The Colombian global opened the scoring in the 21st minute and, after Oscar Hiljemark had hit his second of the night to level Giacomo Bonaventura’s 40th minute free kick, he restored Milan’s lead on 75 minutes with a powerful glancing header.
AC Milan have overcome a resilient Palermo team, after Carlos Bacca scored a brace in the 3-2 victory at the San Siro.
“I’m happy with the result and in part for the performance, but every time we go ahead we seem to be scared of wining”, Milan coach Sinisa Mihajlovic said.
Bonaventura put Milan back in front five minutes before halftime when he curled in a free kick, and Palermo coach Giuseppe Iachini was sent off for dissent.
The hosts were nearly gifted an early opener when Palermo ‘keeper Stefano Sorrentino stuck out a thigh to stop Aljaz Struna’s ball going into his own net.
The Rossoneri started off pretty well in that game and had several chances to take the lead, but Luiz Adriano was denied by Samir Handanovic three times.
Injury forced Milan into an early change, as Ignazio Abate was replaced after failing to shake off the effects of a challenge and Davide Calabria replaced him.
However, the home side secured the win three minutes later when Bacca turned home Keisuke Honda’s cross at the near post.
Bonaventura impressively gathered a cross from right and cleverly flicked to Bacca under pressure in the penalty area.
Juraj Kucka whipped in a cross from the right and Bacca got up superbly to power a header into the bottom corner from 12 yards.
During the first round, Palermo beat Milan 2-0 in the San Siro, while in the second round, Milan won 2-1 in the Renzo Barbera.
Duvan Zapata had given Udinese the lead in the 19th minute with his first goal for the club, heading in Antonio Di Natale’s cross from near the left corner flag.