Champions League: AC Milan 0 – 1 Atlético
Atleti snatch late win in first leg at San Siro
Atlético Madrid have taken a big step towards the quarter finals of the UEFA Champions League after snatching a 1-0 win at San Siro.
Diego Costa scored a late goal for the visitors after Milan had failed to capitalize on their chances in the first half. Atleti rode their luck and ultimately emerged victorious when Diego Costa headed in the winning goal six minutes from time.
For a long time it didn’t seem like Atleti would leave the game unscathed, as Milan created a series of huge opportunities in the first half through their dangerous duo of Mario Balotelli and captain Kaká. Atleti were uncharacteristically sloppy in possession and lacked aggression, allowing Kaká to strike against the crossbar early on.
Just a few minutes later Thibaut Courtois pulled off an amazing save to push Andrea Poli’s header against the post, preventing what would have been a deserved goal at that point.
After half an hour of play Kaká shot just over the crossbar after a back heel by Balotelli and the Italian struck just wide himself just a few minutes later.
Atleti created very little and former Rojiblanco ‘keeper Christian Abbiati calmly collected powerless headers by Raúl García and Diego Godín on the few occasions we went forward. At the start of the second half a spectacular bicycle kick by Diego Costa nearly led to a surprise goal, but his acrobatic effort went wide of the target.
Milan seemed to run out of energy in the second half and they lost their edge when Balotelli went off injured, allowing Atleti to take control over the game. A warning shot was fired by Raúl García, who was at the end of a lovely move down the right wing, but RG8’s shot went wide.
In the final quarter-hour Atleti pushed Milan back and won a series of corner kicks, one of which led to Diego Costa’s goal in the 84th minute. Ignazio Abate unintentionally headed on the ball towards the far post, where Costa was left all alone. The striker powerfully headed the ball past Abbiati to give Atleti an important away goal.
Milan nearly struck back through Adil Rami, but the centre back’s amazing strike missed Courtois’ goal. Atleti could’ve poured more salt in Milan’s wounds in the added time after Diego Costa won a free kick on the edge of the box, but Gabi’s attempt didn’t make it past the wall. And so Milan vs. Atlético finished 0-1 which puts us in a great position ahead of the return clash on the 11th of March.
|Diego Costa 84'|
|UEFA Champions League|
|19 February 2014|
|De Sciglio (25')|
|Raúl García (80')|
|C. Rodríguez (74')|