MILAN: AC Milan began their Italian title defense with a 4-2 victory over Udinese on Saturday as a new A-series The season has started.
The champions bounced back from falling behind with less than two minutes on the clock to claim all three points thanks to two goals from Ante Rebic, a penalty from Theo Hernando and a strike from Brahim Diaz.
The margin of defeat was tough for Udinese who acquitted themselves well in front of a boisterous home crowd at the San Siro and went level at two apiece by half-time.
However, the three points and four goals were the perfect way to kick off what should be a close title fight in Italy, with rivals Inter Milan beginning their bid to reclaim the Scudetto from newly-promoted Lecce later on Saturday. .
Romelu Lukaku will lead the line for Inter in his first game of the season after returning on loan from Chelsea in the summer after just a year away.
Fans of a packed San Siro shouted ‘we are the champions’ as the team walked out on a balmy summer’s evening in Milan, but were soon stunned by silence when Rodrigo Becao met Gerard’s corner Deulofeu with a header that passed Mike Maignan.
Milan responded and were in the lead with less than a quarter of an hour after a long VAR check on a clash between Davide Calabria and Brandon Soppy led to Hernandez smashing his kick in the 12th minute, before Rebic brought it back to the house the hosts. minutes later.
However, a hugely entertaining first half ended with Milan fans once again wondering what was going on thanks to Adam Masina, whose diving header in the fourth minute of added time leveled the scores in spectacular fashion.
Masina then calmed the home side’s nerves when he handed a tap-in to Diaz to put Milan back in front, involuntarily nodding at Hernandez’s cross in the Spaniard’s way.
Diaz was in the thick of things again in the 68th minute, pressing Roberto Pereyra into the Udinese area before slashing the ball and fending off a low pass which Rebic stretched to push in the decisive fourth.
Atalanta won Saturday’s other game, 2-0 at Sampdoria thanks to goals from Rafael Toloi and Ademola Lookman.

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