Udinese 1-0 AC Milan: Giampaolo's side suffer opening game defeat

By Sports Desk August 25, 2019

Rodrigo Becao scored a second-half header as Udinese inflicted a 1-0 Serie A defeat on AC Milan in head coach Marco Giampaolo's first competitive game with the Rossoneri.

Milan started without any of their new signings and looked devoid of attacking ideas for the majority of Sunday's match at Dacia Arena, where they fell to Becao's only goal of the game 72 minutes in.

Giampaolo's visitors failed to register an attempt on target in Udine, and Milan's Gianluigi Donnarumma had been the busier of the two goalkeepers before the breakthrough moment in a contest that contained few clear-cut opportunities.

A first league defeat in five matches to Udinese means a losing start for Giampaolo, whose decision to omit each of his side's new signings backfired.

Milan's Alessio Romagnoli flicked the ball wide from a promising position and Udinese's Kevin Lasagna miscued a shot into the stands following a poor clearance from Donnarumma in the only openings of a quiet first half.

The biggest talking point before the interval came in stoppage time as Milan's Samu Castillejo appeared to deflect a cross with his arm, but VAR adjudged that the contact was made outside the box and no penalty was given.

Udinese's Rolando Mandragora fired in the game's first shot on target with 49 minutes played and Seko Fofana was the next to test Donnarumma with a curled strike a couple of minutes later. 

Donnarumma was becoming increasingly busy as he was also required to keep out Mato Jajalo's shot with an hour on the clock, and the pressure eventually told.

A minute after being brought off the bench, Rodrigo De Paul sent in an outswinging corner and Becao guided his header into the bottom-right corner on his Serie A debut.

Milan pressed for an equaliser, and were frustrated when a penalty appeal was rejected. The closest either side came to another goal was when Lasagna's shot was saved.


What does it mean? New signings must be integrated

Giampaolo revealed on the eve of the match he would only start the players available to him throughout the close season and as a result Milan had a familiar feel to them.

With Ismael Bennacer, Rade Krunic, Leo Duarte and Franck Kessie named on the bench, the visitors looked stale throughout the match and must massively improve if they are to break back into the top four.


Becao the difference

For all the talk of Milan's signings, it was one of Udinese's new boys who made the difference. Signed from Brazilian side Bahia during the close season, centre-back Becao made the most of some slack defending to score the only goal of the game. 


Borini sums up Milan's struggles

Milan fired no shots on target in the first half of a Serie A match for the first time since October 2018. Fabio Borini did little to influence play and was unsurprisingly the first visiting player to be replaced with an hour played. 


What's next?

Milan welcome newly-promoted Brescia to San Siro next Saturday and Udinese host Parma the following day.

Related items

  • Solskjaer: Manchester United must show ruthless side against West Ham Solskjaer: Manchester United must show ruthless side against West Ham

    Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes Manchester United are "in good shape" but must still develop a killer instinct following a lean run in front of goal.

    United travel to West Ham on Sunday in search of a third successive victory in all competitions.

    Mason Greenwood's second-half effort saw off Astana in the Europa League on Thursday and added to last weekend's narrow Premier League win over Leicester City.

    While secure at the back, Solskjaer's men have failed to score more than a solitary goal in any of their five games since the 4-0 opening-weekend triumph over Chelsea.

    Starting striker Marcus Rashford netted twice in that match but has only added a single successful spot-kick to his tally ahead of the trip to the London Stadium.

    "Winning gives confidence and clean sheets give the defenders confidence and we just need to be more clinical in front of goal," Solskjaer told his club's website.

    "We're in good shape and we've prepared well for this game.

    "We had one eye on Astana but the other eye was on West Ham so we should be ready for it."

    West Ham were themselves held goalless in their last outing, a 0-0 draw at Aston Villa, but only after losing Arthur Masuaku to a red card in the 67th minute.

    The hard-earned away result moved the Hammers level with United on eight points from five games.

    "I think they're looking strong," Solskjaer said of Manuel Pellegrini's side.

    "Of course they have some quality players and their centre-forward [Sebastian] Haller has come good for them.

    "It's good to see [Andriy] Yarmolenko and [Manuel] Lanzini back fit because I know all about knee injuries.

    "We played them [at Old Trafford] towards the end of last season and we were lucky to beat them, so we know it's going to be a tough game."

