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January 20, 2020

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Last-gasp Rebic steals it for Milan

Forward Ante Rebic broke his AC Milan duck by scoring two second-half goals, including a stoppage-time winner, to give the host a thrilling 3-2 win over Udinese in Serie A yesterday.

Milan, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic starting for the first time since returning to the club for a six-month loan, made a terrible start as it went behind after six minutes.

Goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma rushed out of his area and collided with Udinese’s Kevin Lasagna, leaving Jens Stryger Larsen to score into an empty net.

Rebic came on at halftime and leveled from close range within three minutes, his first goal since joining on loan from Eintracht Frankfurt at the start of the season.

Donnarumma made amends for his mistake with saves from Rolando Mandragora and Stefano Okaka before Theo Hernandez rifled Milan in front from outside the area, meeting the ball first time after a clearance was headed straight to him.

Ibrahimovic fired over from Rafael Leao’s pass before Lasagna silenced the San Siro by heading Udinese level in the 85th minute.

But Rebic had the final word when he collected a loose ball on the edge of the area and threaded his shot through a pack of defenders and into the bottom corner.

Milan is eighth, one point off the Europa League berths, while Udinese is in 13th position.

Serie A leader Juventus was hosting Parma later with second-placed Inter Milan travelling south to Lecce to keep the pressure on the champion.

On Saturday, Napoli coach Gennaro Gattuso blasted his team as “soulless, unwatchable and embarrassing” after a 0-2 home defeat by Fiorentina.

The loss left last season’s runner-up without a league win at its San Paolo Stadium since October 19 ahead of hosting Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League in a month’s time.

“We must apologize to the fans and the city, it was an embarrassing performance, today we were unwatchable,” said Gattuso.

“We have hit rock bottom and we need to understand what we are going towards, we are a soulless team.”

Gattuso said the team had agreed to head straight to a training retreat before hosting Lazio in the Italian Cup quarterfinals tomorrow and welcoming Juventus to Naples this weekend.

For Napoli, it was a third straight defeat and fourth in a row at home against Fiorentina.

Gattuso replaced Carlo Ancelotti last month, but the former Milan boss has lost four of five games since then.

“We have to look at each other, be together, let off steam and look for solutions. What we are doing is not enough,” added Gattuso.

Federico Chiesa and Dusan Vlahovic scored in either half to give the Tuscany side back-to-back wins for the first time in nearly three months.

Chiesa opened the scoring on 26 minutes with Vlahovic curling in a second with quarter of an hour to go.

The southerners are in 13th position, closer to the relegation zone than the UCL places. Fiorentina moved up to 12th.

Ciro Immobile scored a hat-trick as Lazio thrashed ten-man Sampdoria 5-1 to consolidate third place and keep the pressure on Juventus and Inter.

Simone Inzaghi’s Lazio extended its club-record winning streak to 11 league games as it targets a first Serie A title since 2000 with Immobile the division’s runaway top scorer with 23 goals.

“If we get to seven, eight, ten games from the end and we are still there, why not try to still believe? But for now the goal remains the Champions League,” insisted Immobile.

“The important thing is to continue like this without getting carried away.”

Immobile is on course to overtake Gonzalo Higuain’s Serie A record of 36 goals scored for Napoli in the 2015-2016 season.


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