Zlatan Ibrahimovic has scored a memorable landmark goal in stoppage time to snatch a point for Serie A leaders AC Milan at Udinese while the domestic problems of Juventus deepened as they were held at relegation-threatened Venezia in Serie A.
Milan appeared to be heading for defeat in Udine until Ibrahimovic netted an acrobatic goal two minutes into time added on to snatch a 1-1 draw.
A cross into the area was knocked down and the 40-year-old Swedish forward flicked it up and volleyed it in with a scissor kick to register his 300th goal in Europe’s top five leagues – just the third player to do since the turn of the century, after Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.
Udinese forward Isaac Success was sent off shortly afterwards for pushing Milan forward Alessandro Florenzi to the ground, sparking a mass brawl.
The Rossoneri were looking to Serie A for relief after an early elimination from the Champions League midweek.
But a howler from Ismael Bennacer allowed Beto to spring the off-side trap and sprint clear towards goal.
Milan goalkeeper Mike Maignan pulled off a desperate save but the ricochet off him and Fikayo Tomori fell kindly to Beto, who fired Udinese in front in the 17th minute.
Udinese, who are 15th, ultimately has to settle for a point in their first game under interim head coach Gabriele Cioffi, who stepped in when Luca Gotti was sacked this week.
Defending champions Inter Milan are two points behind their city rivals with Napoli a point further back in third with games against Cagliari and Empoli respectively on Sunday.
Mattia Aramu scored in the second half for lowly Venezia to cancel out Alvaro Morata’s opener in their 1-1 draw.
Juventus qualified for the round of 16 of the Champions League as group winners but it has been a different story in Italy’s top flught as they languish in 11 points off top spot in sixth.
They are in trouble off the field as they are being investigated for false accounting, although coach Massimiliano Allegri says the players were not being distracted by that.
“We played well in the first half, applying ourselves tactically, creating several chances and also finding the goal. At the beginning of the second half, however, we had a blackout,” Allegri said.
Venezia inched six points above the drop zone after ending a run of three-straight losses with a significant result for the promoted side.
Dusan Vlahovic scored twice while Giacomo Bonaventura and Youssef Maleh were also on target as Fiorentina moved up to fifth with a 4-0 win over bottom side Salernitana.