Napoli draws with Udinese
Udinese 2 Napoli 2
Napoli came from two goals down to claim a point in a draw with Udinese at the Stadio Friuli.
Giampiero Pinzi put the home side ahead in the 28th minute with Antonio Di Natale doubling their advantage early in the second half.
Diego Fabbrini was sent off after an hour and Udinese failed to defend their lead with 10 men as two goals from Edinson Cavani, who also missed a penalty, earned Napoli a point.
Udinese coach Francesco Guidolin was also sent off in a tense finale with the draw helping both sides move to just a point behind Lazio in the race for third place.
Udinese unsurprisingly employed their customary sit-back-and-wait strategy, expecting a Napoli attack which did not materialise.
Without Ezequiel Lavezzi and Marek Hamsik, who was left on the bench, Napoli lacked creativity going forwards.
The home side waited for their opportunities on the counter attack, taking their first chance.
Blerim Dzemaili's free-kick went wide and Udinese goalkeeper Samir Handanovic launched the attack immediately.
Di Natale fed Fabbrini to his right and his low cross was an invitation for Pinzi, who sprinted in to score from close range in the 28th minute.
Udinese maintained their shape and found more and more opportunities to break as Napoli were forced to attack more.
The home side doubled their advantage in the 52nd minute when Pinzi headed against the inside of the near post and the ball rebounded to Di Natale, whose shot could not be stopped by Morgan De Sanctis as he fell back into his own goal.
Fabbrini's dismissal for a second yellow card on the hour mark meant Udinese had to forget their counter-attacking tactics and concentrate on defending their lead.
Hamsik came on as Napoli went all-out attack, earning a penalty in the 74th minute when Maurizio Domizzi handled the ball in the area.
Cavani took the penalty, but he shot straight down the middle where Handanovic was waiting to make the save.
Gudolin was not happy with the decision to give the penalty in the first place and he was sent off as he continued his protesting after it.
Cavani then succeeded from 10 yards further out than his penalty as he curled a free-kick over the wall and in with 10 minutes to go.
He then brought Napoli level with five minutes to go with a shot from a tight angle which struck the inside of Handanovic's near post on its way in.
Juan Zuniga missed the chance to win it in the last minute as Napoli threw everything forward, but failed to get a winner.