The draw between Málaga CF and AC Milan at the San Siro in the UEFA Champions League fourth group stage match, means the Blue and Whites have qualified to the next round of the competition. Manuel Pellegrini’s men opened the scoring in the first half with a goal from Eliseu, however the home side were superior in the second half, and managed to equalise.
Málaga CF had the first chance at goal with a powerful shot by Eliseu on the right wing, missing Abbiati’s goal. Manuel Pellegrini’s men were fighting to take control of the match in the first few minutes of play, and a fantastic display between Isco and Eliseu resulted in a chance for Joaquín from in front of the penalty area, though he couldn’t quite reach the ball. Milan’s Abate was injured and had to be taken off after five minutes.
The locals began to gain possession against a determined Málaga, who continued to show their impressive football style at the San Siro. The Blue and Whites started to dominate proceedings, getting closer to the penalty area. Another promising shot by Eliseu was saved by keeper Abbiati without too many problems.
Caballero saved a Bojan shot into goal with his fingertips in the 18th minute, after he crashed through the Málaga defence. The quality of Milan’s game play started to improve throughout the first half, with the triple threat of Pato, El Shaarawy and Bojan, and Pellegrini’s men began to find it more difficult to gain possession of the ball.
A Milan free kick by Emanuelson in minute 25 was again saved by Caballero, as the ball looked set to smash into the back of the net. The home side continued in the quest for control of the game, which Málaga were determined to regain.
A touch of Blue and Whites magic arrived at the San Siro just before half time in the 40th minute. A genius display by Isco, sailing through Milan’s defence, set up a golden chance for Eliseu, who crossed the ball straight in Abbiati’s goal. Málaga’s dream performance at the San Siro was now well underway.
Milan’s retaliation to the goal came in minute 45 with a long shot from Constant, however the ball went over a metre above Willy Caballero’s goal. This saw the end of the first half, in which Málaga took early control, Milan were quick to react, and Eliseu got the visitors on the score board.
Neither team made any substitutions at the start of the second half. Milan went on to the pitch with a renewed determination to equalise, against a strong Málaga defence. Another shot at goal by Emanuelson in the 49th minute was the first opportunity to score in this half, however it presented little problem for Willy.
Fast-paced play by former FC Barcelona player, Bojan, tested the strength of the Málaga defence. The visitors couldn’t regain possession as they had at the start of the match, however Milan were also having some difficulty in creating any real shots at goal.
The Milan fans didn’t approve of the substitution made by coach Allegri in minute 61, which saw Boateng replace El Shaarawy, one of the Italian-based team’s best attackers.
Another goal opportunity didn’t arise for Málaga CF until minute 69. Again Isco set up a promising chance for recently introduced Santa Cruz, however there wasn’t enough power behind the ball to get to the back of the AC Milan goal.
Pato scored the equaliser for Milan in minute 72, following an accurate cross from Constant on the right wing. Milan’s determination to score at the San Siro had paid off and the scoring was now tied. The home team showed more presence and force on the pitch with the introduction of Boateng, who just three minutes later had another shot at goal, forcing a fantastic save by Willy.
Málaga CF continued to struggle with precision, which Milan took clear advantage of in their quest for victory. The locals took the reigns of the match in the second half and were the superior side. For the final few minutes, the ‘Malaguistas’ stepped up their defensive display, with their intention of coming away with a draw to see them through to the next round of the competition.
The final whistle signalled Málaga’s qualification into the next round of the Champions League, and keeps their European dream alive.
AC MILAN: Abbiati, Constant, Mexes, Bonera, Abate (De Sciglio, min. 5), Montolivo, De Jong, Emanuelson (Robinho, min. 79), El Shaarawi (Boateng, min. 61), Bojan and Pato.
MÁLAGA CF: Willy, Jesús Gámez, Demichelis, Weligton, Sergio Sánchez, Camacho, Iturra (Toulalan, min. 74), Eliseu, Isco, Joaquín (Seba, min. 80) and Saviola (Santa Cruz, min. 67).
0-1: Eliseu (min. 40).
1-1: Pato (min. 72).
REFEREE: Howard Webb. Yellow cards were awarded to De Jong (min. 33), Emanuelson (min. 42), Montolivo (min.52), Iturra (min. 58), Weligton (min. 63) and Sergio Sánchez (min. 64).
INFORMATION: UEFA Champions League fourth group stage match held at the San Siro, in front of 30,800 fans.
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- P: Played
- W: Won
- D: Draw
- L: Lost
- F: For
- A: Against
- +/-: Goal difference
- Pts: Points