Champions League: AC Milan takes advantage over Tottenham

 Winner Tuesday against Tottenham of a short margin, the AC Milan has reassured and will approach the eighth of final return with a precious advantage. Diaz scored the game's only goal at the very start of a hot game.

AC Milan won its "derby" against Antonio Conte and Tottenham ( 1-0 ), Tuesday February 14 in San Siro in the eighth final round of Champions League, even if the small margin leaves everything open for the return on March 8 to London. 

With the return of the little music of the C1, the Rossoneri remembered their glorious European past - seven coronation in the Champions League against none for the Spurs - and found a somewhat lost "grinta" in recent weeks, like the energy goal scored in two stages by Brahim Diaz at the start of the match ( 7e ). 

A San Siro de Gala

San Siro, full until the third ring of some 75,000 spectators, had put on his party clothes for this first eighth of C1 of the Rossoneri for almost ten years ( season 2013/14 ), the first for the new owner, the American RedBird fund, at the head of the club since the summer.

An atmosphere worthy of those of the derbies that the coach of Tottenham, Antonio Conte, Italian champion with Inter Milan in 2021, knew well. Tale who, on the nerazzurro bench for two years, won four of his five Milanese derbies. 

Is it this atmosphere of fire that explains the timid start of Tottenham and its young midfielders, Oliver Skipp ( 22 years ), first C1 tenure, and Pape Matar Sarr ( 20 years ), first appearance in C1, launched into battle in the absence of the wounded Rodrigo Bentancur and Yves Bissouma?

Goal in the first minutes

Milan took the opportunity to mark on his first occasion. Theo Hernandez imposed himself in the air and detected a powerful strike that goalkeeper Fraser Forster could only repel. Brahim Diaz resumed and then concluded with a diving head on the line after a new stop of the replacement porter of Hugo Lloris.

Milan was then more careful, with an Olivier Giroud not saving himself in the dry cleaners and a compact team in front of the defense three recently adopted by Stefano Pioli to stop the bleeding of goals collected since early January.

Ciprian Tatarusanu, Mike Maignan's replacement, also confined to the gallery since September, was attentive on his line on a deviation from Eric Dier's head ( 13e ) and a sustained strike by Emerson ( 26e ). 

The Romanian, mainly threatened with kicks stopped, released its two most beautiful parades just before the break in front of Son Heung-min then Harry Kane. But for nothing, because the South Korean was finally reported offside from the action ( 45e ). 

The second period began as the first with Milanese again higher and more incisive in the face of English forced to make mistakes, like Romero passed by the red for a dangerous tackle ( 48e ) or Dier warned and suspended in the return match ( 63e ). 

Milan could have trembled when Tatarusanu hurt his ankle on a bad reception ( 59e ). The Romanian limped a few minutes but was finally able to finish the meeting, continuing to reign without trembling in the air.

As a shark by the character of its doorman, sometimes disputed, Milan finished better and even passed very close to a second goal which would have changed a lot on the return but the heads of Charles de Ketelaere ( 78e ) then Malick Thiaw ( 79e ) have grazed the amounts. Conte did not say his last word.


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