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Udinese 3-1 Inter Milan: Visitors miss chance to go top after Serie A loss
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Inter's loss to Udinese is a blow to their top four ambitions
Inter's loss to Udinese is a blow to their top four ambitions

A frustrated Inter Milan missed the chance to go top of Serie A after late goals for Jaka Bijol and Tolgay Arslan handed Udinese a 3-1 victory at Stadio Friuli.

The visitors had struck first inside five minutes to lead through Nicolo Barella, before a Milan Skriniar own goal had brought their hosts back into the game.

Both teams looked set to settle for a share of the spoils, but Bijol's powerful glance off Gerard Deulofeu's corner followed by Arslan's sharp header in injury time sealed the points for Udinese.

Defeat means Simone Inzaghi's side will return in October facing a fight to get back into the top four, with the result moving Udinese top ahead of Milan's clash with Napoli and Atalanta's trip to Roma.

A brisk end-to-end opening saw Inter seize the early advantage, with Barella steering a sublime free-kick into the top-left corner from 20 yards out.

Udinese were unfazed, though, and when Skriniar turned Roberto Pereyra's free-kick past his own goalkeeper, parity was restored.

Ten minutes into the second half, Edin Dzeko thought he had put Inter on top again, only to be flagged for offside after turning Barella's ball into the back of the net.

That let-off emboldened Udinese, who exerted pressure on Samir Handanovic's goal and were rewarded when Bijol escaped his marker to complete the turnaround.

Inter's late push for an equaliser did not bear fruit, and Arslan's close-range finish was the signal for pandemonium among the home support, as Udinese's excellent start to the campaign continues.

What does it mean? Inter suffer another blow

Having had the chance to vault both their hosts and the rest of the pack to the summit - at least temporarily - Inzaghi's side now could head into the international break as low as eighth.

Even in a congested European battle, that is far off the pace from where they want to be.

Udinese match club record

The stunning start enjoyed by Udinese is not just brilliant to watch, but a record-equaling feat too. They now have 16 points from seven games, matching their best Serie A start, set in 2000-01

Skriniar suffers again

The Slovakian is starting to get an unwanted reputation for putting the ball into his own net. Since the start of 2017-18 - when he made his club debut - no other player has scored more Serie A own goals than the four he has recorded.

Key Opta Facts

– Udinese have won five Serie A games in a row for the first time since December 2017, under Massimo Oddo.
– Meanwhile, Inter have lost three Serie A away games in a row for the first time since May 2017, under Stefano Pioli.
– Udinese have scored the most goals (6) in the last 15 minutes of play in Serie A 22-23. Seven of the last eight league Udinese goals have been scored in the last 20 minutes of play.
– Barella scored his fastest goal in Serie A (5'). He has been directly involved in four goals in his last four Serie A apps (2 goals, 2 assists).

What's next?

Inter resume their Serie A campaign against Roma on October 1, while Udinese travel to Verona two days later on October 3.


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