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Discussion Starter #1
Will be a tough game, but we have qualified for UEFA already :thumbsup:

From channel4:

Serie A Week 37 - 11/5/08 (14.00 UK)
Udinese - Cagliari

Stadio Friuli

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Udinese are winning again and mathematically still in the running for a Champions League place, while Cagliari can complete their miraculous escape from relegation with a victory in Friuli.

The Zebrette have been shaky at home this season, losing 5-0 to Napoli, 5-3 to Genoa and drawing with Empoli 2-2. Goals are guaranteed at the Stadio Friuli, only Roma and Atalanta fans have seen the net bulge more on their own turf this year. Pasquale Marino’s entertaining brand of football has thrilled Serie A since the start of the campaign, but – while it is easy on the eye – some teams find it simple to play against and exploit the spaces left by a 3-4-3 formation.

Udinese were dominant at Empoli on Sunday but didn’t shine, needing a clanger from Azzurri goalkeeper Daniele Balli, who fumbled Fabio Quagliarella’s shot into the net, to earn all three points. That win, their second in succession, allowed the Zebrette to leapfrog Sampdoria into sixth spot and the UEFA Cup places. Udinese are now four points off a Champions League berth with six points still up for grabs giving them a slim chance of entering European football’s premiere competition for only the second time in their 112 year history.

Cagliari represent a stern test for Udinese’s European ambitions. The Sardinians would be joint second if the championship started four games ago, blazing their way out of the relegation zone, taking nine points from the last 12 available. Davide Ballardini has worked wonders since beginning his second stint at the club in December, leading the Rossoblu to victories against Napoli, Genoa and Fiorentina at the weekend.

Daniele Conti and Andrea Cossu unravelled the Viola defence and tied up their midfield with enterprising play in the final third of the pitch. Conti recovered from illness to play on Sunday and piled misery on Fiorentina who were reeling from their exit at the semi-final stage of the UEFA Cup. However, he’s banned this Sunday.

Their resurgence has, however, been built on impressive home form rather than cheeky away wins struck on their travels. Cagliari have only won twice away from the Sant’Elia this season and have lost 12 times off the island, a record matched by struggling Empoli and Catania.

Keep an eye on: Andrea Cossu (Cagliari) – The 28-year-old attacking midfielder gave a performance worthy of Cagliari legend Gianfranco Zola on Sunday, dominating the play and setting up Jeda’s opening goal. Brought back from Hellas Verona in January, Cossu has been the architect re-building Cagliari’s season.

Last season: Udinese 3-1 Cagliari

Form guide: Udinese (D L L W W) Cagliari (L W W L W)


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Udinese (probable): Handanovic; Zapotocny, Coda, Zapata; Mesto, D’Agostino, Inler, Dossena; Pepe, Quagliarella, Di Natale

Cagliari (probable): Storari; Pisano, Canini, Lopez, Agostini; Fini, Foggia, Biondini; Cossu; Jeda, Matri

Ref: To follow...
 

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Full time: Udinese 0-2 Cagliari

From channel4.com:

Serie A Week 37 - 11/5/08 (14.00 UK)
Udinese 0 - 2 Cagliari
Acquafresca 48 (C), Cossu 56 (C)
Stadio Friuli

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Cagliari have completed their Great Escape to secure another Serie A season!

The Sardinians were seeking a third straight victory to put the threat of relegation behind them after an extraordinary escape in recent weeks and came up against an Udinese side with a UEFA Cup place under lock and key. Cagliari had never conquered the Friuli in Serie A, managing just one victory in the 1962-63 Serie B campaign.

Samir Handanovic blocked an Andrea Cossu free kick and a Robert Acquafresca header.

Udinese had their chance in a tepid first half too, as Antonio Di Natale went on a mazy run to confuse Paolo Bianco before firing just over the bar.

Cagliari had the better of the game, though, as Handanovic stuck out a foot to deny Jeda's angled drive.

The Sardinians broke through straight after the restart when Acquafresca thumped an angled drive past Handanovic at the near post for his 10th goal of the season. It was a classic counter-attack and highlighted how the Friulani were still in the locker room.

Cagliari went 2-0 up through Cossu, who had provided the assist for that opener. Pasquale Foggia dispossessed an Udinese player and a dummy let the ball through for Cossu's powerful finish from 10 yards.


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Udinese: Handanovic; Zapata, Coda, Lukovic; Mesto, D'Agostino (Pinzi 70), Inler, Dossena (Floro Flores 62); Pepe (Eremenko 88), Quagliarella, Di Natale

Cagliari: Storari; Bianco, Lopez, Canini, Agostini; Fini (Parola 60), Cossu, Biondini; Jeda; Acquafresca (Matri 83), Foggia (Del Grosso 88)

Ref: Brighi
 
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