Milan rally to beat Udinese and go top

Reuters, Saturday 11 Feb 2012

Stephan El Shaarawy scores a last-gasp winner to fire the Rossoneri to the top

AC Milan forward Stephan El Shaarawy

AC Milan produced a storming late comeback with goals from Maxi Lopez and Stephan El Shaarawy to win 2-1 at title contenders Udinese on Saturday and move top of Serie A as their strikers made light of the absence of Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Juventus’s game at Bologna on Sunday is off due to snow and Milan took full advantage to move two points clear of the Turin side having fallen behind after 19 minutes in north-east Italy when Antonio Di Natale’s shot deflected in off Thiago Silva.

Lopez, signed from Catania last month after Milan failed to land Carlos Tevez from Manchester City, netted his first goal for the champions when he scored on the rebound 12 minutes from time after coming on as a substitute.

Half Italian-half Egyptian teenager El Shaarawy, starting in place of Milan’s the suspended Ibrahimovic, had a hand in Lopez’s goal and then sealed the win himself when he combined with the Argentine again five minutes from time.

Milan, who lost 2-1 at home to Juventus in Wednesday’s Italian Cup semi-final first leg, had failed to win in their last two league A games.

The rot was ended in style at the end and the win saw Massimiliano Allegri’s side move to 47 points and jump ahead of Juve who have two games in hand, while Udinese stayed fourth and are now six points adrift of Milan.

Cagliari host Palermo in Saturday’s late game.

The Parma-Fiorentina game on Sunday has also fallen victim to the weather but three other matches, including Inter Milan versus Novara, are due to go ahead with two more scheduled for Monday.

Third-placed Lazio, who have 42 points, came from 2-0 down to triumph 3-2 at home to Cesena on Thursday in a game brought forward because Italy’s rugby team were using Rome’s Stadio Olimpico for Saturday’s Six Nations defeat by England.

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