AC Milan 1-0 Tottenham – One step to quarterfinal

AC Milan beat Tottenham Hotspur in Champions League first leg round of 16 tie at San Siro.

AC Milan 1-0 Tottenham – Rossoneri puts one step closer to Champions League quarterfinal after beating the English side in round of 16 tie.

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The only goal was scored by Brahim Diaz, which is his first since October, and it is proved to be an crucial one for the Italian side. Diaz had gone 12 games without a goal for the Serie A champions, but he delivered when Rossoneri needed it most.

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AC Milan 1-0 Tottenham – Highlights

Milan had been without a win in seven matches before beating Torino in Sere A last week, and this was a real boost mentally.

Injury-haunted Spurs marched to San Siro without plenty of key players, including their skipper Hugo Lloris in the post, and an early conceded goal made things worse.

San Siro erupted when Diaz scored the opener within seven minutes to the first half, heading past Fraser Forster on the goal-line after the keeper pulled a double save to deny the the Spaniard and Theo Hernandez.

Diaz scored AC Milan first goal of round of 16
Diaz scored AC Milan first goal of round of 16

Tottenham saw plenty of the ball were unable to come up with anything sharp enough for an equaliser, as former Inter boss Antonio Conte’s return to San Siro getting frustrated.

The London club actually responded quite well after the early blow but a clear-cut opportunity seemed too expensive to come.

Harry Kane’s finish which hit the crossbar just before the break and the Son Heung-Min’s free-kick in the second half were pretty much what they could pull out.

Richarlison was introduced with 20 minutes to go and pressure were increasing, but Milan’s defense stood still to protect the slight lead ahead of the return leg in Spurs’ soil next month.

Milan had the advantage, but nothing is concrete yet

The last time Milan defeated an English side in the Champions League was back in 2012, against Arsenal.

Milan has the slender advantage ahead of the second leg, but they have to be more crucial to finally be able to qualify for Champions League quarterfinal for the first time since 2011/12.

Rossoneri saw the disappointed exits in round of 16 for two consecutive times in 2012/13 and 2013/14, facing Barcelona and Atletico Madrid respectively.

Diaz finally scored

It has been a long wait for a goal for Diaz, but he picked a big game to end the 12-game drought since last October.

The 23-year-old is the youngest player to score for Milan in a Champions League knockout game since Kaka struck against Deportivo La Coruna at the quarter-final stage when he was 23 years and 336 days old in March 2024.

His goal, timed at six minutes and 24 seconds, was the fastest for Milan in a Champions League knockout game since Ronaldinho netted after two minutes and 11 seconds against Manchester United in February 2010.

AC Milan 1-0 Tottenham
AC Milan 1-0 Tottenham

Notable facts

– Tottenham are the first English side to lose four Champions League knockout stage games in a row since Arsenal between 2016 and 2017.
– Milan enjoyed their first Champions League knockout victory since beating Barcelona 2-0 in February 2013 in the last 16, losing each of the three since then.
– Rafael Leao completed nine dribbles in this game, the most by a player in a single match in the Champions League this season and the most by a Milan player since Opta started collecting this data (2003-04).
– Kane made his 66th appearance for Tottenham in major European competitions, the joint-most of any Spurs player, level with Hugo Lloris.
– Son appeared in his 54th game in the Champions League, the joint-most of any Asian player in the history of the competition, level with Park Ji-Sung.

Next up for AC Milan

Milan face Monza in Serie A on Saturday, with the momentum of back-to-back victories in all competitions.

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