AC Milan knock out Tottenham in Champions League Round of 16
The game: 0-0
A draw on the lawn of Tottenham (0-0), this Wednesday, made AC Milan happy, and you had to see his coach Stefano Pioli jump in place, both fists raised, to measure what this qualification represents for the quarter-finals of the Champions League. The Rossoneri had not been invited to this table since 2012. Failing to be flamboyant, they provided the essential against a Tottenham formation which did not do enough, this Wednesday evening, to thwart their return to the foreground.
The Spurs played one period out of two, finished the match at ten after the expulsion of Cristian Romero (77th), and missed the boat in added time when a header from Harry Kane was repelled in a masterful way by Mike Maignan ( 90th+3). The English international had already been the most threatening at the heart of a very lackluster first period (two shots on each side, none on target). This Wednesday’s meeting confirmed that not much was happening around him: Dejan Kulusevski and Son Heung-min showed nothing, and the return of Richarlison (70th) did not change anything at the affair.
Tottenham’s dominance has been fruitless three-quarters of the time. With a little realism, AC Milan could even have folded the case earlier but Brahim Diaz did not have the same success as in the first leg, while Divock Origi stumbled on the substitute’s post Hugo Lloris, Fraser Forster, following on from Kane’s header annihilated by Maignan (90’+4).
Everything should have been easier for the Rossoneri at 11 against 10, and it was finally necessary for the French international goalkeeper to respond in the last moments for AC Milan to re-invite themselves to the big table. His return to competition for ten days, after five months of absence, could not have come at a better time.