirov (Bukarev 85); Telkijski, Bardon, Yoyov (Koprivarov 78); E Angelov (Domovchijski 46)

Udinese: De Sanctis; Bertotto, Zapata, Juarez; Tissone, Vidigal (Barreto 73), Morosini, Baronio (Obodo 58), Pieri; Rossini, Lazzari

Ref: Bennet (Eng)
 

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You would have probably prevailed but for somе reason you played appallingly in the second half. Rossini should never play in Serie A again, even Corradi is like Shevchenko compared to him.
 

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Unfortunate bu in some ways being out of this torneo can help you in the league... today you played basically a B team, but I agree with Anomander... Rossini is easily one of the worst players ever to play in Serie A. He is a C player at best.
 

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UEFA Cup, Last 16, 2nd leg - 16/3/06
Levski Sofia 2-1 Udinese (2-1 on agg)
Tissone 22 (U), Borimirov 52 (L), Tomasic 63 (L)
Sofia, Bulgaria

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Udinese’s season has gone from bad to worse after they were knocked out of the UEFA Cup by Levski Sofia. The relegation threatened club did take the lead against the capital outfit, but two second half goals from the Bulgarians saw their European dreams come to an end.

Udinese may have gone into the game just 90 minutes away from reaching the last eight, but the club openly admitted in the build up that Serie A survival is their only aim this season. That stance was reflected in their starting XI given the omissions of their big name players like Vincenzo Iaquinta and Antonio Di Natale amongst others.

A youthful Bianconeri side started the game well and after causing panic in the Levski area on 10 minutes, before also having a Roberto Baronio effort fly over the bar, they took the lead. Fernando Tissone netted a crucial away goal after the Bulgarian defence got their offside trap horribly wrong for the midfielder to benefit with just the ‘keeper to beat.

Fausto Rossini and Baronio had further efforts in the opening period to increase Udinese’s lead only for Petkov to make decent saves in the 29th and 39th minute for the home side. Not that the first half belonged to the Italian outfit whatsoever.

Levski seriously threatened on 25 minutes when Morgan De Sanctis did well to keep out a Yoyov effort from distance. The Italian just had to watch a Topuzakov header fly over his bar before he really should have been beaten on the stroke of half-time. Yoyov, with the goal wide open, shot over the bar from just a few metres out.

Sofia wasted little time in turning the game on its head in a devastating 10-minute spell. Levski levelled things up on 52 when Borimirov capitalised on a weak Rossini clearance to put the ball past the diving De Sanctis.

That strike invigorated Levski who forced the Udinese custodian to tip a Topuzakov header over the bar. He was simply delaying the worst though as the shot-stopper was beaten just 60 seconds later. A Wagner cross from the left resulted in Tomasic’s accurate header making the score 2-1.

Udinese still only needed another strike to go through on the away goals rule, but they were limited to a Rossini header in the last 10 minutes. In fact, it was Levski who created the best chance after taking the lead. Bardon made space for himself on the edge of the box but De Sanctis again kept his side in contention.

Nevertheless, it made little difference as Udinese followed fellow Italian entrants Roma out of the competition at the last 16 stage.

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Levski: Petkov; S Angelov, Topuzakov, Tomasic, Wagner; Richard, Borimirov (Bukarev 85); Telkijski, Bardon, Yoyov (Koprivarov 78); E Angelov (Domovchijski 46)

Udinese: De Sanctis; Bertotto, Zapata, Juarez; Tissone, Vidigal (Barreto 73), Morosini, Baronio (Obodo 58), Pieri; Rossini, Lazzari

Ref: Bennet (Eng)

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