Udinese 3-1 AC Milan: Milan limp to another defeat despite Ibrahimovic goal

By Euan Burns -

AC Milan’s regression back to poor form in 2023 continued as they were beaten 3-1 by Udinese on Saturday night. 

The Serie A clash featured plenty of drama and Roberto Pereyra was the man who opened the scoring. Zlatan Ibrahimovic drew Milan level with a retaken penalty but then goals from Beto and Kingsley Ehizibue meant the Friulians took all three points.

The game saw Zlatan Ibrahimovic make his return from injury following the knee surgery he underwent in the summer of 2022. Stefano Pioli decided that the Swede should not only lead the line against Udinese, but he also made him the captain.

The availability of Ibrahimovic is very valuable when it comes to allowing Olivier Giroud to have a rest. It has been clear that the Frenchman’s levels drop when he is asked to play too many games, given he is 36 years old.

Milan made an extremely scruffy start to the game in Udine and it was the home team that had the first-half chance when Lazar Samardzic almost got a shot on goal in the box before a challenge came in.

That good start for Udinese led to the first goal of the game in the 10th minute. Some poor defending from Fikayo Tomori and others eventually led to Roberto Pereyra hitting a low and weak shot which wrong-footed Mike Maignan and agonisingly trickled into the bottom corner.

Milan began to grow into the game a bit more and were able to create a couple of promising openings, particularly for Rafael Leao who hit a shot straight at Marco Silvestri.

Brahim Diaz then had a superb chance when he shot from close range but Silvestri produced a superb save to keep the score at 1-0.

Leao created another angle to shoot shortly before half time and this shot had much more whip on it and produced another good save from Silvestri.

Milan were given a route back into the game just before the break when they were awarded a penalty for a very soft-looking handball. Ibrahimovic stepped and actually saw his low strike saved by Silvestri.

Play resumed, but then the penalty was ordered to be retaken due to encroachment. Ibrahimovic stepped up again and this time he fired it powerfully into the top corner. Udinese coach Andrea Sottil was also given a red card for his protests towards the referee.

Before Milan had even gotten back into their shape, though, they were behind again. A low ball into a crowded penalty area saw Beto get there first and poke the ball past Maignan. Udinese had a 2-1 lead at the break.

After such a dramatic and action-packed end to the first half, the second was played in the manner that many perhaps expected for this game. Milan were struggling to create any real openings whilst Udinese looked content with protecting what they had.

Despite that, they suddenly widened their advantage and Milan looked lost. A goal from close range by Kingsley Ehizibue with 20 minutes to play meant Milan had a huge task ahead of themselves.

Pioli attempted to get his team back into the swing of things by making some changes for the final 15 minutes. He threw on Charles De Ketelaere, Divock Origi and Davide Calabria for Diaz, Ibrahimovic and Tomori. Shortly before Udinese’s third goal, he had introduced Rade Krunic and Ante Rebic for Ismael Bennacer and Alexis Saelemaekers.

Milan never really looked like they were going to mount a comeback and they could be out of the top four if Roma beat Lazio on Sunday.

Tags AC Milan Beto Roberto Pereyra Stefano Pioli Udinese Zlatan Ibrahimovic


  1. A lazy performance from a team that has no reason for wearing the shirt today. Unacceptable performance. Can’t only blame the s*** referee. It is simply unacceptable.

    1. “Can’t only blame the s*** referee.”

      Oh the one that gifted us a penalty (took a deflection from the knee to the hand) and then had it re-taken out of feeling sorry for Ibra? He did everything he could to help us.

  2. Chosing a penalty taker that missed 3 of his last 4 penalties…
    Having Kjaer nullify one of the best strikers in the world and not playing him since, instead playing error prone Thiaw and Tomori…
    Playing a usless midget a no 10…

    Get the fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu*k out Pioli! I don’t want to watch another game with this idiot as coach.

    1. Thats bs, we spend more than Napoli and Inter. We actually had a budget without selling players. That we decided to spend it wrong is another thing

  3. Milan seemed weak physically and mentally. Some parts of Conte’s speech about Tottenham apply to Milan. I don’t see a team playing. We missed Theo today. Horrible defending today.

  4. Horendous form from all defender line especially the dumb Tomori who keeps making mistakes after mistakes. It’s about time for him to sit at the bench.

  5. I always defend Pioli, but watching this match, well, it’s so hard not to put the the blame on him. Using the same 3-4-2-1 without Theo is just a suicide. Moreover the replacement is someone who hasn’t been in the line up for God knows how long.

    Played only 30 minutes but Krunic was the best on the pitch.

    1. “Played only 30 minutes but Krunic was the best on the pitch.”

      I guess that sums is up nicely. If a player such as Krunic is (yet again) the best player on the pitch, just think about how bad the others are. I mean, the guy is OK as backup-player and does what is asked from him but – let’s be honest – he doesn’t shine in anything really. Decent at defending, poor in attacking, decent passes etc. He’s not the best in anything. Yet he is one of the few players doing his task on the pitch.

      1. Decent in defending is the key word. Ben and tonali are even worse in defending. That’s all there is to it really. Defense gets almost
        0 cover when those play together.

  6. Just proves the team is NOTHING without Hernandez & Giroud. Goodbye UCL next season. Which means goodbye to Theo & MM16 too probably. No reinforcements will come as there’s no money and no one wants to play EL (IF Milan can stay in top7).

