Milan came back from 2-1 down to conquer Udinese 3-2 in stoppages with Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Luka Jovic and Noah Okafor, but Mike Maignan was subjected to racist abuse.

The Rossoneri were hoping for some consistency after three straight league wins, but had Samuel Chukwueze and Ismael Bennacer are on international duty, with Malick Thiaw, Fikayo Tomori, Pierre Kalulu, Tommaso Pobega and Mattia Caldara injured. The Friulani had won only two games all season, one of them at San Siro in November, and were fresh off a 2-2 draw with fourth-placed Fiorentina. Jaka Bijol, Enzo Ebosse, Vivaldo Semedo and Gerard Deulofeu were long-term absentees.

Rafael Leao flicked a pass between two defenders to send Olivier Giroud through, forcing a desperate Maduka Okoye save at the near post. Giroud also scuffed the finish on a Theo Hernandez cross, while Simon Kjaer decisively prevented Lorenzo Lucca tapping in the Festy Ebosele pull-back from five yards.

Yacine Adli’s free kick was punched away with difficulty and Lucca ran a risk with the clumsy barge on Christian Pulisic.

Milan broke the deadlock with a well-worked move, as Rafael Leao sent Theo Hernandez down the left, the pull back went behind Giroud for Loftus-Cheek to pass into the net from 12 yards.

Play was suspended for five minutes when Udinese fans behind Maignan’s net repeatedly aimed racist abuse at him, so the referee halted the game and another statement was read out. Udinese players also tried to personally plead with their supporters to stop, while Milan teammates tried to convince Maignan not to simply abandon the match.

When play resumed, Udinese equalised with a splendid solo effort from Lazar Samardzic, who sprinted forward, sold Kjaer a dummy and drilled it into the bottom corner from just inside the area.

Samardzic was fired up and threatened to repeat it moments later with a strong run from inside his own half, firing inches wide.

After the restart, Matteo Gabbia had to make a perfectly-timed tackle on Ebosele, who was going clear on goal, while Giroud’s header was plucked out of the air.

Udinese turned it around completely, as first a desperate one-legged Maignan block was made on Martin Payero, then the move continued and Florian Thauvin squirmed between Theo Hernandez and Tijjani Reijnders to blast into the roof of the net from a tight angle.

Maignan had to come flying out to clear a long ball from the Hassane Kamara counter-attack, then Kingsley Ehizibue scuffed the finish after robbing Leao in midfield.

Milan equalised in chaotic fashion, as Theo Hernandez pulled back from the by-line for Giroud, whose deflected shot bounced off the underside of the bar and not completely over the line, so Luka Jovic made sure nodding in the rebound.

It remained wide open in stoppages, as Okoye flew to fingertip a Giroud effort out from under the crossbar. On the resulting corner, Giroud flicked it on for Okafor to chest it down and fire in from six yards.

Payero volleyed a corner inches wide of the near top corner.

Udinese 2-3 Milan

Loftus-Cheek 31 (M), Samardzic 42 (U), Thauvin 62 (U), Jovic 83 (M), Okafor 93 (M)

20-01-2024 19:45
MatchDay 21

Player statistic

1st half
    31' Goal Ruben Loftus-Cheek
(Assist: Theo Hernández)
Lazar Samardzic
(Assist: Lorenzo Lucca)
Goal 42'    
Hassane Kamara Yellow card 45+1'    
2nd half
Festy Ebosele Yellow card 52'    
Florian Thauvin Yellow card 56'    
Florian Thauvin Goal 62'    
Walace Yellow card 65'    
Lorenzo Lucca Yellow card 71'    
João Ferreira Yellow card 78'    
    83' Goal Luka Jovic
    88' Yellow card Theo Hernández
    90+3' Goal Noah Okafor
(Assist: Olivier Giroud)

Match statistic

30
Possession %
70
11
Total shots
15
6
Shots on target
7
3
Shots off target
3
2
Blocked shots
5
5
Corners
7
0
Offsides
2
12
Fouls
9
Udinese
Milan

Starting lineups

40
Goalkeeper
2
Defender
60'
12
Defender
84'
13
Defender
18
Defender
31
24
Midfielder
60'
37
Midfielder
46'
4
Midfielder
11
Midfielder
17
Attacker
76'
16
Goalkeeper
2
Defender
75'
46
Defender
24
Defender
19
Defender
8
Midfielder
14
Midfielder
68'
7
Midfielder
11
75'
9
Attacker
10
Attacker
90'

Substitutes

93
Goalkeeper
1
Goalkeeper
33
Defender
3
Defender
27
21
Midfielder
22
Attacker
16
Defender
30
26
Attacker
46'
19
60'
32
Midfielder
60'
7
Attacker
76'
6
Midfielder
84'
18
Attacker
83
Goalkeeper
57
Goalkeeper
38
Midfielder
70
Attacker
85
Midfielder
74
Defender
82
Defender
17
Attacker
68'
42
75'
15
Attacker
75'
80
Midfielder
90'

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