ROME, March 8 (Xinhua) -- Antonio Di Natale scored the winner as Udinese beat AC Milan 1-0 at home on Saturday.
After a goalless first half, Di Natale scored the opening goal of the game after 67 minutes when he handed Udinese the deserved win, which lifts the Zebrette 10 points clear of the drop zone, and to within four points of the Rossoneri, who have now lost two in a row.
The 36-year-old found the net for the ninth time in Serie A this season after a slick break involving Roberto Pereyra and Bruno Fernandes.
Despite the return of leading goalscorer Mario Balotelli from a shoulder injury, it was Di Natale to condemn Milan to back-to-back defeats ahead of Tuesday's UEFA Champions League clash with Atletico Madrid.
Milan head coach Clarence Seedorf was disappointed as for him the loss could be avoided.
"Of course there is disappointment, we can never be happy after a defeat, especially an avoidable one," he said.
"We weren' t determined enough in front of goal and today encountered a good goalkeeper. We knew Udinese' s strength is pouncing on errors and going on the counter, so we should' ve made better choices in our passing and not tried to go through the middle," he said.
"I asked straight after the game for the team to focus on the next target, as if we dwell too much on this performance it will sap confidence ahead of next week' s Champions League game," he said.
Seedorf insisted that Milan could overturn their 1-0 loss to Atletico Madrid in the Champions League.
"We are convinced that we can win, as we can win any football match. We all saw the first leg performance and how that could' ve gone for us," he said.
Di Natale hailed "a great victory against a great team" following the win.
"It was a great victory against a great team," he said. "We did well to defend with 11 men behind the ball and hit them with rapid counter-attacks. It was an important victory for everyone around the club," he said.
In the other game of the day, Catania were held to a 1-1 draw at home by Cagliari.