Udinese qualify for Champions, Roma in Europa



Udinese qualify for Champions, Roma in Europa Rome: Udinese qualified for the Champions League for only the second time in their history after a 0-0 draw at home to AC Milan ensured they took fourth place in Serie A.

Lazio missed out on Europe's premier club competition on goal difference despite their 4-2 win at Lecce.

And Roma qualified for the Europa League at Juventus's expense with a 3-1 win at home to Sampdoria.

But Udinese matched their achievement from 2005 when they also finished fourth and qualified for the Champions League.

"This is a fantastic moment. I'm very proud to have scored 57 goals in two years," said Udinese captain Antonio Di Natale, who finished Serie A top scorer for the second year in a row.

"Today we showed we deserve once again this prestigious achievement, we drew against a great Milan side and we could even have won, but that's ok.”

"The draw tastes like success, like a triumph."

Milan didn't look likely to upset the party as coach Massimiliano Allegri left out a host of first team players such as goalkeeper Christian Abbiati, centre-back Alessandro Nesta and striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Udinese started the game brightly without creating too many clear-cut chances before Milan gradually snared control.

Goalkeeper Samir Handanovic had to be alert to dash from his line and deny Clarence Seedorf, set up by Antonio Cassano.

Handanovic then saved well from Pato, again teed up by Cassano, who then also served Kevin-Prince Boateng, only for the Ghana midfielder to shoot high.

Di Natale had a great chance on 64 minutes as he scampered onto a defence-splitting through ball and forced Marco Amelia into a smart save.

Seedorf then brought down Alexis Sanchez in the box only for Amelia to tip Di Natale's penalty onto the post.

Udinese were pushing and Gokhan Inler went as close as is possible to scoring when his long range effort beat Amelia, only to hit the bar, then post and bounce to safety.

But when the final whistle went, the stadium in Udine erupted into scenes of jubilation.

Needing to win, Lazio were made to work and toil by Lecce before fulfilling their part of the bargain.

PTI