Udinese struggles continue in Chievo draw
Published : 21 Apr 2012 19:47:06
Udinese failed to boost their Champions League hopes as they were held to an uneventful 0-0 draw at mid-table Chievo on Saturday.
Francesco Guidolin's men remain fourth in Serie A, closing the gap on third-placed Lazio in the final Champions League spot to two points, but having played a game more.
It continued the northerners' late-season meltdown, as they have won only one of their last eight games.
And yet they could have snatched the points if emblematic captain Antonio Di Natale had been more precise in his finishing.
Chievo enjoyed much the better of the first period and should really have gone into the break a goal to the good.
In a crazy 60-second period, Alberto Paloschi turned Danilo but then slotted his shot wide.
American international Michael Bradley then burst in behind the defence but got no purchase on his effort before Udinese goalkeeper Samir Handanovic had to turn Rinaldo Cruzero's low strike around the post.
As the first period drew to a close, Mehdi Benatia lost possession to Paloschi and Bradley sent Cyril Thereau running clear, only to be brought down by Handanovic in the box.
But the goalkeeper plunged low to his right to save the Frenchman's resulting spot-kick.
Di Natale had three clear chances in the second period, including the last one deep into injury time.
His first he curled high and wide, while goalkeeper Stefano Sorrentino stopped the second at his near post.
But he failed to hit the target with the last of those and the game ended goalless.
Parma boosted their survival hopes while keeping Cagliari looking over their shoulders with a 3-0 victory over the Sardinians.
Sebastian Giovinco opened the scoring in the first half before Sergio Floccari and Stefano Okaka added penalties late on.
Parma now have 41 points, passing the theoretical safety mark of 40 points, but Cagliari, on 38 points, are just three above the drop zone.