Zlatan Ibrahimovic became the oldest jam in the history of Seri A on Saturday but could not prevent AC Milan from going down with a 3-1 defeat at Udinese.
Ibrahimovic, 41, was in Milan’s starting line-up for the first time since January last year and saved a penalty at the second attempt in the first half of stoppage time to make it 1 goal -1 after Roberto Pereyra’s nine 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 promotion to second place in Italy’s top flight.
Stefano Pioli’s side remain fourth, two points behind local rivals Inter Milan in second place in the race for the Champions League.
They will drop out of the top four if Roma win the Rome derby against Lazio while Inter face fierce rivals Juventus and hope to steal a march on their rivals for the Europe’s top club competition.
“When a team plays like this, it means that the coach has not done his job, our game is below our level,” Pioli told Sky. .
“We are not in a good position in the league and to reach the top four is very important for us… We have not done enough in the last few weeks.”
Wearing the captain’s armband, Ibrahimovic missed his first kick but had a second chance when Beto was penalized for a foul, smashing his shot into the center of the goal.
At 41 years and 166 days, Ibrahimovic overtook former AC Milan player Alessandro Costacurta – who also scored against Udinese in 2007 at the age of 41 – as Italy’s oldest goalscorer .
He made his first three appearances this season after being sidelined since May of last year, following reconstruction surgery on the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.
Udinese coach Andrea Sottil was sent off for protesting the decision to award the penalty for the Jaka Bijol handball and then allowed Ibrahimovic to win again after Marco Silvestri’s save.
But Sottil’s side were ahead at the break when Beto made up for his earlier mistake by finishing off Isaac Success’s low cross on the stroke of half-time.
And Kingsley Ehizibue ensured Udinese’s second win in as many league games, just their third since the start of October, stealing in at the back post to slot in Destiny Udogie’s errant shot.
Udinese’s first home win since mid-September moved them up to eighth, level on 38 points with Juve and a point ahead of Bologna who drew 2-2 at Salerno on Saturday.
“It’s a big win, we had a difficult season but we worked hard and we deserved this win,” Pereyra told Sky.
“We are moving in the right direction and we need to continue, we know we have good qualities.
“We have 11 games left and we will give it to everyone.”
Monza drew 1-1 with struggling Cremonese in the first game of the day.
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