Catch up on the goings-on in Udine and Granada during September
With the season settling down, we bring you the second installment of the Vital Watford Pozzo monthly review, reflecting on the fortunes of sister clubs Udinese & Granada.
It`s been a slow start to the new Serie ‘A` season for the Zebrette, who at the end of our last review had been knocked out of Europe by Slovan Liberec – former employers of one Daniel Pudil – and beaten in the opening round of league fixtures by Lazio.
Since then Francisco Guidolin`s men have tasted victory for the first team in Serie ‘A`, beating both Parma and Genoa at home.
A 3-1 win over Parma at the beginning of September quickly got the Zebrette back to winning ways, with Emmanuel Aygemang-Badu getting the opener after 11 minutes.
French centre-half Thomas Heurtaux doubled the hosts lead with 18 minutes left to play before Parma`s big summer addition, Antonio Cassano, pulled one back for the visitors.
In the 90th minute, pacy Colombian forward Luis Muriel converted a penalty to re-establish Udinese`s two-goal lead and earn Guidolin`s side their first three-points of the new season.
Back at home following a two-week international break, Udinese were grateful to club captain and icon, Antonio Di Natale, in rescuing a point against Bologna.
Italian international and former West Ham United maverick Alessandro Diamanti had Bologna in front in the 71st minute before Di Natale`s 85th-minute equaliser earned the Zebrette a point.
Next up was a visit to Chievo, with Udinese getting off to the ideal start when Brazilian playmaker Maicosuel put them ahead inside a minute.
Unable to build on their early breakthough, Udinese were soon pegged back by Sergio Pellissier`s 13th minute goal before Luca Rigoni won the tie five minutes before half-time.
Returning to Trieste for their penultimate Serie ‘A` fixture of September, the Zebrette were once again grateful to their veteran number 10 as Di Natale`s 79th minute strike separated Udinese and Genoa.
In their final fixture of September – played last weekend – Udinese travelled to Atalanta, where they were comfortably beaten 2-0.
A brace from Argentinean forward German Denis – the first in the 45th and the second in the 63rd minute – secured all three points for La Dea.
At the beginning of October Udinese sit 12th in Serie ‘A` with fixtures against Cagliari, Milan, Roma and Sassuolo.
In La Liga, an opening day victory over Osasuna had Granada fans cautiously optimistic as the new campaign began.
A 1-0 defeat by Carlo Ancelotti`s stuttering Real Madrid was hardly end-of-the-world stuff, but did began a five-match winless streak which ended in the final weekend of the month.
Having drawn 1-1 with Celta Vigo in their final match of August, El Grana returned to Los Carmenes for their second home fixture of the La Liga season, but were beaten 1-0 by Espanyol.
Manuel Lanzarote`s 76th minute strike sent Granada to defeat before Odion Ighalo`s second yellow card meant that Lucas Alcaraz`s side ended the game with 10 men.
Next up was a goalless draw with Real Betis in Sevilla – bringing a first clean sheet of the season for goalkeeper Roberto.
Valencia were the next visitors to Los Carmenes and Miroslav Dukic`s men came away with all three points thank to Jonas` 90th-minute strike – the Brazilian`s third of the season.
A faltering September came to a close in style as Granada beat Athletic Bilbao 2-0 at Los Carmenes.
Now under the management of Ernesto Valverde following the departure of the inimitable Marcelo Bielsa, Bilbao were beaten by a brace from Yussuf El-Arabi.
The first came after 53 minutes before a penalty seven minutes later wrapped up a second win of the season for Alcaraz and co. to leave El Grana in a healthy position of 12th.
October brings trips to Villarreal and Elche whilst Getafe and Atletico Madrid visit Los Carmenes.