Arguably two of Europe's biggest underachievers this season faced each-other at the Stadio Friuli yesterday (March 8).
Udinese took on Milan, with both having dramatically different seasons compared to last year.
Before kick-off Udinese languished 15th in the table, whilst Serie A's second most successful club Milan, sat in tenth, over 30 points behind leaders and rivals Juventus.
The home side ran out winners, thanks to a goal from evergreen striker Antonio di Natale in what is to be his last season in Serie A. Milan's dismal season continues after a gutless performance from new boss Clarence Seedorf's men.
While not traditionally known as one of the top clubs in Italy, three top five finishes in the last three seasons and a conveyor belt of world class talent coming through the club has led many to believing they should be consistently fighting for the European spots.
However, although only selling one big name from last season (Medhi Benatia to Roma) in summer, Udinese have ultimately failed to recapture their form.
The individual quality comes in droves for the Friuli based team, with Francesco Guidolin stating that their problems are in the players heads, not with his tactics.
The board of directors seemingly agree with Guidolin, with owner Giampaolo Pozzo giving Guidolin his 'full confidence' when the club were in a much worse state back in January.
The fans voiced their opinion during the triumph over Milan, chanting “Guidolin, Guidolin” throughout the match, and the players left the pitch after the final whistle to rapturous applause.
It was in January when yesterday's opponents Milan sacked manager Massimo Allegri after a 4-3 defeat to bottom placed Sassuolo. Seedorf was the man brought in to make a change.
Milan's mid-table form continues nonetheless, with four wins, one draw and four losses recorded from Seedorf's nine games in charge. Milan also have to go to the Vicente Calderon to face La Liga flyers Atletico Madrid in the second leg of the Champions League on Tuesday, in the hope of turning a 1-0 deficit around.
Milan stated intent in winter by signing creative midfielder Kesiuke Honda in an attempt to turn their fortunes around. Things still look bleak after the Saturday's defeat though, and this season looks well and truly written off with Champions League football 11 points and seven places away. This, even before fourth placed Fiorentina kicked off their 29th match-week
And while the appointment Seedorf, is a strange decision, there is reason to believe his appointment is long term. A club legend, respected and experienced man in world football, he will surely be using the remainder of this season for the purposes of experimentation, and preparation for an assault towards the European spots next season.
Whilst this season has so far proven to be unsatisfactory for both teams regardless of their status, they'll both be hoping and expecting to be in a better position this time next year.
Write for GiveMeSport! Sign-up to the GMS Writing Academy here: http://gms.to/1a2u3KU
DISCLAIMER: This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.
Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: http://gms.to/writeforgms