Tottenham vs AC Milan: Milan booked their place in the quarter-finals of the Champions League with a hard-fought 0-0 draw to progress 1-0 on aggregate against Spurs.
The opening few minutes could best be described by the old cliche of both teams ‘feeling each other out’ as first Milan had some good spells of possession and were able to pass around then back, and then Spurs grew into the game and Perisic was the first to take a tumble under a strong tackle from Pierre Kalulu.
Milan were nearly caught out in exactly the kind of way Pioli would have warned against as a spell of pressure on the edge of the Spurs box saw Krunic give possession away and Kane fed the ball wide before Emerson Royal arrived on the edge of the box to fire a shot that deflected and Mike Maignan saved comfortably.
The Rossoneri provided a reminder of the threat they pose when Brahim Diaz slipped a ball through to Theo on the left who seemed to try a shot when a cut-back to Giroud in the box was on, and it was blocked by Lenglet before ending up in Forster’s hands.
Romero struggled to deal with Milan’s left flank in the first leg and he was the first player into the book in the 17th minute as he flew through Leao around 25 yards out. The resulting free-kick was a well-worked routine that saw Tonali find Messias on the right side of the box.
Spurs were handed another pair of yellow cards as the clock ticked past 20 minutes as Lenglet was penalised for an elbow into the back of Giroud’s head and Conte also got a caution for his complaints about the incident.
The game descended into a bit of a cat-and-mouse lull in the period between the half-hour mark and the break, but Maignan did save well to thwart Kane’s pass towards Perisic deflecting into the back of the net.
The first danger of the second half came from the home side as Kulusevski cut in onto his left foot and whipped a low cross towards Perisic that was crucially cut out deep inside the box.
Then it was Milan’s turn to create danger at the other end. Theo spread the ball wide to Messias on the counter who cut back to Brahim and he somehow squirmed through a couple of defenders but saw a shot saved. Spurs failed to clear and Leao let fly with a volley that sailed past the far post.
Not long after Brahim Diaz had been cut down, Messias dropped to the floor holding his hamstring and he was replaced by Alexis Saelemaekers in the right wing-back role.
Milan were really struggling to get a foothold in the game as Tottenham continued to press, and a giveaway from Giroud indirectly led to a chance for Hojbjerg inside the box as the Dane fired from a narrow angle and Maignan did well to parry over with both hands.
As the game began to open up more, Kane got on the end of a cross with a stooping header at the near post which he almost connected too well with and missed the target. Moments later at the other end Leao latched on to a long through ball and wrestled to get it under control, eventually slashing an effort wildly over the bar and wide.
Romero is known for sometimes lacking judgement and there was certainly one of those occasions with 13 minutes left on the clock as he went in high on Theo down the touchline after the left-back had knocked it past him, leaving the referee Turpin with no choice but to reach for a second yellow and send him off.
A double change followed as Divock Origi and Ismael Bennacer were introduced in place of Giroud and Brahim Diaz.
Straight after Spurs saw penalty appeals waved away at one end Leao went on an incredible solo run up the other and the ball eventually fell to Tonali all alone just inside the box yet he waited just enough for a body to dive in and block the shot.
With a minute left on the clock another substitution came from Pioli as he brought Leao off for Ante Rebic.
The six added minutes went up on the board and the drama ensued, as Kane saw a header from a corner incredibly saved by Maignan as the ball seemed destined to nestle in the bottom corner.
The counter that resulted really should have killed the game for good with Theo pulling the ball back to Origi whose shot cannoned back off the far post. However, that was enough to spark a mass exodus as Milan’s passage to the final eight of the competition was confirmed.
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