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Serie A wrap: Di Natale magic guides Napoli
Apr 21, 2013 7:06 AM EST
A brilliant volley from Antonio Di Natalie has inspired Udinese to their third straight win as they defeated Lazio 1-0 in the Serie A.
Udinese extended their unbeaten run to four matches with Saturday's win at home, which has taken them into sixth position in the Serie A standings and ensured they remain a contender for European football next season.
Di Natale was - once again - the difference for Udinese, scoring his 21st goal of the season in all competitions when he thumped Gabriel Silva's cross home in the 19th minute versus Lazio.
Silva got to the byline on the left-hand side of Lazio's goal and then dinked his cross to Di Natale near the penalty spot and the 35-year-old striker flung himself into the air before volleying the ball back across goal to nestle in the bottom corner.
After a terrible start to the 2012-13 season, which saw Udinese win just one of their opening nine games in all competitions, the recovery by Francesco Guidolin's side has been extraordinary.
Udinese claimed just three victories in their first 14 matches of their Serie A campaign but have powered up the table in the second-half of the season to sit behind fifth-placed Roma on goal difference with five rounds remaining.
While Roma are yet to play this weekend, Udinese still have a chance of overhauling the capital club and taking the Europa League berth attached to Serie A's fifth position.
In the Serie A's other match, Genoa and Atalanta played out a 1-1 draw after two goals in the opening eight minutes.
Antonio Floro Flores gave Genoa the lead in the sixth minute but Atalanta hit back two minutes later through Cristiano Del Grosso and the two teams could not be split for the rest of the match.
Genoa moved above Palermo into 18th position, one spot and one point from safety, while Atalanta remain 13th in the standings.