Udinese and Genoa picked up a point apiece in a goalless draw played at a pedestrian pace at the Stadio Friuli today.

The absence of Udinese's star striker Antonio Di Natale was felt as Udinese struggled to create chances, even though they marginally had the better of the game.

Genoa created very few openings and appeared to settle for a draw right from the outset, and that is the result Gigi Di Canio's side obtained to keep them in the top half of Serie A .

A difference of opinion between Udinese coach Francesco Guidolin and his club's number one striker Di Natale led to the Italy international being excluded from the squad.

Guidolin instead kept his faith in Mathias Ranegie, who scored in the 2-1 win over AC Milan a week ago, but it was a less likely source that delivered the first moment of danger with defender Danilo heading onto the top of the crossbar from Andrea Lazzari's corner in the second minute.

Ranegie and his striker partner Roberto Pereyra combined moments later as Udinese made a bright start to the game.

Pereyra's cross in the 32nd minute was played back by Lazzari to Marco Faraoni, whose shot was deflected over the crossbar by Michele Canini.

The first time the visitors came close to the Udinese goal was five minutes from the end of the first half when Giampiero Pinzi's clearance took a ricochet off Juraj Kucka which nearly looped in.

Diego Fabbrini had the first chance of the second half, but Sebastien Frey stretched to keep his shot out in the 52nd minute.

Zeljko Brkic was called into action practically for the first time in the 83rd minute when he made a save from Anselmo.

Pasquale sent Udinese's last chance of the game over the crossbar in the 88th minute.