SERIE A MATCH REPORT

Serie A Week 11 - 4 Nov 2018 (19.30 UK)
Udinese 0 - 1 Milan
Romagnoli 96 (M)
Dacia Arena

It was end-to-end stuff in Udine with chances for both sides, but Alessio Romagnoli scored another dramatic last-gasp winner for Milan.

The Rossoneri were seeking a third straight win to keep up with Lazio in fourth place, but missed Lucas Biglia, Giacomo Bonaventura, Hakan Calhanoglu, Davide Calabria and Mattia Caldara, so Tiemoue Bakayoko took control of midfield with Cristian Zapata getting a rare start in defence. The hosts were without Lukasz Teodorczyk, Giuseppe Pezzella, Svante Ingelsson and Emmanuel Badu, with Bram Nuytinck only fit for the bench. Antonin Barak also pulled out in the warm-up, so Seko Fofana stepped in.

The last Milan clean sheet in Serie A was 0-0 at home to Napoli on April 15, leaking goals in their next 16 matches. That is their worst defensive run since 1946-47. Milan conceded in each of the first 10 Serie A rounds, something they hadn’t managed since 1932-33, and were until now the only side in the league without a clean sheet this season.

Gonzalo Higuain drilled wide after a smart Patrick Cutrone dummy, but Ignacio Pussetto had several shots from distance, one whistling past the far top corner, the other palmed round the near post by Gianluigi Donnarumma.

Suso’s left-foot curler skimmed the upright and Rolando Mandragora blasted over before Kevin Lasagna’s half-volley whistled wide of the near post on a Samir cross.

Ter Avest really should’ve done better on an inspired Lasagna pass, but the angled drive was off target from 12 yards.

Higuain had to come off after 35 minutes after struggling for several minutes with an accidental knock to the back from Mandragora, so made way for Samu Castillejo.

It remained wide open, as Fofana put too much power on the pull-back from the by-line, then Cutrone sprung the offside trap on a Diego Laxalt through ball to sting Juan Musso’s gloves.

The tempo was still frantic in the second half and Musso flew for a very difficult one-handed save on Castillejo’s left-foot scorcher. The Spaniard then flew down the left wing and held off a defender to roll across for unmarked Suso, who somehow ballooned over undisturbed.

Cutrone had penalty appeals waved away, as Opoku used his strength to hold him off as they went for the through ball.

Milan started to take control in the final 20 minutes with high pressing, but Castillejo wasted two promising chances from the edge of the box.

Lasagna’s low drive was beaten away at the base of the near post by Donnarumma, with Musso smothering Suso’s strike. Deep into stoppages Bram Nuytinck was rather harshly shown a straight red card for clipping Castillejo’s heel as he was in full flight.

Milan kept going and there was drama deep into stoppages, just like the last-gasp winner over Genoa midweek. Romagnoli pounced on a horrible Opoku error, Suso hesitated in the box and wouldn’t take the shot, so the captain did and smashed into the far top corner from 12 yards.

The offside flag was up, prompting a furious response from Gennaro Gattuso, but VAR showed there was no offside position and Milan could finally celebrate.

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Udinese: Musso; Opoku, Troost-Ekong, Samir; Pussetto (Balic 84), Ter Avest (Nuytinck 83), Mandragora, Fofana, Stryger-Larsen; De Paul (D'Alessandro 92); Lasagna
Milan: G Donnarumma; Abate, Zapata, Romagnoli, Rodriguez; Suso, Kessie, Bakayoko, Laxalt (Borini 73); Higuain (Castillejo 35), Cutrone
Ref: Di Bello

Sent off: Nuytinck 93 (U)