Andreazzoli Aurelio’s Empoli side came from behind to beat Udinese 3-1, extending their run of consecutive home wins against the ‘Bianconeri’ to three.
In a match-up between two of the division’s most entertaining outfits, both sides began the match with clear attacking intent. Szymon Żurkowski registered the hosts’ first shot on target, cutting inside and forcing Marco Silvestri into a fine save down to his right-hand side. Meanwhile, in-form Udinese striker Beto was unable to add to his brace against Lazio last time out, failing to hit the target with two efforts inside Empoli’s penalty area.
When the opener eventually arrived, it came via splendid combination play between two former Watford outcasts. Driving at the Empoli defence, Gerard Deulofeu played a neat one-two with Isaac Success before ghosting in behind the hosts’ backline and slotting into the top right corner. Despite further unsuccessful attacks, the 27-year-old’s maiden goal against the ‘Azzurri’ was enough to see the visitors lead at the break.
Adventurous but sloppy in the first period, Empoli attacked from the off in the second and scored twice in 10 minutes to flip the match on its head. The first came through Petar Stojanović, who shimmied into the penalty area before nestling a driven left-footed strike into the bottom corner. Back on level terms, the hosts continued to press and took the lead when Nedim Bajrami tapped home from close-range following lackadaisical defending from the Udinese backline.
The victory was sealed with 12 minutes left on the clock, when Andrea Pinamonti finished off a Bajrami cutback in stylish fashion, taking his tally to six goals for the campaign. Continuing to exceed expectations with their performances this season, Empoli will be eyeing up qualification for European football for the first time since 2007/08. For Udinese, it’s now just one win from their last 13 Serie A matches.