The ninth goal of the year by Colombian Luis Díaz, irrepressible at the San Siro stadium in Milan, gave Porto a valuable point against Milan (1-1) and kept the Portuguese team in the fight for the pass to the round of 16 in Group B of the Champions League, at the expense of an Italian team already one step away from elimination.
The group of death of this edition of the European Cup, by bringing together Liverpool, Atlético Madrid, Milan and Porto, sees the Milan team almost out of the fight for the round pass, but a lot of balance between the other three teams when There are two days left to conclude this phase.
For seven-time European champions Milan, very positive performances at Anfield against Liverpool and at home against Atlético Madrid were not enough to put their options at stake. Those two defeats, added backwards in Do Dragao two weeks ago and this tie make only mathematics keep them alive.
The match could not have started better for Porto, with a ball recovered in a three-quarter line by Serbian Marko Grujic and offered to Luis Díaz, who did not fail in the hand-in-hand with Romanian goalkeeper Ciprian Tatarusanu.
The Colombian winger was confirmed intractable against Milan, whom he had also scored on the return leg, and prolonged his great moment this season, after the goal and assist signed in the Portuguese League against Boavista.
Porto did not pay for the stage fright of a San Siro that was attended by more than 42,000 spectators and its only limit was the fact of not expanding distances despite the enormous amount of opportunities built in the first half.
Tatarusanu, who replaces the Frenchman Mike Maignan, injured in a wrist these weeks, was decisive with two stops after a header from Grujic and the Iranian Medhi Taremi, and the Brazilian Otávio Edmilson da Silva forgave another clear opportunity with a shot finished off.
Sergio Conceiçao’s team, who spent six years in Italy in his playing career, with Parma, Inter and Lazio, also touched the double advantage at the beginning of the second half, when the Brazilian Francisco Evanilson de Lima crashed a header to the crossbar.
It was the turning point of the clash, as shortly thereafter an unfortunate own goal by Congo defender Chancel Mbemba, after a touch from Frenchman Pierre Kalulu, was the equalized Milan player.
The draw restored hope to a Milan in which Pioli gave way to the Swede Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the last quarter of an hour in the attempt to go for victory, the only result that was worth him
The 40-year-old Swedish veteran, scorer of a goal last Sunday in Milan’s triumph in Rome in Serie A, had a good impact and came to savor the possible winning goal, but disallowed for offside.
It was the last thrill of an intense match, rich in opportunities, from which Porto emerged strengthened and with intact ambitions, at the expense of Milan already too far from the first two places.
. Data sheet:
1 – Milan: Tatarusanu; Calabria (Kalulu, m.46), Tomori, Romagnoli, Theo Hernández; Tonali (Kessie, m.68), Bennacer; Saelemaekers, Brahim Díaz (Krunic, m.68), Leao (Maldini, m.88); Giroud (Ibrahimovic, m.76).
1 – Porto: Diogo Costa; Zaidu, Mbemba, Pepe, Joao Mario; Grujic, Sergio Oliveira (Vitinha m.69), Otavio (Martínez, m.85), Luis Díaz (Costa, m.79); Taremi (Pepe, m.85), Evanilson (Conceiçao, m.79).
Goals: 0-1, m.6: Luis Díaz; 1-1, m.62: Mbemba (pp).
Referee: Clement Turpin (FRA). He showed yellow cardboard to Tomori (m.55), from Milan, and to Grujic (m.49), Mbemba (m.59), Vitinha (m.73), Conceiçao (m.91)
Incidents: Match corresponding to the fourth day of group B of the Champions League played at the San Siro stadium in Milan before about 42,000 spectators. EFE (HN)