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Udinese beats Lazio in key battle for Europa League spots

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Associated Press
4/20/2013 2:21:37 PM
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ROME -- Antonio Di Natale scored an acrobatic goal as Udinese beat Lazio 1-0 on Saturday to create a three-way tie for fifth place in Serie A in the hunt for precious Europa League spots.

In the 19th minute at Stadio Friuli, Di Natale redirected a cross from Gabriel Silva with a bicycle kick for his 18th Italian league goal of the season -- moving him within four of league leader Edinson Cavani of Napoli.

Udinese, Lazio and Roma share fifth, with Roma set to host last-place Pescara on Sunday.

The fourth- and fifth-place finishers qualify for the Europa League.

Earlier, Atalanta moved closer to safety with a 1-1 draw at Genoa, which left the hosts stuck in the relegation zone.

Antonio Floro Flores put Genoa ahead in the sixth with a header and Atalanta defender Cristiano Del Grosso equalized two minutes later following a corner.

Atalanta, which began the season with a two-point penalty for match-fixing, is 12th. Genoa is third from bottom, one point ahead of Palermo, which visits Catania in a Sicilian derby on Sunday.

Atalanta coach Stefano Colantuono was expelled for protests in the second half.

On Sunday, Serie A leader Juventus hosts third-place AC Milan in a marquee matchup, while second-place Napoli faces Cagliari.

Soccer Balls (Photo: Maurizio Lagana/Getty Images)

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(Photo: Maurizio Lagana/Getty Images)
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