  • Lampard trusts in Tomori to prove Premier League credentials at Chelsea Lampard trusts in Tomori to prove Premier League credentials at Chelsea

    Fikayo Tomori has earned the trust of Frank Lampard by displaying a "brilliant" attitude, the Chelsea head coach said ahead of the young defender's toughest Premier League test to date.

    Chelsea entertain the division's only unbeaten team on Sunday as Liverpool make the trip to Stamford Bridge in a repeat of last month's UEFA Super Cup, which the European champions won on penalties.

    Tomori featured as a substitute on that occasion but is now set to earn a third successive top-flight start after moving quickly through the queue of centre-backs.

    Lampard became convinced of the 21-year-old's readiness for the Premier League during their time together at Derby County and insisted he would have been part of the first-team plans at Chelsea even if David Luiz had not left for Arsenal.

    "The real credit of Fikayo is the way that he has approached it all," Lampard told reporters.

    "His mentality from when he came to Derby to today has been brilliant, from beginning to end. That is why he is improving.

    "I just trust in him. I trust in him as a player, the way that he trains every day, it's the kind of thing I want to see daily and the way he plays.

    "Of course he is a young player and like all young players there are moments where he can improve and that's something he constantly needs to work on.

    "I trust in him, hence I wanted him as part of the squad. That wouldn't have mattered who might have gone or not. My idea when I came here was to keep Fik part of the squad anyway because I trust him to come and play here.

    "Where better a place to play than the club he has come through at?"

    Tomori marked his second Premier League start with a stunning long-range goal in last weekend's 5-2 triumph at Wolves.

    Another academy product, Tammy Abraham, starred with a sparkling hat-trick, improving his goal haul to seven for the season.

    The striker will hope to prove he can have the same impact against a genuine title contender, having failed to convert the final spot-kick of the shoot-out loss to Liverpool in Istanbul.

    Lampard said: "It's normal that the top strikers are judged on goals and the next level of that is do you score goals against the big teams?

    "I understand that because against someone like [Virgil] van Dijk, a defence like Liverpool's and a team like Liverpool, maybe it's harder to create chances. So what can you do individually to try and create them and how clinical can you be after that?

    "Tammy has shown great signs this season but it will be another test on the way."

  • Rumour Has It: Man United tracking Tuchel as Barca also eye PSG boss Rumour Has It: Man United tracking Tuchel as Barca also eye PSG boss

    Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is at the wheel but for how long?

    After a blistering start to life at Manchester United, initially as interim manager, the Red Devils have struggled to convince.

    United have won two of their opening five games ahead of Sunday's trip to West Ham and Paris could be the location of a possible replacement…

     

    TOP STORY – UNITED AND BARCA BATTLE FOR TUCHEL

    Manchester United have sounded out Paris Saint-Germain head coach Thomas Tuchel, according to Le10 Sport.

    United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer signed a permanent three-year deal after initially replacing Jose Mourinho in December, but the Red Devils have been far from convincing following a brief upturn in results.

    United have reportedly informed Tuchel of their interest, though LaLiga champions Barcelona are also tracking the German as pressure mounts on Ernesto Valverde after Saturday's shock loss at Granada.

     

    ROUND-UP

    - According to the Sunday Express, Tottenham have identified Leicester City star James Maddison as a potential replacement for soon-to-be free agent Christian Eriksen. Maddison has also been heavily linked to Manchester United.

    United, meanwhile, have been told it will take £90million (€101m) to lure Germany star Kai Havertz from Bundesliga side Bayer Leverkusen, claims the Express. The 20-year-old is also attracting interest from Bayern Munich, Manchester City and Liverpool. As for United and their hopes of signing RB Salzburg star Erling Haaland, they could be scuppered by agent Mino Raiola. The 19-year-old made headlines with a hat-trick on his Champions League debut. However, United's relationship with Raiola could thwart their plans, writes The Sun.

    - The Mirror says Arsenal are keen to re-sign PSV's Donyell Malen, who left the Gunners two years ago. It could cost Arsenal up to £50m (€56m) to bring the 20-year-old back to London. Liverpool are also believed to be interested.

    - Marca reports that Real Madrid are keen to sign Rennes sensation Eduardo Camavinga. The 16-year-old has dazzled in Ligue 1 this season.

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.