Genoa stuns high-flying Udinese

Genoa came from behind to win their first game of 2012, defeating high-flying Udinese at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris.

Damiano Ferronetti put Udinese in front in the 13th minute, but two goals from Andreas Granqvist and Bosko Jankovic early in the second half put Genoa in charge.

Rodrigo Palacio appeared to have given the home side all three points, but a controversial penalty decision, which resulted in Genoa captain Marco Rossi being sent off, allowed Antonio Di Natale to give the visitors hope from the spot.

But Sebastien Frey kept the Bianconeri out with a succession of fine saves, earning Pasquale Marino his first win as Genoa coach.

The drama commenced with a disallowed goal for Di Natale for a borderline offside decision in the seventh minute.

Just a minute later, Alberto Gilardino had a chance to put Genoa in front, but he failed to take the ball past Samir Handanovic with only the Udinese goalkeeper to beat.

Alexander Merkel, Jankovic and Floro Flores all had good shots saved as both goalkeepers made sure they earned their wages.

But there was nothing Frey could do about Ferronetti’s header to make it 1-0 to Udinese in the 13th minute as stand-in central defender Rossi was beaten in the air from a corner.

The second half started equally brightly with Granqvist bringing Genoa level in the 49th minute, pouncing on the first mistake of the game by Handanovic, who spilled Jankovic’s free-kick.

Jankovic then completed the turnaround with Genoa’s second within a minute.

Kevin Constant’s initial shot was saved but he showed determination to win the ball back and cross it to the far post where Jankovic left Handanovic no chance on the volley.

Palacio and Jankovic both missed great chances to make it three for Genoa before Floro Flores missed a one-on-one with Frey, all within the first 10 minutes of the second half.

Palacio gave the home side a two-goal cushion in the 71st minute when he marked his comeback after injury with a goal, slotting the ball past Handanovic after reaching an excellent assist from Gilardino.

Udinese were gifted a route back into the game four minutes later when Rossi made a perfect sliding tackle to free the ball from Di Natale as he was preparing to shoot, but the referee instead saw a foul and pointed to the penalty spot before sending the Genoa captain off.

Di Natale scored from the spot to set up a grandstand finish but, despite Udinese’s efforts, they were unable to find an equaliser as Frey kept them out.