Udinese joined AC Milan at the top of Serie A with a 1-0 victory over Inter Milan at the San Siro.
Mauricio Isla scored the only goal 17 minutes from the end of a dramatic game which saw both teams miss penalties inside the final ten minutes and finish the game a man down.
Inter’s Javier Zanetti was first to see red when he gave away a penalty which was saved by Julio Cesar, while Damiani Ferronetti followed him into the dressing room five minutes later having moments earlier conceded a penalty which Giampaolo Pazzini missed at the other end.
Inter’s sixth defeat of the season sees them fall 13 points behind Udinese, who join Milan on 27 points at the summit but stay second due to inferior goal difference.
Udinese set about frustrating Inter with a counter-attacking approach which served its purpose. Indeed, they had the best chance of the first half through Gabriel Torje’s shot as Inter failed put together any meaningful attacks.
Udinese started to take more risks in the second half and in the 69th minute Isla beat the offside trap to race through on goal. He chose to square the ball to Antonio Di Natale but the Italian failed to beat Julio Cesar from close range.
Inter did not heed the warning and four minutes later Udinese were in front. Di Natale this time beat the offside trap, but rather than going for goal, he squared for Antonio Floro Flores, who waited for Isla to catch up to his right before teeing up the Chilean, who flashed his shot across Julio Cesar and into the far corner.
A low cross from Isla did not find any takers inside the penalty area as Udinese continued to pose a threat on the counter-attack. They had the chance to double their lead after 85 minutes when Kwadwo Asamoah was fouled by inside the area by Zanetti.
Play initially continued as the ball fell to Di Natale, but his route to goal was blocked by Asamoah as he lay on the ground and the referee pointed to the spot as no advantage had been gained. But there was no advantage gained from the penalty either as Julio Cesar dived the right way to make a great save to deny Di Natale.
Only a minute later, Inter were also awarded a penalty when Ferronetti tackled Diego Milito. Giampaolo Pazzini slipped as he took the resulting penalty and sent the ball sailing into the stands. Ferronetti, who was booked for the foul on Milito, was then shown a second yellow card for arguing with the referee late on.