M’Bala Nzola scored twice to give Spezia a precious point on new coach Leonardo Semplici’s debut, as Udinese were again left to rue wasted opportunities.

The Friulani had Jaka Bijol suspended, with Enzo Ebosse and Gerard Deulofeu long-term injury absentees. The visitors made their debut under new coach Semplici, who had to do without Emil Holm, Simone Bastoni, Szymon Zurkowski, Joao Moutinho and Jeroen Zoet.

There was a big chance within 50 seconds, Bartlomiej Dragowski flapping at a cross and Roberto Pereyra turning the rebound wide.

Instead, Spezia took the lead with a fantastic solo effort from M’Bala Nzola in his first start in over a month. He sprinted from midfield, taking a touch to skip away from Rodrigo Becao and another to go around Marco Silvestri, depositing into the empty net from a tight angle.

Medhi Bourabia should’ve done better when springing the offside trap, but hit the lob too hard over the bar.

Udinese equalised when Isaac Success flicked a through ball and Beto got away between central defenders, waltzing around Dragowski to score into the open goal. At first it was flagged offside, but after a long VAR check, the goal was given by the slimmest of margins.

They celebrated holding up the jerseys of injured teammates Deulofeu and Ebosse.

Dragowski made a desperate save on Ehizibue’s back-heel flick from point-blank range and Pereyra turned the rebound wide, while Becao made a decisive block to prevent Nzola adding his second of the game.

Udinese turned the match around completely when Lovric threaded through for Pereyra, who took a touch to turn and smashed it into the roof of the net from 15 yards off the toes, giving Dragowski no time to react.

Adam Masina got in the way of a Daniele Verde chest and volley to deflect it over the bar, but Udinese were caught out on the counter from their own corner kick. Kevin Agudelo sprinted forward and timed the pass perfectly for Nzola to strike first-time past on-rushing Silvestri.

It remained wide open with both teams attacking, Silvestri running two big risks on back-passes, while Tolgay Arslan and Walace saw ferocious efforts charged down.

Dragowski made a double save, first on the long-range Lazar Samardzic free kick, then Beto’s acrobatic attempt from close range on the rebound as the move continued.

However, the goalkeeper then fumbled a cross at the feet of Beto in the six-yard box and the Udinese striker’s penalty appeals were rejected, as he went down when realising he’d missed his chance.

Udinese 2-2 Spezia

Nzola 6, 72 (S), Beto 22 (U), Pereyra 55 (U)

26-02-2023 17:00
MatchDay 24

Player statistic

1st half
    6' Goal M’Bala Nzola
(Assist: Albin Ekdal)
Beto
(Assist: Isaac Success)
Goal 24'    
2nd half
Roberto Pereyra
(Assist: Sandi Lovric)
Goal 55'    
Kingsley Ehizibue Yellow card 58'    
Rodrigo Becão Yellow card 62'    
    72' Goal M’Bala Nzola
(Assist: Kevin Agudelo)
    76' Yellow card Dimitrios Nikolaou
    90+4' Yellow card Eldor Shomurodov

Match statistic

49
Possession %
51
15
Total shots
9
6
Shots on target
2
5
Shots off target
3
4
Blocked shots
4
5
Corners
2
0
Offsides
1
11
Fouls
16
Udinese
Spezia

Starting lineups

1
Goalkeeper
3
Defender
13
Defender
19
18
Defender
50
Defender
37
Midfielder
66'
4
Midfielder
83'
11
Midfielder
90'
9
Attacker
7
Attacker
66'
69
43
4
Defender
27
Defender
8
Midfielder
13
Midfielder
6
Midfielder
89'
10
Attacker
62'
11
Attacker
33
Attacker
74'
18
Attacker
89'

Substitutes

20
Goalkeeper
99
Goalkeeper
15
Defender
80
Midfielder
2
Defender
14
Defender
24
Midfielder
66'
26
Attacker
66'
5
Midfielder
83'
30
90'
22
Goalkeeper
7
Defender
21
Defender
40
Goalkeeper
25
Midfielder
19
Attacker
55
16
Midfielder
72
Midfielder
14
Attacker
62'
30
Midfielder
74'
24
Midfielder
89'
29
Defender
89'

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Tickets Kit Collector