Udinese are out of the Europa League after Anzhi left it late to net twice in a 2-0 victory in Moscow and Willians was sent off. The Russians are now through to the knock-out stage.
The Friulani were propping up Group A and took on the leaders at the Lokomotiv Stadium with Antonio Di Natale getting a rare start in this competition.
Anzhi thought they had scored after 12 minutes when Yuri Zhirkov got down the left and pulled back for Oleg Shatov to volley, but goalkeeper Zeljko Brkic performed a stunning reaction save to palm it on to the inside of the upright. It was a morale-boosting block for the ‘keeper who has been under fire for his performances recently.
Samba’s header was off target from a corner and Joao Carlos did well to close down Di Natale in the penalty area. Di Natale was flagged offside when clear on goal in an extremely tight decision.
Anzhi had penalty appeals for some tussles on a Mbark Boussoufa corner that whipped past everyone, but the referee and the assistants behind the goal waved play on.
Di Natale got a strong head to Pablo Armero’s cross after the restart, but Vladimir Gabulov was able to smother.
Eto’o had a rare chance when he was first to the ball, but just failed to make contact for the tap-in.
The deadlock was finally broken with 18 minutes to spare, as Chris Samba got up above the crowd to nod in from a Boussoufa corner.
Eto’o followed moments later with a second for Anzhi. The former Inter hitman gathered Lacina Traore’s assist and cut in on his right foot to commit Danilo and beat Brkic.
Brkic did well to block a Zhirkov effort, but Willians completed a terrible individual performance with his second yellow card and was sent off. Substitute Dusan Basta also had to go off after fracturing his cheekbone.
Anzhi 2-0 Udinese
Scorers: Samba 72 (A), Eto’o 75 (A)
Anzhi: V Gabulov; Logashov, Samba (Lahiyalov 87), Joao Carlos, Tagirbekov; Shatov, Jucilei; Carcela-Gonzalez (Traore 68), Boussoufa, Zhirkov; Eto’o
Udinese: Brkic; Heurtaux, Danilo, Domizzi; Faraoni (Basta 57) (Ranegie 76), Willians, Badu, Pereyra, Armero (Pasquale 71); Di Natale, Fabbrini
Ref: Gumienny (BEL)
Sent off: Willians 80 (U)
Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's tipster competition - £11,000 to be won monthly!