Ten man AC Milan succumbed to a late pressure from the Spanish Champions as they lost 2-1 in their first UEFA Champions League match at the San Siro since February 2014, to extend Milan’s winless run against Spanish teams to eight.
After seven years deprived of UCL football, the message from the emotional Milanese crowd inside the San Siro was simple and straightforward, “AC Milan is back”.
Stefano Pioli’s side started like a team looking to make a strong statement especially after the 3-2 loss to Liverpool at Anfield in their group opener.
Ante Rebić almost incited the Milanese crowd to a frenzy when he was played through by Brahim Diaz only to curl a low strike that was heading towards the bottom corner before Oblak tipped it round the post.
Finally, Milan’s early pressure paid off and the San Siro got their dream moment after the first twenty-two minutes as Díaz pulled back to Rafael Leão on the edge of the area and the forward took a touch, had plenty of time and succinctly found the bottom corner, sparking wild scenes even with a reduced capacity crowd.
In typical fashion, a stubborn Atlético Madrid responded with persistence and took the game to Milan, which led to two moments of ill-judgment within ten minutes by Franck Kessié as he was sent off for two bookable offences on Marcos Llorente.
As expected, Atlético raced back into the match and Luis Suárez almost ended his 26-match goalless streak away from home in the UCL with half-time in sight, volleying inches wide from close range.
The Los Rojiblancos continued to make the extra man count and João Félix found Suárez in the box but the Uruguayan headed wide from six yards.
The Spanish champions eventually found a breakthrough as Antoine Griezmann snuck in front of Alessio Romagnoli and volleyed in the equaliser.
Suárez stepped up to break his UCL away-game hoodoo and fire in a penalty after Pierre Kalulu was adjudged to have the ball inside the six-yard box.
Stefano Pioli’s side showed plenty of fight but fatigue caught up with the Milanese team, who also lost from a winning position in the 3-2 defeat against Liverpool two weeks ago.
Atlético Madrid remain AC Milan’s bogey team as they were the side who handed the Italian giants a 1-0 loss in their last UCL home match seven years ago.
This article was most recently revised and updated 3 weeks ago