Udinese advance in Coppa Italia

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Udinese beat Atalanta 3-1 in a battle between the two mid-table Serie A sides at Stadio Friuli on Wednesday to reach the last 16 of the Coppa Italia.

Antonio Di Natale gave Udinese the lead after just five minutes, converting from the penalty spot after he was brought down inside the box.

The home side protected their lead for the best part of 45 minutes before Atalanta grabbed an equaliser early in the second half through Gaetano Monachello, who fired the ball into the net following a quick break.

Chelsea loan player Stipe Perica restored Udinese's advantage in the 57th minute with a header at the near post, however, before Di Natale scored his second of the night 14 minutes from time to seal the result, hammering home on the volley after receiving the cross from Ali Adnan.

Elsewhere, there was a big Coppa Italia upset as Palermo got knocked out of the competition by third-tier Lega Pro side Allessandria, who were surprise 3-2 winners at Stadio Renzo Barbera.

Palermo got off to the worst possible start when Andrea Rispoli gave away a penalty in only the fourth minute of the match, allowing Massimo Loviso to step up and put his side in the lead.

To make matters worse, Palermo were reduced to 10 men on 22 minutes Franco Vazquez received a red card for violent conduct.

Michele Marconi scored with a volley just a minute later to make it 2-0 to the visitors.

Palermo pulled a goal back on 55 minutes through Aleksandar Trajkovski, but Allessandria hit back on 82 minutes thanks to a solo effort from Gianluca Nicco.

Substitute Alberto Gilardino scored Palermo's second with five minutes left on the clock to bring them back within striking distance, but Allessandria were able to hold on for the famous win.

Also in action were bottom-of-the-table Serie A side Hellas Verona, who advanced to the next round by beating Pavia 1-0.

The game seemed destined for extra time after a nervy and scoreless 90 minutes, but Claudio Winck's dramatic 91st-minute strike would secure the victory for the home side just moments before the final whistle blew.


Udinese 3-1 Atalanta
Palermo 2-3 Alessandria
Hellas Verona 1-0 Pavia