AC Milan faced Atletico Madrid in their second Champions League group stage fixture at the San Siro last night. It was a momentous occasion for the Rossoneri as it was the first UCL game for Milan fans at home since 2014 - also against Atletico. Stefano Pioli fielded a strong team but played without a natural striker once again. Milan dominated Atletico for the entirety of the first half playing with a good intensity and attacking with purpose. This led to a brilliant opening goal from Rafael Leao - who was the standout player - as he whacked in a low shot after Brahim Diaz rolled the ball to him following a corner to make it 1-0 for the home side. Leao almost scored a worldie shortly after as he controlled a long ball well and fired an overhead kick which smacked the goalpost.
Thereafter, the referee decided that it wouldn’t be Milan’s day as he gave decision after decision in favour of the visitors beginning with two harsh yellow cards against Franck Kessie who was sent off for a laughable offence. He would proceed to book Ante Rebic for protesting an absurd sending off in just the 30th minute of the match. This changed everything as Milan had to make substitutions and go defensive for the rest of the game.
In the second half, Milan held on well but the referee failed to give us any advantage when Geoffrey Kondogbia deserved a sending off nor when Marcus Llorente had a hand ball in the Atletico box. We conceded in the 84th minute following a good run of play from the visitors but Alessio Romagnoli is culpable for not challenging Antoine Griezmann who had a free volley at goal. The referee then proceeded to give 6 minutes of additional time to a tired Rossoneri side but added on with a penalty in the third minute of additional time. The penalty decision was absurd and not properly checked by VAR as the handball by Pierre Kalulu was harsh and preceded by Thomas Lemar handling the ball too. Luis Suarez scored and really broke Milan hearts as we played the better game and were robbed by the referee. The Rossoneri lost the game 2-1 in the final minutes.