Napoli fall again


Napoli slumped to their second straight Serie A loss as Udinese snatched three points from an uninspiring clash at the Stadio Friuli. Defender Danilo poked home the only goal in the 70th minute to settle a match starved of quality. Defeat left the visitors facing up to back-to-back 1-0 league defeats after last weekend's home loss to Chievo. The first half was desperately lacking in excitement and Napoli had the only meaningful chance of it. Michu did well to hold the ball up on the edge of the area before laying it off for Walter Gargano, who went for the far corner with a low right-footed curling shot only to see his effort come back off the post. The hosts had Greek goalkeeper Orestis Karnezis to thank for keeping them on level terms shortly before the hour mark with a fine double save. First he got down to turn away with one hand a Gonzalo Higuain shot from a tight angle which was headed for the far corner and he then recovered to turn Jose Callejon's follow-up shot round a post. Napoli shot themselves in the foot with 20 minutes to go as poor marking from a free-kick allowed Danilo in. Antonio Di Natale's lofted free-kick clipped off the head of defender Kalidou Koulibaly and Danilo was able to steal in unmarked at the far post to stab the ball into the net. Rafael Benitez's side could not muster a response as the hosts held on for their second victory of the season.