AC Milan travelled to the North of England to face Newcastle United in their final Champions League game of the group stage. The Rossoneri had the slightest chance to make it to the UCL knock outs but it was always going to be tough.
The first half was uninspired from the Rossoneri as we allowed the home side to dominate possession and keep us pinned back. Joelinton opened the scoring for them with a shot from the edge of the box as we struggled to track the runs behind the wingback.
Milan pulled off a coup in the second half as the players woke up and fought. Christian Pulisic scored the equaliser as there was a pinball moment in the box with Fikayo Tomori scuffing his shot and Olivier Giroud brilliantly and calmly laying off a pass for the American to press under the keeper for 1-1.
Stefano Pioli went all in in the final ten minutes as he played four attackers up front with Noah Okafor, Luka Jovic, Samuel Chukwueze and Rafael Leao. Chukwueze made a statement as he bagged the winner with his first touch just about a minute after he came off the bench while Okafor provided the assist after a brilliant counter attack.
Milan had chances to increase their lead as both Tomori and Leao hammered the right post but it remained 2-1 as the Rossoneri secure Europa League football and remain in Europe in the new year.
The game was a real demonstration of mental strength and grit. Pioli job is still on the line but his players showed up for him last night.