Substitute Ante Rebic completed a double in the second half in the 93rd minute and secured Milan a 3-2 rollercoaster victory over Udinese in Serie A on Sunday.
The Croatian striker scored moments after his break at halftime to cancel Jens Stryger Larsen's first game, before Theo Hernandez hit in a brilliant second, only for Kevin Lasagna to lead the visitors in the 85th minute.
However, the Rossoneri did not have an exciting victory behind and had Rebic to thank for a second consecutive victory in the league, the 26-year-old keeping his cool to convert to a crowded area until the end of the match.
The result elevates Milan at least momentarily to eighth and gives Stefano Pioli greater hope of getting the team qualified for the Europa League.
Pioli's men appeared to be suffering yet another frustrating home game after falling behind in the sixth minute, with Larsen scoring from a sharp angle after Gianluigi Donnarumma ran out of his area and crashed into lasagna.
Donnarumma began to redeem himself with a strong defense from Udinese captain Lasanha, less than a minute after the restart.
The stop proved important when Milan drew quickly, Rebic converted Andrea Conti's low cross in the 48th minute to justify Pioli's departure from Giacomo Bonaventura.
An impeded lasagna attracted another excellent defense from Donnarumma, who led this effort by denying Rolando Mandragora at point blank range.
Juan Musso blocked Rafael Leao's efforts on the other side, but stayed on the air 19 minutes from the end of regulation time, while Hernandez sweetly joined a corner in half.
Udinese still had 19 minutes to recover a point and seemed to have managed to draw with Lasanha, the striker expiating several missed opportunities by nodding at Larsen's cross.
However, it only set the stage for Rebic to make headlines, going through several desperate challenges and ending coldly with his left foot to bring San Siro back to life at the end of a breathless affair.
– AC Milan (@acmilan) January 19, 2020
What does that mean? Milan more than Ibrahimovic
Zlatan Ibrahimovic's comeback revitalized the Rossoneri, but it may be to his benefit that the 38-year-old was not a central figure in this reaction.
Game winner Rebic and creative Samu Castillejo stepped out of the attacker's shadow to show that investment is not the only way forward for Milan.
Rebic takes Rossoneri to a valuable victory
With no goals for Milan before Sunday's game, Rebic's signing last season changed that three minutes after he took the field and, after doubling the score, he laid the groundwork for a positive second half of the campaign.
Lasagna left to mourn missed opportunities
The Udinese captain reached the scoreboard in San Siro, but will have the feeling that he should have made a bigger impact, having lost chances at the start of the match to put Udinese in control.
What is the next?
Milan head to Mario Balotelli's Brescia for a Serie A game on Friday, while Udinese are in action at Parma two days later.