Zlatan Ibrahimovic took centre stage in Udine, providing the assist for Franck Kessie and scoring an acrobatic winner for Milan after the debatable Rodrigo De Paul penalty.
Gianluigi Donnarumma returned after his bout of COVID-19, but the team was still fuming after a contentious 3-3 draw with Roma lost their 100 per cent record. Still unbeaten in 23 competitive games, Matteo Gabbia, Samu Castillejo and Mateo Musacchio missed out. The Friulani lost Mato Jajalo and Rolando Mandragora, but welcomed back goalkeeper Juan Musso from injury and gave Gerard Deulofeu his first start against his old club in a new 4-3-3 formation.
Alexis Saelemaekers was at full stretch to volley Rafael Leao’s cross wide from six yards, and Milan took the lead after 18 minutes at the end of a long passing move.
Ismael Bennacer floated a ball over the top that Zlatan Ibrahimovic shielded to knock back for Franck Kessie’s rocket into the far top corner from 12 yards.
Deulofeu failed to finish off a rapid counter-attack, but Udinese had a period of pressure in the first half as they tried to get back on track. Nonetheless, Ibrahimovic still stung Musso’s gloves with a ferocious effort at the near post, then did some important defending on Stefano Okaka, with the Italian requesting a penalty, but they both went for the ball.
Straight after the restart, Alessio Romagnoli’s challenge on Ignacio Pussetto was judged to be a foul, although he seemed to get at least some of the ball as well as the man. VAR did not intervene and Rodrigo De Paul converted to equalise.
Ibrahimovic was brought down by Musso, but was clearly offside when Kessie’s shot was charged down to fall into his path. Ante Rebic returned for the first time since dislocating his shoulder last month, and made an immediate impact.
It was Rebic’s cross that was intercepted by Sebastien De Maio to go straight up into the air, so Ibrahimovic reacted quickly with an acrobatic finish, hooking the ball back over his head from six yards. It was the 39-year-old’s sixth Serie A match in a row on target, equalling his own Milan record from 2012.
See the latest Serie A predictions and betting tips with Eurotips.co.uk