In a vastly improved second half performance, two goals ensured that the Rossoneri ended its poor form of late to replace Juventus at the summit of the leagueMilan came from behind to take a valuable 2-1 win at Friuli and inflict Udinese's first home defeat of the season.
The Bianconeri started well and took the lead against a woeful Milan through Antonio Di Natale. However a vastly improved second half display saw the Rossoneri come back from the dead through Maxi Lopez and Stephan El Shaarawy.
Udinese sat fairly deep from the off as it looked to catch Milan on the break. Mauricio Isla saw his ambitious effort fly narrowly over the bar after just 15 minutes.
In the 19th minute Di Natale picked up the ball in the middle of the Milan half and played a give-and-go with Gelson Fernandes. It cut straight through the heart of Milan’s defense and the prolific striker’s effort deflected off of Thiago Neves and looped over Marco Amelia and into the net.
With Milan being overwhelmed in the midfield, the Zebretti missed another chance to enhance the lead with 10 minutes of the first half remaining. Isla sent in a lovely ball from the left and a confident Di Natale attempted to shoot first time but snatched at it, sending back across goal and wide.
With Zlatan Ibrahimovic absent due to suspension, the Milan attack lacked a focal point with Robinho and El Shaarawy up front. The Italian striker almost pounced on some lax defending in stoppage time but fired over the bar from close range.
The Rossoneri emerged as a different side for the second half but for all its improved creativity and motivation the equalizer remained elusive. Ignazio Abate and Seedorf both put in some great deliveries but there was no Milan player to add the finishing touch.
Pablo Armero was having a storming game and should have put Udinese two goals up. On the hour mark Di Natale’s through ball put the Colombian through one-on-one but Djamel Mesbah showed a great turn of pace to recover and steal the ball of his toe.
After Maxi Lopez threw himself to the ground at the edge of the box Udinese countered. Armero passed to Maurizio Domizzi who stabbed a tame effort at goal which Amelia turned behind. From the resultant corner Danilo forced the keeper into a great save.
Udinese was made to rue its chances moments later in the 77th minute when Samir Handanovic spilled El Shaarawy’s shot into the path of Maxi Lopez who slotted into the open net.
Two minutes later Shaarawy and Robinho were denied after a defensive mix-up almost handed Milan the lead.
The Rossoneri completed the comeback with five minutes of normal time remaining when Maxi Lopez centred the ball from the right flank and El Shaarawy fired emphatically in at the near post.
The win means that Milan overtakes Juventus and sits on top of the league until the Old Lady can reclaim its spot tomorrow. Udinese remains 4th but could see Inter Milan close the gap between the two sides to just two points tomorrow when it hosts Novara.