Thursday, March 30, 2023

Milan sneaks back into the best in Europe

Tottenham Hotspur experienced another disappointment in the Champions League, another of those sour nights that the ‘Spurs’ fans are used to and which this time turned into a dull and gray encounter who were far from coming back against Milan (0-0), who return to the quarterfinals eleven years later and rub shoulders with the best in Europe.

It will be 16 years that Tottenham will be without winning a single trophywith all the competitions lost in March and with the only incentive to put in their mouths a fourth place in the Premier League that is already weak due to the stalking of Liverpool.

Even this sad and early elimination could put an end to Antonio Conte’s time in north London. A romance that has never come to fruition, since the Italian has not been able to display his stamp in the ‘Spurs’, very nourished in attack, but little in defense.

This Wednesday, with the cold and rain getting worse in the English capital, Tottenham believed that their fans and their artillery would be enough to pass over a Milan that brought a remarkable 1-0 in the first leg and that he played to lock himself up the whole game.

There they saw the static deficiencies of a Tottenham that expected that kane a light bulb turned on or what heung min sonsurely in his worst season in London, had a spark of grace.

That was the wish of the players, while the fans understood that at least there would be a burst of pride, a constant siege, a fall of the Italians at sheer insistence. If the Milanese were going to be crouched throughout the match, scoring one and forcing extra time would be the minimum required for the Londoners.

They were shocked when the best chances of the match were for the Italians, always comfortable in that role of martyrs. An error by Messias, in an unbeatable position, and a good save by Forster, just a few scissors away from the incombustible Giroud, came close to ending Tottenham’s fantasy much earlier.

The elimination was not consummated until Clement Turpin whistled the end, but Tottenham, for more than 20 minutes, was a living dead on the pitch. Any hint of a comeback, with a shot from Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg well saved by Maignan and a deflected header from Kane, cut him off quickly Cristian Romero, sent off after a hard tackle on Theo Hernández.

The spirit of the ‘Spurs’ fell, to the point of depression, and only raised it a save by Maignan three minutes from the end. The French goalkeeper repelled by pure instinct and reflex a header from Kane chopped. A stop that is worth a tie and that Eliminate Tottenham in the round of 16 for the third time in their last four appearances in the Champions League.

Eleven years later, Milan returns to the quarterfinals of the Champions League, He feels great again and opts for a title that has resisted him since 2007.

Data sheet:

0 – Tottenham Hotspur: Forster; Emerson (Richarlison, m.70), Romero, Lenglet, Davies, Perisic (Porro, m.53); Skipp, Hojbjerg; Kulusevski (Sanchez, m.83), Son and Kane.

0 – Milan: Maignan; Thiaw, Tomori, Kalulu, Hernandez; Messias (Saelemaekers, m.56), Krunic, Tonali; Díaz (Bennacer, m.81), Leao (Rebic, m.89) and Giroud (Origi, m.81).

Referee: Clement Turpin (FRA) admonished Romero (m.17), Lenglet (m.21) and Skipp (m.95) for Tottenham and Thiaw (m.93) for Milan. He sent off Romero for a double yellow card in the 77th minute.

Incidents: Match corresponding to the round of 16 second leg of the Champions League played at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium (London).


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