AC MILAN 0-1 ATLETICO MADRID
Atletico beat AC Milan at the San Siro to give them a big advantage to take into the return leg in three weeks’ time in a very tense game.
Milan started marginally the better side and in the 15th minute Adel Taarabt worked the ball to Kaka, the Brazilian unleashed a fantastic shot that was destined for the top corner, but Thibaut Courtois the Atleti ‘keeper pushed the ball onto the bar. Moments later the big Belgian produced a fantastic save when Andrea Poli met Adel Taarabt’s cross with a great header.
The game was in danger of turning scrappy after an untidy period of play from both sides, before Kaka once again hit the bar from a deft Mario Balotelli pass. At this point the Milan fans must be wondering how are they not ahead.
This spurned Madrid on and they started seeing more of the ball, and created a great chance when Raul Garcia’s cross was turned behind off Milan ‘keeper Christian Abbiati when he was under pressure from Diego Costa. The first half petered out with no more chances of note, with the tie incredibly level after 3 glorious chances from Milan.
In the second half, Milan were more relaxed on the ball, and failed to amount the same pressure on the Atleti goal as the first, with Michel Essien in particular guilty of missing a good chance, heading wide from 5 yards out.
Atleti failed to create any clear chances in the second half, with half chances falling to both Costa and Garcia, who failed to convert them.
Atleti’s best chance of the game came with 8 minutes remaining, when Juanfran finds Garcia in the box, only for the Spaniard to put his chance high and wide of Abbiati’s goal. This provedto be the last involvement for the Spaniard, as he was replaced by Adrian.
Then the game’s only goal came moments after. Diego Costa peeled off his marker and when the cross was deep towards the back post, Diego Costa was there to power a good header past Abbiati.
Milan had one more chance to get back into the game when Poli was fould just outside the box by Juanfran, with the resulting freekick going just wide.
With Atleti taking a slender lead to the Vincente Calderon in 3 weeks, it’s hard to look past them to qualify for the next stage. Milan however can take some positives from the result, carving Atleti up on several occasions creating good chances, however the final touch letting them down.
MILAN: Abbiati, De Sciglio (Abate 25), Bonera, Rami, Emanuelson, Essien, De Jong, Poli (Constant 85), Kaka, Taarabt, Balotelli (Pazzini 78).
SUBS NOT USED: Amelia, Mexes, Zaccardo, Petanga.
BOOKINGS: Abate 44, Bonera 62, Rami 90.
ATLETICO: Courtois, Juanfran, Miranda, Godin, Insúa, Turan (Cristian Rodriguez 74), Mario Suarez, Gabi, Koke, Raul Garcia (Adrian Lopez 80), Costa.
SUBS NOT USED: Aranzubia, David Villa, Alderweireld, Sosa, Diego.
GOALS: Diego Costa 83.
BOOKINGS: Insúa 20, Suarez 41, Diego Costa 69.
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