Milan fall at Udinese despite Ibrahimovic’s goal record

Zlatan Ibrahimovic became the oldest goalscorer in Serie A history on Saturday but couldn’t stop AC Milan from falling 3-1 at Udinese.

The 41-year-old Ibrahimovic was in Milan’s starting XI for the first time since January last year and converted a penalty on his second try in first-half added time to make it 1-1 after Roberto Pereyra’s ninth-minute opener.

But it wasn’t enough to stop fourth-placed Milan from losing their fourth away game in their last five and missing out on a chance to move provisionally into second place in Italy’s top flight.

Stefano Pioli’s side remain fourth in the Champions League race, two points behind local rivals Inter Milan in second.

They will drop out of the top four if Roma win Sunday night’s Rome derby with Lazio, while Inter meet fierce rivals Juventus, who are hoping to move a step ahead of their rivals for Europe’s top club competition.

“When a team plays like that, it means the coach didn’t do his job. We played well below our level,” Pioli told Sky.

“We’re not well positioned in the league and it’s so important for us to finish in the top four… We haven’t done enough in the past few weeks.”

Ibrahimovic, wearing the captain’s armband, missed his first free-kick but got a second chance when Beto was penalized for assault and hammered his shot into the middle of the goal.

Aged 41 years and 166 days, Ibrahimovic overtook former AC Milan defender Alessandro Costacurta, who also scored against Udinese in 2007 aged 41, as the oldest goalscorer in Italy’s top flight.

He had previously been a three-time substitute this season after being sidelined since May last year following reconstructive surgery on the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.

Udinese coach Andrea Sottil was sent off over his protests over the decision to award the penalty for a Jaka Bijol handball and allow Ibrahimovic to replay after a brilliant save from Marco Silvestri.

But Sottil’s side were ahead at the break when Beto made up for his earlier mistake by ending a low cross from Isaac Success just before half-time.

And Kingsley Ehizibue gave Udinese their second win in as many league games, just their third since early October, by stealing from the back post to pick up Destiny Udogie’s missed shot.

Udinese’s first home win since mid-September puts them in eighth place, level on 38 points with Juve and one point ahead of Bologna, who drew 2-2 at Salernitana the previous Saturday.

“It’s a great win, we’ve been through a difficult time, but we worked hard and deserved this win,” Pereyra told Sky.

“We’re going in the right direction and we have to keep going, we know our qualities.

“We have 11 games left and we will try all of them.”

Monza drew 1-1 with Cremonese in the first game of the day.


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