This weekend’s opponents Udinese began their league campaign with a solid 2-0 home triumph over Serie A newcomers Empoli on Sunday 31 August.
Talismanic skipper Antonio Di Natale, now in his tenth season at the Stadio Friuli, ensured Andrea Stramaccioni’s reign got off to a winning start with two second-half goals in Udine.
After twice going close in the first-half, the Zebrette’s added thrust was rewarded when Di Natale broke the deadlock on 57 minutes, tucking a low finish under Luigi Sepe following a neat exchange of passes with Luis Muriel on the edge of the box.
And the veteran frontman doubled his tally four minutes later, punishing Vincent Laurini’s loose backpass by steering the ball into the far corner from the edge of the penalty area.
The brace took Di Natale on to a total of six goals for the season, adding to the four he scored in Udinese’s 5-1 Coppa Italia demolition of Ternana on Sunday 24 August.