Milan captain Alessio Romagnoli sealed a dramatic 1-0 win at the Stadio Friuli when he scored in the 96th minute of stoppage time. This is the second time the captain has stepped up with a last minute winner in as many games as the Rossoneri overtake Lazio and move up in to 4th place in Serie A.
The game was largely uneventful as it appeared Milan would miss the opportunity to take all three points away from a struggling Udinese team. The game was found wanting when it came to real moments of quality as either team failed to create anymore than one or two chances.
Udinese packed the midfield and outnumbered Milan in that area allowing them to break up a lot of play and deny Milan’s stars of the ball. This game plan appeared to have worked when Udinese entered the five minutes of stoppage time however a late flurry of activity meant that Milan would leave with all the spoils.
31/10: last minute winner vs Genoa
04/11: last minute winner vs Udinese
What a week for young AC Milan defender! ⚫️ pic.twitter.com/xMC85BYQKJ
— FootballTalentScout (@FTalentScout) November 4, 2018
Both teams had appeared to settle for a draw when Bram Nuytinck prevented Samu Castillejo from counter-attacking with a cynical clip of his heels. This saw the right-back shown a straight red card. As a result there was even more additional time added on allowing Milan to break one more time and score the dramatic winner.
Key Talking Point
Just when it appeared the two teams had played out a 0-0 draw, Romagnoli arrived in the right place at the right time. Udinese, for some unknown reason, were still pushing players up the pitch with just seconds remaining of added time despite having only ten men. Franck Kessie, like he had done for most of the evening, was able to win the ball back and play the ball forward to Suso. The Spaniard found himself with acres of space and teammates in support.
— OptaPaolo (@OptaPaolo) November 4, 2018
He played a one-two with Patrick Cutrone and if anything, had too many options. While inside the Udinese 18-yard box he passed the ball to Romagnoli who then gave him it straight back. Just when it appeared the chance had gone he returned the ball to his captain who fired a left footed rocket beyond Musso in the Udinese goal, nearly taking the net with it. If it couldn’t have got any more dramatic the linesman then initially ruled the goal offside only for the VAR referee to overturn it.
Substitutes: Castillejo (8), Borini (5)
Star Man – Samu Castillejo
The Spanish winger signed in the summer from Villarreal and showed manager Gennaro Gattuso a real glimpse of what he is capable off. His change was forced early into the first half when Higuain appeared to pick up a troubling back injury, however he has certainly made a case to start next week.
Castillejo provided an immediate sense of purpose to the Milan attack. He made some very good runs exposing the space out wide as a result of Udinese’s back three. He also forced Udinese goalkeeper Musso into some very impressive saves. The Spaniard was integral to everything positive for Milan today.
Worst Player – Cristian Zapata
The Colombian seemed to struggle in just his second Serie A appearance of the season. Zapata looked unsettled and it was clear he was still rusty trying to get back up to full fitness.
Frustrated match but we won thanks to our captain, Romagnoli late winner! (Two matches in a row) Suso with the assist (8 and the most in Europe rn!) And finally we got our first clean sheet of the season. #ForzaMilan #UdineseMilan
— ISKI ® (@izzhamzy_syahmi) November 4, 2018
The 32-year-old has now been at Milan for six years but it almost looked like he hadn’t played with his teammates before. There appeared to be communication issues with fellow centre-back Romagnoli as Udinese strikers Kevin Lasagna and Rodrigo De Paul were able to make runs in behind without being picked up.
Gattuso’s men play Real Betis midweek in the Europa League before preparing to face Juventus on Sunday at home, in a game which will be seen as a true test of both sides. It seems it might be a race against time for Higuain to face his former team as his back injury does not look trivial.