Milan bundled out of Coppa Italia by Udinese

Milan, Jan 23: Nicolas Lopez came off the bench to score the winner before the end as Udinese beat AC Milan 2-1 in the Coppa Italia quarter-final.

The Uruguayan, who replaced Luis Muriel, finished a long run with a superb left foot effort that crashed into the bottom right corner from 20 yards with 12 minutes left Wednesday, reports Xinhua.

Muriel pulled Udinese level in the 41st minute after Mario Balotelli had put Milan 1-0 ahead after only seven minutes.

Milan head coach Clarence Seedorf remained optimistic following his side’s exit from the Coppa Italia competition.

“The whole team worked hard but when they get tired and stretched out it’s an old story in football,” he said.

“We are not yet able to be consistent in terms of our football but I saw interesting things that leave me optimistic we’ll be able to improve the situation.”

“When you play for a big club you know the demands are high but I told the lads to be as calm as possible. I want hard work and effort to turn the situation around. I said one victory wouldn’t change everything,” he said.

Udinese head coach Francesco Guidolin praised Udinese for fighting back to beat Milan.

“The game started badly and at the moment it seems we always concede at the first opportunity,” he said.

“It wasn’t easy to gain confidence, but slowly we were able to cover the gaping hole of disappointment. Then we played the way Udinese know how, the kind of performance we had in the past,” he said.

IANS