serie-a18 March 2023


Ibrahimović captains the side and scores a first-half penalty, but Udinese win 3-1

The month of March ends in defeat for Stefano Pioli's AC Milan. The Rossoneri lost 3-1 away at Udinese on Serie A matchday 27. They remain in 4th place - as we await the results from elsewhere - on 48 points in the table ahead of the international break. It was a tough evening and some of the issues already seen in the girone di ritorno resurfaced tonight. There were some flickers of life after going a goal down; the Rossoneri created a few chances but couldn't turn it around.

Zlatan Ibrahimović got on the scoresheet for the first time in over a year to become the oldest goalscorer in Serie A and AC Milan history. Also noteworthy was Davide Calabria's return following a month out through injury. Other than that, there were very few positive notes on a night that we need to move on from as soon as possible so that we can come back from the break in April in the right frame of mind. And we return for our first fixture of the month with a massive game against league-leaders Napoli on Sunday 2nd. Forza ragazzi.


There was a return to the starting elevn for Ibrahimović, who also captained the side. After dominating the opening exchanges, Udinese opened the scoring on 9 minutes: Pereyra beating Maignan from the edge of the area with a low drive into the far corner. The Rossoneri responded with a violent free-kick by Ibra that just flew over after 14 minutes. Then, two good chances in as many minutes soon after: first, Saelemaekers from distance, and Leão, after good work by Tonali, hit the target but Silvestri saved on both occassions. The away side grew into the game and it was Leão again on 40 minutes who hit a dangerous right-footed shot only to be fisted away by the opposition goalkeeper. In first-half injury time, it all happened: a handball by Bijol gave the Rossoneri a penalty, that Ibra missed. But, due to encroachment, it was retaken and the Swede made no mistake second time round. Dramatically, Udinese doubled their lead with the last kick of the half, as Beto got ahead of Thiaw to slot home past Maignan from inside the six-yard area.

The second half started off quiet. The first Rossoneri threat came from Thiaw’s powerful header after 52 minutes, but Silvestri was well placed to deny the defender. Three minutes later, an error by Becão allowed Ballo-Touré to nip in, but his header went over from just a few yards out. The visitors were knocking on the door but couldn’t carve out any clear-cut chances. Coach Pioli altered tactics and formation with Krunić and Rebić coming on, but it didn’t stop Udinese from adding to their tally, as Ehizibue tapped in from close range to grab their third of the evening after 70 minutes. Calabria, De Ketelaere and Origi also made an appearance in the final stages, but the chances failed to materialise. Krunić tried his luck from a free-kick on 83 minutes, but his right-footed shot went behind. Origi turned and shot, but his effort was off target three minutes from the end of normal time. And in seven minutes of added time, it was Udinese who had the best chances to extend their lead through Walace and Thauvin. The final whistle blew and it ended 3-1 to the Friulani.



UDINESE (3-5-2): Silvestri; Becão, Bijol, Pérez; Ehizibue (88' Ebosele), Samardžić (73' Lovric), Walace, Pereyra (81' Arslan), Udogie (88' Zeegelaar); Beto, Success (74' Thauvin). Subs: Padelli, Piana; Abankwah; Nestorovski, Pafundi. Coach: Sottil.

AC MILAN (3-4-2-1): Maignan; Kalulu, Thiaw, Tomori (76' Calabria); Saelemaekers (64' Rebić), Tonali, Bennacer (64' Krunić), Ballo-Touré; Díaz (76' De Ketelaere), Leão; Ibrahimović (76' Origi). Subs: Mirante, Tătăruşanu; Florenzi, Gabbia, Kjær; Adli, Bakayoko, Pobega, Vranckx. Coach: Pioli.

Referee: Doveri from Roma 1.
Goals: 9' Pereyra (U), 45'+4 pen. Ibrahimović (M), 45'+6 Beto (U), 70' Ehizibue (U).
Booked: 27' Pérez (U), 61' Kalulu (M), 68' Walace (U), 90' Ebosele (U), 92' Tonali (M), 93' Becão (U).
Sent-off: 45'+2 Sottil (U).

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