Udinese won back-to-back Serie A (SA) games for the first time since October, as they defeated AC Milan 3-1 at the Dacia Arena and ruined Zlatan Ibrahimović’s return to the champions’ lineup, despite the man himself netting in controversial circumstances.
Despite all pre-match talk being dominated by the return of 41-year-old Milan forward Ibrahimović, it was opposing captain Roberto Pereyra who stole the limelight early on, as Udinese raced into a ninth-minute lead.
As is the way of reigning champions, Milan did eventually find an equaliser, albeit in controversial fashion during first-half stoppage time, after Jaka Bijol was harshly punished for a handball offence inside the area, handing the Rossoneri a penalty.
Ibrahimović stepped up as he looked to successfully convert for an 85th time in 102 career penalties, but the Swede’s storybook return was seemingly trashed by Marco Silvestri, who saved his spot-kick brilliantly.
His joy would be short-lived though, as encroachment from the Bianconeri defenders meant it would be re-taken, and the timeless man so often hailed simply as ‘Ibra’ made no mistake second time round, netting on his first SA appearance in over a year.
The Rossoneri appeared to still be shellshocked after the restart, and eventually found themselves further behind.
Destiny Udogie’s shot was heading wide of the far post, but Kingsley Ehizibue arrived to steer into an empty net and put the contest beyond the defending champions, after a short VAR review confirmed Udinese’s first home win of 2023.