Birsa Stunner Gives Milan Scrappy Win Over Udinese

by
Reuters
A stunning long-range strike by Valter Birsa helped AC Milan end their poor run of Serie A form with a scrappy 1-0 home win over Udinese on Saturday.

AC Milan's Birsa celebrates after scoring against Udinese during their Italian serie A soccer match in Milan

A stunning long-range strike by Valter Birsa helped AC Milan end their poor run of Serie A form with a scrappy 1-0 home win over Udinese on Saturday.

In the day's other match Cagliari came from a goal down to beat 10-man Catania 2-1 on their return to the Sant'Elia stadium after an 18-month absence.

Birsa gave injury-ravaged Milan, who were without a host of players including striker Mario Balotelli, their third league win of the season following a 22nd-minute counter attack.

Despite a far from convincing display during which Brazilian Kaka made an uneventful 20-minute cameo appearance, Massimiliano Allegri's side leapfrogged Udinese into eighth place with 11 points from eight games.

Cagliari joined Udinese on 10 points after a superb Victor Ibarbo goal and substitute Mauricio Pinilla's close-range finish six minutes from time secured a dramatic victory in front of 4,800 delirious fans in Sardinia.

Gonzalo Bergessio had given Catania the lead with a powerful header from a fifth-minute corner and they then had Nicola Legrottaglie sent off five minutes before halftime.

Ibarbo also missed a penalty in the 41st minute but Cagliari's win was the perfect postscript to a stadium saga which meant the club were barred from playing at two grounds before being forced to play their home games 1,000-km away in Trieste.