Antonio Conte’s side lost the first leg of this tie at the San Siro, meaning they returned to North London with a one-goal deficit to overcome should they wish to progress to the next round of this season’s Champions League.
TOT: Forster; Davies, Lenglet, Romero; Perisic, Højbjerg, Skipp, Emerson; Son, Kulusevski; Kane
ACM: Maignan; Tomori, Thiaw, Kalulu; Hernandez, Tonali, Krunic, Messias; Leao, Diaz; Giroud
A dull first half at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium saw neither side produce a shot on target – though it was Stefano Pioli’s AC Milan that came closest in the 18th minute, as a well-orchestrated set-piece routine found Junior Messias, who rifled a strike across Fraser Forster, but that effort sailed wide.
Spurs’ target was simple. Score twice in the second half, keep a clean sheet, and they’d sail through to the quarterfinals – but it’d be boring if it was that easy! AC Milan had a great chance after the break, forcing Fraser Forster to produce a fine save with his feet, after Diaz and Messias broke into the box.
Spurs didn’t do themselves any favours as Cristian Romero received a second yellow card in the 78th minute, taking the hosts down to ten men for the final ten minutes – but AC Milan were unable to capitalise on their newfound advantage.
In fact, it was the Lilywhites that produced their best chance of the game in the six minutes of added time – with a save from Maignan denying Harry Kane an equaliser that would have sent this tie to extra time. Theo Hernandez broke forward well on the counterattack, eventually finding Divock Origi – but the Belgian’s effort was struck against the post! AC Milan progress to the next round, while Spurs crash out – leaving further questions about Antonio Conte’s leadership at the North London outfit.