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Bobadilla hat-trick fires YB past Udinese

BSC Young Boys 3-1 Udinese Calcio
The Swiss club opened their Group A account on a night when Udinese had no answer to sharp-shooting Young Boys striker Raúl Bobadilla.

Raúl Bobadilla takes the plaudits from team-mates in Berne tonight
Raúl Bobadilla takes the plaudits from team-mates in Berne tonight ©AFP/Getty Images

BSC Young Boys got off the mark in UEFA Europa League Group A by defeating a hitherto unbeaten Udinese Calcio 3-1 in Berne.

Given a quick lead by Raúl Bobadilla, Young Boys scored twice more in the second half through their Argentinian forward to confirm their victory, despite the Serie A side mustering a response through Andrea Coda's goal.

Martin Rueda's team, sitting mid-table in Switzerland's Super League, were seeking their first points of the group stage. They took a step towards opening their account as early as the fourth minute when Bobadilla, played in by Gonzalo Zárate, scored left-footed with a shot back across Udinese goalkeeper Željko Brkić.

It was precisely the foothold the Swiss club needed after losing to Liverpool FC and FC Anji Makhachkala on the first two matchdays. However, Marco Wölfli was called upon to preserve that advantage when the Young Boys custodian saved at his near post from Mathias Ranégie following Pablo Armero's left-wing break.

The challenge for visiting coach Francesco Guidolin was to refocus a side that had won 3-2 at Anfield last time out. Unfortunately for him, Diego Fabbrini could not control his close-range header after YB defender Alain Nef's back-header went straight at him at pace.

Indeed, the match appeared to swing decisively in the hosts' favour immediately after Guidolin had made his third substitution. When Armero mis-kicked in the centre circle, Bobadilla took possession, drove past defender Coda and finished confidently beyond Brkić. Coda made near-instant amends, though, with a powerful back-post header from Armero's corner – a set piece that resulted from Antonio Di Natale's shot and Wölfli's save.

No sooner did Udinese have renewed hope than it was lost. Maurizio Domizzi was punished for a trip on Alexander González, and the 25-year-old Bobadilla did the rest from the penalty spot to complete his hat-trick. Finally, YB were up and running.

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