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Serie A: Zlatan saves Milan after missing easy chance

Despite a one-man deficit, Udinese were on the brink of claiming all three points against league leaders AC Milan.

A last gasp strike from Zlatan Ibrahimovic salvaged a point for the Rossoneri, but they would go down third on the table if Napoli and Inter win their matches. 

Ibrahimovic, however, squandered a great chance earlier on to hand his team a lead.

That miss appeared to be a costly mistake when Udinese drew first blood in the 17th minute.     

Beto delivers sucker punch

Beto, who has been in excellent form lately, could not make the best out of Ismael Bennacer’s mishit pass at first. But, he made amends instantly as he found the back of the net from the rebound. 

Stefano Pioli’s men probed the opposition defence with more urgency in the second half, but they could not engineer many clear-cut opportunities before Ibra fired in a late equalizer. 

Isaac Success picked up a red late in second half, but Milan did little to exploit the numerical advantage other than nicking a last-minute goal to make the home team share the spoils. 

Luca Gotti set up his Udinese team to sit deep, absorb pressure, and hit Milan on the counter.

For most of the game, his approach was successful. 

Gerard Deulofeu got the first big chance of the game, as he ran into acres of space behind the Milan defence.

But, Mike Maignan did well to rush forward and deny the former Barcelona forward a goal. 

Bennacer found Ibrahimovic with a well-timed lob beyond the Udinese backline, but the 40-year-old placed his volley wide. 

Five minutes later, Beto stole a Bennacer pass as Tiemoue Bakayoko failed to get to the ball on time.

The Portuguese failed to beat Maignan at first attempt, but he scored seventh Serie A goal of the season as the ball came back to his feet from rebound. 

Milan still on top

Milan are still at the top of the Serie A table, but that could change after the matches on Sunday. 

Milan have 39 points from 17 matches.

Their city rivals Inter Milan have 37 points from 16, and Napoli have 36 points from 16 outings. 

Udinese, on the other hand, are hovering above the relegation zone.

Le Zebrette are 15th in the table with 17 points, seven points clear of 18th-placed Cagliari.   

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