Let’s take a look at the Serie A Player Ratings from the showdown between Udinese and AC Milan.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic brilliantly scored his seventh goal of the season to seal AC Milan a 2-1 victory away to Udinese in Sunday’s Serie A clash.
The visitors headed into the match boosted by the return of goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma, who had been sidelined with COVID-19. Although they were still without Matteo Gabbia, Samu Castillejo and Mateo Musacchio.
Nonetheless, Milan embarked on a strong start at the Dacia Arena and immediately began hounding the Udinese defense. And before long, the inevitable happened – Ibrahimovic supplied the goods yet again.
Only this time he turned provider instead in the 18th-minute for Franck Kessie’s opening goal. The Swede brought down Ismael Bennacer’s ball, held up play for a bit, and then set Kessie up to slam the ball into the top of the Udinese goal from 12 yards.
The hosts tried to respond briefly, but couldn’t pull a goalscoring opportunity together with Gerard Deulofeu guilty of wasting a quick counter-attacking manoeuvre.
Udinese were unlucky, though, not to win a penalty when Stefano Okaka was bundled over inside the box before the break. Despite protests to the referee, the decision stood.
But fortune smiled upon the Bianconeri early in the second half when Alessio Romagnoli brought down Ignacio Pussetto in the area, winning them a penalty. Rodrigo De Paul then equalized from the spot.
The penalty decision left Milan unimpressed, particularly Donnarumma, but VAR didn’t intervene and a tense second-half followed.
Several changes were made by either side as the match wore on, but Ante Rebic’s introduction ultimately made the difference.
The Croatian, who made his return after dislocating his shoulder last month, sent a cross into the box that Sebastian De Maio initially intercepted before Ibrahimovic hooked the ball over his head to smash in an 83rd-minute winner.
The 39-year-old’s scissor-kick goal was also the sixth consecutive league match he had scored for Milan; equaling his own personal best from 2012.
In truth, the game offered few real chances but Zlatan’s incredible acrobatic finish ensured a spectacular ending and one that many won’t forget anytime soon.
The 2-1 victory also ensured Stefano Pioli’s side remain top and unbeaten in the Serie A standings after six games on 16 points. Udinese, on the other hand, remain in the drop zone in 18th-place with three points.
Udinese: Musso (6); Larsen (6), Becao (6), De Maio (7), Samir (6); De Paul (7), Arsian (6), Pereyra (7); Pussetto (7), Okaka (6), Deulofeu (5).
Bench: Ouwejan (6), Makengo (6), Lasagna (6), Forestieri (5).
AC Milan: Donnarumma (6); Calabria (7), Kjaer (7), Romagnoli (6), Hernandez (8); Bennacer (6), Kessie (8); Saelemaekers (6), Calhanoglu (7), Leao (6); Ibrahimovic (9).
Bench: Dalot (6), Tonali (6), Diaz (6).
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