Atletico Madrid’s potentialities of reaching the Champions League ultimate 16 have been dealt a hammer blow on Wednesday after a 1-0 defeat by AC Milan left them needing to win at Porto of their closing sport in Group B.
A scrappy contest on the Wanda Metropolitano regarded set to complete goalless until Milan substitute Junior Messias headed residence a dramatic winner throughout the 87th minute to go away Atletico staring down the barrel of an early exit.
Messias’ goal not solely means Atleti will need a victory instead of a appeal to Porto on December 7 but it surely absolutely moreover brings Milan once more to life, as they sit solely a stage behind Porto ahead of their closing match in direction of Liverpool on the San Siro.
Atletico Madrid are stage on elements with Milan nonetheless beneath them on goal distinction, with qualification even to the Europa League now faraway from certain.
All nonetheless two of Atleti’s earlier 11 Champions League group appearances have seen them attain the ultimate 16 whereas Milan are collaborating at this stage for the first time since 2014.
But Milan deserved their late winner, after exhibiting rather more ambition in a sport that Atleti contributed little or no to in any inventive sense.
Both teams bought right here in with out the reassurance of newest victories, with Milan, second in Serie A, dropping to Fiorentina ultimate weekend on the once more of a draw in direction of Inter.
Atletico sit fourth in La Liga and have endured a blended start to the season, from which the biggest doubts have arisen spherical an extra and extra leaky defence. Their win over Osasuna on Saturday was solely their second in seven matches.
Their biggest chance of the first half bought right here throughout the third minute as Yannick Carrasco crossed and Rodrigo de Paul’s tried finish brushed the pores and skin of the put up.
The the rest of the opening 45 minutes was temporary on prime quality, with every teams let down by an absence of precision throughout the closing third.
Milan, though, have been the chief aggressors and whereas Atletico allowed frustration with the referee to develop, their largest draw back was escaping the Milan press, which for prolonged spells contained them of their very personal half.
Theo Hernandez, who bought right here via the youth set-up at Atletico solely to go away for Real Madrid in 2017, for which he was persistently whistled all by, possibly had Milan’s clearest different nonetheless he lashed wide on the far put up.
Milan have been nonetheless the additional cohesive workforce early throughout the second half, with Simon Kjaer heading over from a crossed free-kick.
Diego Simeone launched on Angel Correa and Renan Lodi whereas Stefano Pioli launched 4 substitutes, along with the 40-year-old Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Two of them blended to create a golden chance throughout the 71st minute, Messias freed down the left and pulling once more for Tiemoue Bakayoko eight yards out nonetheless his finish was blocked by the suitable knee of Stefan Savic.
Atletico have been wilting and Milan sniffed a winner. Ibrahimovic was slipped via nonetheless denied by a wonderful left-handed save by Jan Oblak and if that was a warning, Atletico did not heed it, because of moments later Messias headed in.
Franck Kessie hooked an excellent left-footed cross into the middle, the place Messias found a spot three yards out. The Milan bench sprawled onto the pitch in celebration.