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Ten-man Milan hold Ajax to edge into last 16

Published: Wednesday 11 December 2013, 23.05CET
AC Milan 0-0 AFC Ajax
The hosts survived nearly 70 minutes with ten men to secure the point needed to guarantee qualification for the knockout phase.
by Paolo Menicucci
from San Siro

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Match statistics

MilanAjax

Goals scored0
 
0
Possession (%)36
 
64
Total attempts3
 
23
on target2
 
11
off target1
 
12
blocked1
 
6
against woodwork0
1
Corners0
5
Offsides6
 
2
Yellow cards4
 
1
Red Cards1
 
0
Fouls committed16
 
17
Fouls suffered15
 
14
Passes368
 
709
completed228
 
578

Standings

Last updated: 19/06/2014 23:28 CET

Legend:

P: Played   
Pts: Points   
 
Published: Wednesday 11 December 2013, 23.05CET

Ten-man Milan hold Ajax to edge into last 16

AC Milan 0-0 AFC Ajax
The hosts survived nearly 70 minutes with ten men to secure the point needed to guarantee qualification for the knockout phase.

Despite playing with ten men for almost 70 minutes, AC Milan held off an AFC Ajax onslaught to secure the point that clinched second place in Group H and a berth in the UEFA Champions League round of 16.

The visitors created several opportunities to score before and after Riccardo Montolivo's sending-off on 22 minutes, but a mix of resolute defending by Milan and poor finishing by Ajax allowed the Rossoneri to end in possession of the all-important second spot. With only a win good enough for Ajax to usurp the hosts, the result means the Dutch side's immediate European future lies in the UEFA Europa League.

Ajax started well and went close to taking an early lead after a slick team move, only for Cristián Zapata to block Viktor Fischer's shot with his body. From Lasse Schöne's resulting corner Christian Poulsen rose highest to flick towards the far post, only to see his deft header come back off the upright with Christian Abbiati beaten.

After 19 minutes a diving header by Davy Klaassen forced the Milan keeper into a plunging save to his left to prevent the 20-year-old from continuing his great scoring form, which has yielded five goals in his last three Eredivisie outings. Things swung further Ajax's way when home captain Montolivo received a red card for a late challenge on Poulsen.

With his captain off, and knowing a point would suffice, coach Massimiliano Allegri replaced forward Stephan El Shaarawy with a midfield reinforcement in Andrea Poli. However, the Ajax urgency seemed to flag after the dismissal, enabling Milan to breathe until the interval. Visiting boss Frank de Boer did not waste time in bolstering his attacking options, sending on Danny Hoesen at half-time and five minutes later Fischer fired over from a good position after a nice one-two with the substitute. Klaassen also tried his luck from outside the area but Abbiati was his equal.

The Ajax youngster had a clearer sight of goal shortly after, when a neat interchange on the edge of the box worked space on the right, yet his powerful effort from a tight angle was repelled by the boot of Abbiati. As time ticked down things became ever more frantic and it came to a head when, with the last kick of the game, Klaassen sent an overhead volley a fraction wide of the post. It was the cue for Milan and the hordes of home fans to emit a huge sigh of relief.

Last updated: 13/12/13 0.08CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2014/matches/round=2000479/match=2011845/postmatch/report/index.html#milan+edge+into+last

Lineups

milan

Milan

ajax

Ajax

32
AbbiatiChristian Abbiati (GK)
22
CillessenJasper Cillessen (GK)
2
De SciglioMattia De Sciglio
Yellow Card89
2
Van RhijnRicardo van Rhijn
4
MuntariSulley Muntari
Yellow Card90+5
4
MoisanderNiklas Moisander (C)
17
ZapataCristián Zapata
5
C. PoulsenChristian Poulsen
Substitution46
18
MontolivoRiccardo Montolivo (C)
Red Card22
7
FischerViktor Fischer
21
ConstantKévin Constant
11
Bojan KrkićBojan Krkić
Substitution72
22
KakáKaká
Substitution81
17
BlindDaley Blind
Yellow Card63
25
BoneraDaniele Bonera
18
KlaassenDavy Klaassen
34
N. de JongNigel de Jong
Yellow Card83
20
SchöneLasse Schöne
45
BalotelliMario Balotelli
Yellow Card71
24
DenswilStefano Denswil
92
El ShaarawyStephan El Shaarawy
Substitution24
25
SereroThulani Serero
Substitution80

Substitutes

35
CoppolaFerdinando Coppola (GK)
1
VermeerKenneth Vermeer (GK)
5
MexèsPhilippe Mexès
Substitution81
6
Van Der HoornMike van der Hoorn
Substitution80
9
MatriAlessandro Matri
9
SigthórssonKolbeinn Sigthórsson
Substitution72
16
PoliAndrea Poli
Substitution24
16
L. AndersenLucas Andersen
23
NocerinoAntonio Nocerino
23
HoesenDanny Hoesen
Substitution46
28
EmanuelsonUrby Emanuelson
27
LigeonRuben Ligeon
81
ZaccardoCristian Zaccardo
34
De SaLesly de Sa

Coach

Massimiliano Allegri (ITA) Frank de Boer (NED)

Referee

Howard Webb (ENG)

Assistant referees

Michael Mullarkey (ENG), Darren Cann (ENG)

Fourth official

Peter Kirkup (ENG)

Additional assistant referees

Mike Dean (ENG), Michael Jones (ENG)

Legend:

  • GoalsGoals
  • Own goalOwn goal
  • PenaltiesPenalties
  • Missed PenaltiesMissed Penalties
  • reds_cardRed Cards
  • yellow_cardsYellow cards
  • yellow_red_cardsYellow/red card
  • SubstitutionSubstitution
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