Udinese hit the bar in the opening minute, but overall looked toothless without Antonio Di Natale in their 0-0 against Genoa.
Captain Di Natale was frozen out after a blazing row with Coach Francesco Guidolin, although they had already cleared the air and saw this as punishment. With Dusan Basta only fit for the bench, Luis Muriel and Maurizio Domizzi injured, Swedish striker Mathias Ranegie started with Diego Fabbrini. Genoa looked to Marco Borriello, who has scored a remarkable 10 goals in 11 games against the Friulani, though Bosko Jankovic, Marco Rossi and Juan Manuel Vargas were sidelined.
There was already excitement in the opening 120 seconds, as Danilo’s header clipped the crossbar from an Udinese corner.
Fabbrini’s finish was then weak on a Ranegie assist. Felipe Seymour limped off for Genoa after just 15 minutes to make way for Hungarian international Daniel Tozser.
Zeljko Brkic had to be alert to pluck a Ciro Immobile cross off the feet of Borriello from the penalty spot.
The Friulani had a good team move with Andrea Lazzari trapping a cross and pulling back for Marco Davide Faraoni’s shot with the outside of the boot deflected over the bar.
Andrea Bertolacci opted for a back-heel in the box when he might’ve gone for goal. Juraj Kucka stopped Giampiero Pinzi nodding in a cross at the back post and from that corner Mehdi Benatia’s free header was over from six yards.
Genoa introduced ex-Udinese defender Damiano Ferronetti for the second half. Immobile wanted a free kick on the edge of the box, but seemed to go down very easily under Andrea Coda’s challenge.
The home side threatened on 51 minutes when Sebastien Frey got down to palm a low Fabbrini strike out of the near bottom corner.
Toszer jumped up for the ball with Ranegie and swung out his elbow, leaving the Udinese forward with a nasty cut to his eyebrow that required a large bandage, but it was considered to be an accident.
Immobile ran on to a through ball and could only prod wide of the near post under pressure from defenders.
Lazzari should’ve done better on a counter-attack started by Roberto Pereyra, but his angled drive was off target.
Zeljko Brkic smothered a long-range Kucka snapshot, but Genoa had a good chance when Udinese were caught in possession and Borriello’s strike skimmed the base of the post.
A Danilo header was well held, but he was flagged marginally offside, while a deflected Anselmo effort almost caught the Udinese goalkeeper out.
In the final minute, Giovanni Pasquale ballooned over the bar on the half-volley after a terrible defensive error from former teammate Ferronetti.