AC Milan left it late once again, as Alessio Romagnoli was the hero in their dramatic 1-0 victory over Udinese on Sunday.
The captain made headlines with a late winner over Genoa on Wednesday, and he did it once again with a stunning winner deep in injury time – the 97th minute to be exact – on Sunday.
A poor give-away by Opoku led to a counter, that after some back and forth passing, was fired home by Romagnoli to pull Milan back on level terms with Lazio for fourth in the Serie A table.
The result isn’t surprising given Milan’s performance. Higuain started strongly and saw an effort go wide after a Patrick Cutrone dummy. However, Ignacio Pussetto responded with several efforts from distance for the home side – one of which forced Gianluigi Donnarumma into a palmed save.
Suso skimmed the upright with a curling effort, while the seesaw nature of the contest continued after Kevin Lasagna sent a Samir cross just wide of the near post.
Milan were dealt a hefty blow in the 35th minute when Higuain was forced off with a back problem – a real worry given upcoming matches against Real Betis and Juventus. He was replaced by Samu Castillejo.
Cutrone stung Juan Musso’s gloves to close what was an entertaining and eventful opening 45 minutes, and the home side came out of the break keen to open the scoring.
However, it was Milan with the best chances. Castillejo forced a great save out of a diving Musso, and minutes later, the Spaniard bullied his way past the Udinese midfield to set up Suso, but he somehow sent his effort over the bar despite being unmarked.
Castillejo wasted a great chance by firing straight at Musso, while Lasagna forced Donnarumma into a great low save as the minutes ticked away.
Just when it seemed the match would end goalless, a winner came in the 97th minute – just moments after Bram Nuytinck was sent off for a late tackle on Castillejo.
Opoku gave the ball away under pressure and started a Milan counter. After a series of back and forth passes with Suso, Romagnoli finally shot at goal and fired past Musso to give the Rossoneri the most dramatic of three points.
No Higuain at the wrong time
The Argentine was forced off through injury, and it is certainly worrisome for Gattuso given Milan’s upcoming week.
The Rossoneri travel to Spain for a crucial clash with Real Betis that could determine a place in the next round, while they take on league leaders Juventus next Sunday.
Castillejo looked up to the challenge of starting in those contests after coming on against Udinese, but Higuain’s absence certainly comes at the most inopportune time.
Milan finally secure a clean sheet
The Rossoneri entered Sunday’s match as the only Serie A club without a clean sheet, but that unwanted record came to a surprising end despite Udinese’s ample chances in the first half.