Milan (AFP) – Kevin Lasagna grabbed a point for Udinese to further dent AC Milan’s Champions League ambitions after a 1-1 draw at the San Siro on Tuesday.
Injury-hit Milan struggled against their 15th-placed opponents with goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma going off after 11 minutes with a thigh problem and Brazilian midfielder Lucas Paqueta hurting his ankle in the first half.
Polish striker Krzysztof Piatek managed to break through just before the interval after connecting with a Patrick Cutrone cross.
But Italian international Lasagna pulled Udinese back level after finishing off a flowing counter-attack on 65 minutes.
The stalemate complicates the Champions League race for Gennaro Gattuso’s side who are targeting a return to the competition for the first time since the 2013-2014 season.
Milan have picked up just one point from their last three matches after defeats against Inter Milan (3-2) and Sampdoria (1-0).
They occupy fourth place, the final Champions League spot, but Lazio are four points behind with two games in hand ahead of their trip to struggling SPAL on Wednesday.
“In a season a team can have highs and lows. We had five wins in a row and now we’ve a bad moment,” said Gattuso, a two-time Champions League winner with Milan as a player.
“When you are not brilliant the ball starts to weigh 120 kilos. Today we did little, I saw a soft team in the second half.
“Right now we must recover energy and let fear pass, we are playing with the handbrake on at a technical and mental level.”
For Udinese the point was vital in the fight against relegation as they move four points away from the drop zone.
“This draw is worth so much for us,” said Lasagna.
“We know that the championship is still long but coming to Milan and snatching a point is important.”
Atalanta, in sixth, and Roma, seventh, can close the gap on Milan later this week when they play Bologna and Fiorentina respectively.
Champions Juventus, who have a 15-point lead on Napoli, travel to Cagliari later Tuesday without injured star striker Cristiano Ronaldo, Argentine Paulo Dybala and Mario Mandzukic.
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