Filippo Inzaghi scored for the eighth time in four games to take AC Milan through to the second group stage of the UEFA Champions League and leave FC Bayern München facing elimination.
Inzaghi struck halfway through the second half and despite furious late pressure from the 2001 champions, the goal proved enough to preserve Milan's 100 per cent record at the top of Group G.
Milan open account
The match started at a terrific pace with both sides looking for the early opening. Michael Tarnat fired over as Bayern drove forward, but it was Milan who drew first blood.
Seedorf on song
Clarence Seedorf has been an inspiration for Milan since joining from city rivals Internazionale FC and it was the Dutchman, running the show from midfield, who threaded a pass through the Bayern defence to Serginho on eleven minutes to open the scoring. After picking his spot just inside the area, the Brazilian needed just one touch to roll the ball past Oliver Kahn and into the bottom corner.
Bayern hit back
Milan looked set to dominate, but Bayern soon hit back. Dida turned away Giovane Elber’s shot from distance on 14 minutes then scrambled clear the rebound from Claudio Pizarro, but he was powerless to stop Tarnat’s scorching drive nine minutes later.
Bayern’s best attacks had come down the left and so it proved again as Tarnat exchanged passes with Elber to break into the box before rifling into the roof of the net from a tight angle.
Bayern continued to press, but their hopes were hit by an injury to Kahn at the start of the second half and Milan looked to take advantage. Robert Kovac and Samuel Kuffour had to be at their best to keep Inzaghi at bay as the home side attacked on the break, but the striker finally got the better of his markers on 64 minutes.
Rui Costa picked out Inzaghi on the edge of the box and he turned Kovac before prodding a left-footed shot past substitute keeper Stefan Wessels.
Bayern pour forward
Bayern, staring elimination in the face, poured forward in response. On 68 minutes, Dida blocked Pizarro's drive then Kuffour somehow shot over from one metre. Bayern deserved to draw level on 75 minutes when Elber crashed a header on to the crossbar. The ball bounced down for substitute Roque Santa Cruz, but the striker shot wide from close in.
Samuele Dalla Bonna had the chance to make the game safe for Milan in the closing stages and he was nearly made to pay for his miss in injury-time when Santa Cruz fired a shot from the edge of the area that the impressive Dida did well to hold.
Bayern on the way out
Bayern pressed to the end, but Milan held on for an historic win that takes them through and leaves Bayern, despite RC Deportivo La Coruña shock 3-1 defeat at the hands of RC Lens, with nothing more than a mathematical chance of progressing.