Tudor's return lifts Udinese as Genoa tumble after Juventus high

Milan (AFP) –


Igor Tudor got off to a winning start on his return as Udinese coach Saturday with a 2-0 win over Genoa who had inflicted the first Serie A defeat of the season on Juventus last time out.

Former Croatian interational Tudor took over a year after coming in and saving the north-eastern outfit from relegation with two wins in the last four games of the 2017-2018 season.

Davide Nicola was sacked a week ago after just four months with the club losing their last two games to Serie A leaders Juventus (4-1) and second-placed Napoli (4-2).

Tudor's return had an immediate impact with Stefano Okaka opening the scoring after just four minutes in Udine, finishing off a Seko Fofana cross.

Rolando Mandragora sealed a valuable three points with a volley just after the hour mark as Udinese gain some breathing space by moving four points above the relegation zone with just their third win of 2019.

Juventus host struggling Empoli later Saturday after their shock defeat to 12th-place Genoa, looking to extend their 15-point lead on Napoli who travel to Roma on Sunday.

Cristiano Ronaldo has been ruled out for the champions after picking up a right thigh injury on international duty.

The Portuguese star had been rested by Juventus against Genoa just after his Champions League hat-trick sealed a place in the quarter-finals.

AC Milan, meanwhile, travel to Sampdoria later Saturday targetting third place ahead of arch rivals Inter who moved ahead after winning their derby clash before the international break.