    1. Zlatan was alot better than giroud today… got us going in the match and scored a nice penalty goal!!! im not a fan of giroud he dosent do much in games

      1. So the player who misplaces 80% of his passes and kicked an awful, awful penalty and did nothing else was better than Giroud? LOL. You haven’t been watching Milan play, now have you? 😀

  7. horrible performance , we might be unlucky on the second goal but we overall played sh*tty and fully desserved to lose.
    Bad, but still not the end of the world but we better start picking up ourselfs and players demanding high wages better start performing accordingly to their demands,
    Anyways as ive said before the most important player we actually own is theo.

    1. Funny that we have like a ‘renewal’ curse. Tomori, Calabria, Kalulu, Tonali, and now Isma were all declined after the renewal. Theo might be the only exception.

      1. Regardless of ups and downs i like all those players you mentioned and would be sad if any of them left the club BUT we really need to wake up now.

  8. It blows my mind why pioli takes until minute 70+ to make more then one sub wen the match is on goal diference and then wen we are two goals down makes 3 subs all thogether to try score one goal!
    Like hell man if you are one goal down and have 5 total subs to do dont wait until minute fu cking 70+ to do sub in 3/4 to try getting a better result!

    1. Pioli knew we wouldn’t be scoring with Origi & CDK coming off the bench and no other players on the bench “are ready” so I guess that’s why he waited. He just threw in the towel when he brought in those two.

  9. Aa Bob said this is what you get with €30 mil budget /season

    And needs to edit a little bit: when you have a lot of unexperienced players, and too old ones.

    Crazy combo but what Milan reap it will sow

  10. Do the players think they are too good for serie A or that winning the scudetto last season makes up for playing almost every single serie A match with zero motivation, zero ideas, zero effort. One dismal performance after the other, players who look like they would rather be doing literally anything else except being there. The team looks physically and mentally depleted. We can barely score 1 goal per match and that’s if we’re very very lucky; right now we can’t beat anyone in Serie A. Very worrying. When Napoli kicks us out of the UCL in a few weeks and we find ourselves free falling into conference league in the table, it is going to be far too late; it’ll be an entire season gone to waste and a project going backwards and undoing some of the best things that were done in recent seasons.

    1. I once said this is the problem with a young team. Once they reached their ultimate target (Scudetto in this case) we could easily see their interest started to wear off. No do or die self motivation anymore. Like the one we saw last season. Even if we lost, the players gave their all, and most of the times we didn’t deserve to loose. This season, we lost deservedly.

      That’s why we can see many players more determined in UCL this season. Because it’s a different target. Different target means different motivation for the younger less experienced players.

  11. Après un nul voici qu’ils nous font un match très merdique…. Beaucoup de joueurs ne méritent même pas d’être sur le banc au Milan ac car ils n’ont pas le niveau… Il faut faire un grand ménage pendant le mercato…!! Argent ou pas !!! Vendez s’il le faut mais changez ces gars qui n’ont pas l’amour du club… Même piolli nous a montré ces limites…. Vraiment très déçu 😥 si c’est comme ça !! Contre napoli en league de champion c’est mort !!!!! Même pour la 4ème place nous sommes en danger !!!

  12. Il faut faire un grand ménage dans cette équipe !!! Argent ou pas !!! Vendez les indésirables… Et formons une nouvelle équipe très complète et compétitive…. Forza milan

  13. I’m tired of watching this Milan every week, it always ends in sadness. It’s crystal clear that we’re champions by mistake. Fikayo Tomori has done more harm than good to this team. This team looks so uninterested in matches. It’s no longer injury crises, the whole team is fit but we’re not up for it. I’d be surprised if we manage to mke the top 4. And if we meet Napoli like this, it’ll be a mauling. Pioli out should be trending now because he’s not good enough, he should leave at the end of the season.

  14. As fans we have to come to the fact that the players are now complacent after wining the Scudetto.

    Tomori is having an awful season which justifies even more why he is not called up for england, this is the first time that Thiaw is playing for a team that demands excellence and he does not fully know how to cope with it (hopefully it is temporary) and that the team is not playing to Kalulu’s strength which is a system that plays a high line so that he can speed and aggression to win back the ball not in a team that invites crosses.

    Tonali is has now become under pioli the kind of player to not dictate the game to instead boot the ball up field hoping that Ibra or Giroud can do flick on to a number 10 that only looks down and to a winger that cannot play central and not just tonali, theo, benna and krunic.

    This is the kind of goal output you get when playing a tactical readable style of play. No unexpected play everything is predictable and after 172 games of managing Milan of course we would be figured out.

    He should not be sacked as he is doing the best that the squad can or at least the squad want to. Maldini needs to start clearing the squad and signning ambitious players for the CB, LB, RW, ST, CM and LW and hold pioli accountable to give them minutes so that certain players at the club step up or step out. That is the reason why we won the Scudetto, because Kalulu benched Romagnoli because he was complecent for 1 year.

  15. The Scudetto was a one-time fluke that gave us fans false hope. Money needed to be spent last summer to take us to the next level, including on a new coach. The truth is that we never left the banter era. We will finish 6th this season and get humiliated by a few more mediocre teams on the way there. Meanwhile our Champions League run will end in an utter annihilation by Napoli.

  16. Looking a match is ok but the way we lost is disgusting no fight, no attitude…they don’t even deserve to wear that jersey…we should not qualify for champions league for the good of this embarrassing… tomori is taking so casual, tiaw kept is brain in the freezer, leao is so lazy that guy gives away the ball and don’t even show the attitude to run back to support defense in recovery…sell all the disgusting players who don’t have attitude to play for milan….please fire Maldini, pioli they deserve it …last transfer market is a flop ..burned lot of money…then we have coach who always want to stick with formation and players he like…why the heck these guys buy players just freeez them on bench…whole club is a mess…we are lucky last year to get through as other clubs are bad…but this is not really a milan that we want to see ..losing is not the problem…but how we lose it is the matter…

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