Substitute Luis Muriel scored to give Udinese a valuable 2-1 first-leg lead over Fiorentina in their Coppa Italia semifinal.

Muriel swung the momentum back in favour of the Udine club after Juan Manuel Vargas had made it 1-1 a minute before half-time.

Udinese went ahead through Antonio Di Natale with 36 minutes on the clock. The sides meet again next Tuesday for the right to face Napoli or Roma.

Over the weekend, Udinese ended a run of four successive Serie A defeats with a 2-0 win at Bologna that will ease their relegation fears.

Udinese have finished fifth, third and fourth in the last three seasons but they have recently found themselves battling at the wrong end of the table after failing to take point from their first four matches of 2014.

However, they brought that miserable run to a close on Saturday after goals from Antonio Di Natale and Nicolas Lopez earned them a three-point haul from their trip to fellow strugglers Bologna.

Meanwhile, Fiorentina suffered a Serie A defeat to Cagliari 1-0 home over an uninspiring La Viola side at the Stadio Sant'Elia.

It was difficult to tell which club was challenging for a top-three spot and which one was battling to avoid a relegation battle as Cagliari tormented Fiorentina goalkeeper Neto for over an hour in Sardinia.

Pinilla scored a penalty shortly before half-time to lift Cagliari into 13th place while Vincenzo Montella's Fiorentina could now see Inter Milan close to within five points of taking fourth place with victory at Juventus on Sunday.