Nikola Kalinic bagged a decisive brace on his first Serie A start for Milan, and had a third disallowed via VAR, to beat Udinese 2-1.
The Rossoneri had won every match this season save for last weekend’s 4-1 humiliation at the hands of Lazio, but were fresh from a 5-1 Europa League victory at Austria Vienna. Andre Silva and Hakan Calhanoglu were rested in favour of Suso in a new forward role and Jack Bonaventura, while Andrea Conti and Luca Antonelli were ruled out. Giuseppe Pezzella was suspended with injured Stipe Perica and Silvan Widmer.
Udinese won this fixture home and away last season and thought they had taken the lead after 10 minutes against the run of play with Kevin Lasagana, but the goal was disallowed for offside using VAR technology.
Milan somehow failed to take the lead on a corner, as first Nikola Kalinic’s header came off the upright, then Leonardo Bonucci saw his rebound flapped off the line by a desperate Simone Scuffet.
The hosts finally did take the lead when Kalinic started and finished the move, completing a give-and-go with Davide Calabria to tap in from six yards. It was the ex-Fiorentina striker’s first goal in a Rossoneri jersey.
However, Alessio Romagnoli gifted Lasagna an equaliser with his horrible pass that the striker had no intention of turning down.
The celebration lasted just a few minutes before Kalinic restored Milan’s advantage. Franck Kessie knocked on a corner and Kalinic fought hard to prod in from close range despite Samir’s best efforts to block with his body.
Kessie tried to get another, testing Scuffet from a tight angle, but the hosts looked a little nervous at the back.
Straight after the restart, a Bonaventura overhead kick went just wide from six yards, then Scuffet both parried a Romagnoli glancing header and the Leonardo Bonucci follow-up.
It remained open and Seko Fofana tested Gianluigi Donnarumma with his solo effort and Riad Bajic’s header landed on the roof of the net on his Serie A debut.
Ricardo Rodriguez saw his free kick fingertipped away and when Scuffet parried a Calabria snapshot, Danilo prevented Patrick Cutrone tapping in the rebound.
Hakan Calhanoglu skipped past Stryger-Larsen only to hit the side-netting. Kalinic thought he had completed a hat-trick when running on to a Kessie through ball and putting the angled drive past Scuffet, but this too was disallowed for an extremely tight offside call using VAR.
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