08 March 2023


Goalless draw at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium seals 1-0 win on aggregate

What a night. The scenes in London were simply sublime as, after the final whistle, the players sang and celebrated with the travelling supporters. We are through to the Champions League quarter-finals following a goalless draw away at Tottenham, deservedly so. The boys displayed a staggering amount of heart, pride and team spirit and now the wait is over; we're back among Europe's eight best teams for the first time in eleven years. It's an achievement to be recognised. The game at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium represents another step forward for Stefano Pioli's side, who weathered the storm of the hosts' aggression and even came close on numerous occasions to extending their aggregate lead. Aware that being too negative was a risky tactic, the Rossoneri sought to dictate possession and forced multiple good saves from Fraser Forster in the Tottenham goal, even hitting the post late on through Origi.

A spirit of sacrifice, unity, and desire was abundant in North London tonight. The Rossoneri kept their fifth clean sheet in six games in all competitions (their fourth in a row in the Champions League), thanks to a resolute Rossoneri backline and a stunning save from Maignan late into proceedings to deny Kane. The defence looked back to its imperious best as Kalulu, Thiaw and Tomori gave everything to nullify Spurs' attack. Applause all around. We will have to wait until 17 March to find out our quarter-final opponents, for now, though, our focus shifts back to Serie A and Monday's game against Salernitana at San Siro.


Tottenham started cautiously in the opening stages of the game, opting to try and win the ball back high up the pitch, but AC Milan dictated possession with organisation and character and avoided any real dangers in the opening half an hour. The first chances of the game fell to the Rossoneri: after 14 minutes, a lovely bit of play set Theo free down the left-hand side, before Giroud’s attempt was blocked at the final second by Romero. Three minutes later, a clever free-kick routine freed Messias in the box, but the Brazilian dragged his right-footed shot across goal and wide. It was Junior again on the half-hour mark, cutting in from the right, but his wild shot flew high and wide. On 36 minutes, Tottenham had their first real chance when Kane's cross-come-shot got deflected, forcing Mike to stop with his feet, after good work by Emerson prior.

The second half got underway with two great chances immediately: first, Brahim’s attempt was well-kept out by Forster, before Rafa’s volley didn’t find anyone ready in the box. The home side responded well with Højbjerg bursting through into the area stinging the hands of Maignan, who pushed over the powerful shot for a corner. After 66 minutes, Diaz broke away, squared the ball to Leão, but his shot was blocked. A minute later and the roles were reversed; Brahim received the ball from Rafa but he hesitated too long and the ball fell to Olivier, whose left-footed strike was straight at Forster, who saved comfortably. After 71 minutes, Malick cleared a long ball out from the back that found Leão, who held off his defender strongly but couldn’t keep his shot down. A huge chance came to Tonali six minutes before the end of normal time, but also his well-struck effort was blocked by the English defence, after being teed up nicely Rafa. In stoppage-time, Maignan made the game's outstanding save of the night, getting a strong hand to his right to keep out Kane’s header; from the resulting breakaway, Origi hit the post. That was the last of the action on a big Champions League night.



TOTTENHAM (3-4-3): Forster; Romero, Lenglet, Davies; Emerson (70' Richarlison), Højbjerg, Skipp, Perišić (52' Porro); Kulusevski (83' Sánchez), Kane, Son. Subs.: Austin, Whiteman; Tanganga; Danjuma, Devine, Sarr; Moura. Coach: Conte. 
AC MILAN (3-4-3) Maignan; Kalulu, Thiaw, Tomori; Messias (56' Saelemaekers), Krunić, Tonali, Hernández; Díaz (81' Bennacer), Giroud (81' Origi), Leão (89' Rebić). Subs.: Mirante; Ballo-Touré, Calabria, Florenzi, Gabbia, Kjær; Pobega; De Ketelaere. Coach: Pioli.

Referee: Turpin (FRA).
Booked: 17' Romero (T), 21' Lenglet (T), 21' Conte (T), 92' Thiaw (M), 95' Skipp (T).
Sent off: 77' Romero (T).

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