But it was a boring game. Mother and daughter … We know that there are chaps even in the Champions League, but when it comes to this edition of the Champions League – in Madrid we got a strong candidate for the weakest match of this edition. Emotions only started a few minutes before the end of this clash. Milan can do the impossible – in the 86th minute they had three points after five group games. And thanks to Messias’ goal, they are still in the game to get out of the group.
Atletico was rightly punished for how it played today. The hosts looked as if today’s meeting with Milan just wanted to drown and decide the fate of the promotion with a clash with Porto, which would decide who will play in the Champions League this spring.
Atletico – Milan 0: 1. The first half – the festival of boredom
Milan was better today. Maybe it wasn’t dominance, maybe it wasn’t an overwhelming advantage, maybe it wasn’t a clear offensive. But if we were to point to a team that attacks more often, shoots more often, and shows greater initiative in the vicinity of the penalty area, we would point to the Milanese. But by the break we saw ONE well-aimed shot. And six missed. Well, nothing was sticking here. Suarez was not visible in the Atleti offensive, Lemar from Carrasco crashed into the Milan side defender. Milan? We might like Hernandez on the left flank, but has anyone else caught our eye? Oh no.
The first 45 minutes – totally forgettable.
Atletico such a result fit. I mean, it would be more convenient to approach Porto from second, not third. But in the end, Simeone’s team would be putting off their promotion to the knockout stages for the final series of games this fall. On the other hand, on the other hand, the hosts didn’t look like they didn’t want to. Rather, they did not really know how to get to Milan. After the break at 0-0, they could only afford Griezmann’s spurt and a throw to De Paul, and … that’s it. Yes, the Spanish champion managed to create one reasonably good shooting opportunity for 85 minutes of the match.
And the master paid dearly for it.
First, Milan gave a warning shot – Bakayoko got the ball right in front of the goal, near the penalty spot, he had a lot of freedom, but he hit Savić, who was already on the ground. It was more difficult in this situation to shoot Savic or Oblak than to hit the exposed goal point. But Bakayoko did it.
Atletico – Milan 0: 1. Messias a hero
And then we had a goal that could be a turning point for Milan in the group stage. Because this phase was not going to be complete for them. In the first match against Atletico, they could have blamed the referee for a red card and a penalty kick. With Liverpool, they were already 2: 1, losing 2: 3. And against Porto, they just played two bad games. A few minutes before the end of today’s match, they had three points on their account.
But then came a great guest action. Playing the ball in the middle of the field, a throw to the left flank, a penetrating pass into the penalty area, a soft Kessie throw and Messias with his head left completely alone decide the matter of victory.
You ask – who the hell is Messias? Well, the guy’s on loan to Milan from Crotone. Until a few years ago, he was playing at a semi-professional level. He visited Gozzano, Chieri, Casale (we don’t know what clubs these are, don’t ask). And no, this is not a young talent. He is a 30-year-old midfielder who has accumulated 49 minutes in Serie A this season.
Today the guy had an evening that he will talk about in his old age with a glass of tasty wine.
Atletico then went on the offensive, but they could only afford a wasted hundred of Cunha, who missed from two meters. That’s it.
Atleti had made it very complicated.
The situation before the last round looks like this:
- Liverpool already have some promotion from first place
- Porto is second with five points
- Milan is third with the same number of points as Atletico
And on the final round, Porto take on the Spanish champions and Liverpool go to Milan. Can we imagine Klopp releasing a reserve squad for the Italians? And yes. Is Porto in a lost position, since the Portuguese have already beaten Milan at home? Not necessarily.
Atletico must win against Porto and rely on Liverpool to take the game seriously against Milan seriously and at least draw (or have a good goal). And Milan? He must outplay Liverpool and hope that Porto and Atletico will be drawn in a draw. Then the Milanese will play in the knockout stage.
Fun fact: if Milan beat Liverpool 1-0 and Atletico from Porto wins 2-0, Atletico will advance thanks to … a better ratio for 2016-2021.
– Marcin Długosz (@DlugoszMarcin) November 24, 2021
And there is also a scenario in which the Spanish champions will not play in any cups at all in the spring.
Atletico Madrid – AC Milan 0: 1 (0: 0)
Messias Junior (87th)