Milan vs. Tottenham: Spurs fall to a narrow first-leg defeat at Milan
Tottenham will need to yield a Champions League comeback following their loss to AC Milan in the first leg. AC Milan walked away with the narrow win thanks to Brahim Diaz, who gave the Italians the only goal of the match to secure a 1-0 win on Tuesday. The Spanish player headed a rebound early in the match after a wonderful double save by the Spurs' second-choice goalkeeper Fraser Forster.
Weakened by suspensions and injuries, Tottenham responded positively during the first half of the game by dominating in the procession, but they failed to seriously worry the home team. AC Milan should have increased their advantage after half-time but two wasted glorious headed chances.
Antonio Conteís team seemed relatively comfortable for a significant part of the game against the seven-time champions, with the youthful pairing of Oliver Skipp and Pape Sarr ably deputizing the injured Rodrigo Bentancur and the suspended Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg in the midfield. However, they failed to develop any attacking momentum with their forward three comprising Son Heung-min, Harry Kane, and Dejan Kulusevski.
Besides the ambitious long-range efforts from Sarr and Emerson Royal, Conteís men appeared highly capable of threatening from the set-pieces, even inspiring some Betway punters to wager on them. However, neither Harry Kane nor Eric Dier could direct the headers to the goal despite Sonís two excellent deliveries.
In the end, Tottenham were grateful for the hostsí profligacy as German defender Malick Thiaw and Belgium midfielder Charles de Ketelaere headed excellent opportunities wide. That put the Italian team in control of the game, with Betway sports betting Zambia offering live odds on the match.
Had either player nodded in the goal at close range, Tottenham would have faced a more challenging recovery operation in the second leg to be hosted on 8th March in London. As it stands, theyíll need to try and turn the tie around without Dier, suspended after collecting a second-half booking.
AC Milan Continues Bouncing Back Against Tottenham
Before Fridayís victory over Torino, AC Milanís team had endured a miserable start of the year after picking up only two points out of a possible 15 and standing fifth in the Serie A. However, while they donít possess the swagger or star quality of the great Milan teams, they displayed enough skills to carve a slender lead.
The teamís only regret will be not putting a tie beyond a Tottenham that competed well but didnít lay a glove during the final third. At the moment, a spot in the quarter-finals is hanging in the balance, but Conte will have to figure out how to compensate for the loss of Bentancur, who has been a key player in the team since arriving from Juventus a year ago.
The Italian also needs greater diligence in the defence from his team, with Argentinaís Cristian Romero coming under scrutiny for his role in AC Milanís win. The star centre-back was out jumped by Hernandez in the moments leading the home team scoring and later booked for an ill-timed challenge on Rafael Leao.
∑ Spurs Odyssey match report
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