Udinese 3-2 Torino:
Udinese managed to overturn an early deficit and pick up a win at the Stadio Fruili against Torino. An early goal from Fabio Quagliarella gave Torino the lead, but Udinese responded through club captain Antonio Di Natale and an own-goal from Cristiano Molinaro. A header from Molla Wague extended to lead to three and, despite a late goal from Marco Benassi, Udinese was able to earn a win.
This season, both Udinese and Torino have been fighting in mid-table for a push toward European qualification spots. Despite making Champions League and Europa League appearances in the past few years, Udinese has seemingly regressed and is most likely not going to be able to qualify this year. Club hero Antonio Di Natale has always been a mainstay at the club, but his age seems to be catching up with him and, thus, the performance of the club has decreased over the course of this season.
Meanwhile, Torino has had a solid season. After qualifying for the Europa League last season, the club has managed to advance to the Round of 16 in the tournament. The club, despite its historic success, has seen a long dry spell of trophies, but il Toro has been able to earn some glory this season. Despite struggling early in the season, the club have dramatically improved during the second half of the season to make a push up the table. Ultimately, Torino will continue to fight until the last match for a European spot.
Torino opened up the scoring through summer signing Fabio Quagliarella. The Neapolitan forward received a cross into the box and finished it with a strong header. Despite this early goal, the hosts managed to respond quickly through their captain, Antonio Di Natale. The thirty-seven-year-old Italian forward scored a close range goal in the box to tie up the game. Immediately after, Udinese was gifted an own-goal when Torino defender Cristian Molinaro kicked a corner kick into his team’s own net. Udinese extended its lead off another corner in the second half through Molla Wague, who headed the ball into the back of the net. Torino managed to score a consolation goal through Marco Benassi, who hit a one-time volley outside of the box to bring them within one. Despite this goal, Udinese managed to hold off the visitors and secure a win.
Napoli 2-2 Inter Milan
Inter secured a late comeback draw away from home at the Stadio San Paolo in Naples. Napoli captain Marek Hamsik scored a header to earn first blood, while ex-Real Madrid striker Gonzalo Higuain added a second. Inter responded late through Rodrigo Palacio and Mauro Icardi to give both teams a point.
Napoli is a side that, despite beginning the season with a rough start, has risen up the table to sit right behind AS Roma, a team that is in second place and has been competing for the title for the entire season. Led by former Real Madrid forward Gonzalo Higuain and Jose Callejon, the club certainly deserves to be challenging for the title every year.
Meanwhile, Inter has been struggling this season to move beyond mid-table. For a club that won the Champions League title a mere five years ago, it is certainly a fall from grace. The club recently was bought out by Indonesian mogul Erick Thohir, so their future is guaranteed with large investments into the club.
The hosts opened the scoring in the second half through club captain Hamsik. The Slovenian international received a cross from Callejon and headed it home past Samir Handanovic. The Neapolitans doubled their lead through Argentine international Higuain. The forward scored a curler from outside the box leaving Handanovic helpless. Despite this, the away side rallied and pushed for a comeback. Inter forward Rodrigo Palacio scored a rebound off a saved shot inside the box, bringing the away side within one. Then, Palacio was brought down inside the box, resulting in a straight red for Napoli dender Henrique, bringing them down to 10 men. Mauro Icardi stepped up and chipped the ball down the middle, tricking Andujar to go the wrong way. The match finished all square, leaving both sides with one point.