AC Milan, reigning Italian champions, launched the defense of their crown perfectly by dominating Udinese (4-2) at home on Saturday at the start of the 2022-23 Serie A season, thanks in particular to a double of Ante Rebic. If the Rossoneri sometimes still seemed on vacation when defending, they showed the competition, and in particular Inter on the pitch in the evening, that they had lost none of their enthusiasm and their will to tackle.
Theo Hernandez put the Rossoneri back on track by equalizing from the penalty spot (12th) after the surprise opener from the Frioul players on a header from Rodrigo Becao from a corner (2nd). In a complete San Siro for this summer resumption, Ante Rebic struck for the first time to put Milan back in front (15th), but without knocking out Udinese, who returned just before the break thanks to a diving header from Adam Masina (45th). +4e).
Loose markings from Rebic and Junior Messias
The same Masina, however, betrayed his people from the start, with an approximate intervention on a cross from Hernandez which offered the third Milan goal to Brahim Diaz (46th). And it was again Rebic who definitively relieved San Siro (68th), before giving way to Olivier Giroud, who left the bench after muscle discomfort during the week. Rookies Charles De Ketelaere and Divock Origi were also able to taste the San Siro atmosphere late in the game.
Like Rebic, Milan showed beautiful legs and the desire to project themselves without saving money, in the wake of the end of last season crowned with the club’s 19th scudetto. Arrows came as often from the left, thanks to an already sharp Théo Hernandez, but also from the right with captain Davide Calabria, behind the penalty at the start of the match (after intervention by the VAR) and passer on the second goal.
But when it comes to defending Mike Maignan’s goal, the Rossoneri – Serie A’s best defense last season with Napoli – were less lively. Like the loose markings of Rebic and Junior Messias on the two goals conceded. Atalanta, AC Milan’s next opponent, also started victoriously on the lawn of Sampdoria (2-0). The Italian international defender Rafael Toloi (26th) and the neo-Bergamon Ademola Lookman who arrived from RB Leipzig at the end of the match (90 + 5th) ensured this precious inaugural success despite some scares (two so affected by the Samp).