Brahim Diaz’s early aim condemned Tottenham to a 1-0 loss in opposition to AC Milan within the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie at San Siro.
Former Manchester City winger Diaz bundled residence from shut vary after seven minutes and Spurs have been lucky to not fall additional behind within the closing phases when Milan spurned two superb headed possibilities via Charles De Ketelaere and Malick Thiaw.
Instead, Antonio Conte might be relieved to return to north London with a deficit of just one aim having been compelled to subject a central midfield pairing of Oliver Skipp and Pape Sarr as a consequence of Rodrigo Bentancur’s harm and the suspension of Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg.
Skipp and Sarr carried out nicely in tough circumstances on their full Champions League debuts however, in a largely cagey encounter, Spurs, overwhelmed 4-1 by Leicester within the Premier League on Saturday, have been unable to create any clear scoring possibilities.
Their personnel points will proceed within the second leg on the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, with a yellow card to Eric Dier that means he’ll miss out via suspension, however the one-goal margin of defeat means the tie continues to be open for Conte and his gamers.
AC Milan Tatarusanu (7), Thiaw (7), Kalulu (7), Kjaer (7), Hernandez (7), Saelemaekers (6), Krunic (7), Tonali (7), Diaz (7), Leao (8), Giroud (6).
Subs: De Ketelaere (5), Messias (6), Pobega (n/a), Rebic (n/a).
Tottenham: Forster (7), Emerson (6), Romero (5), Dier (6), Lenglet (6), Perisic (7), Sarr (7), Skipp (7), Kulusevski (5), Kane (6), Son (6).
Subs: Richarlison (6), Danjuma (6), Davies (6).
Player of the Match: Rafael Leao
How Milan claimed their win
Conte claimed a few of his gamers battle to deal with strain after the 4-1 loss to Leicester and, at a hostile San Siro, Milan’s early opener appeared to supply additional proof.
The aim got here after Theo Hernandez beat Cristian Romero to an extended move on the left and compelled a parry from Forster, who then acrobatically saved Diaz’s follow-up, just for the winger to power the free ball into the online with a diving header.
Spurs have been having to work onerous to include the damaging Rafael Leao however they slowly settled into the sport after the early aim, inflicting issues for the hosts with a collection of set-piece deliveries, albeit with out creating any clear possibilities within the first half.
The second interval started with a let-off for the reckless Romero, who was solely booked, with VAR upholding the choice to not ship him off, after he went flying into Sandro Tonali as Milan sprang ahead on the counter-attack.
Olivier Giroud was chosen to guide the road for AC Milan, flanked by Rafael Leao and former Man City participant Brahim Diaz.
Tottenham fielded Pape Sarr and Oliver Skipp in midfield with Rodrigo Bentancur, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Yves Bissouma unavailable.
The sport continued to comply with the same sample after that, with Leao the one participant offering a spark and Spurs struggling to show their possession into scoring alternatives.
Conte threw on Richarlison for Dejan Kulusevski in an try to extend his aspect’s attacking risk however all they might muster have been occasional half-chances, with Sarr sending a long-range effort straight at Milan goalkeeper Ciprian Tatarusanu.
The hosts then had two golden alternatives to ram residence their benefit, with De Ketekaerem, on in its place solely moments earlier, heading tamely large after Oliver Giroud had nodded a cross again into the hazard space, and defender Thiaw then doing the identical when picked out by Leao in an excellent higher place.
Dier failed to attach correctly with a header of his personal, from a nook, as Spurs tried to punish these Milan misses on the different finish of the pitch, however they by no means actually seemed like scoring.
Leao’s dazzling dribbles – Opta stats
Rafael Leao accomplished 9 dribbles on this sport, essentially the most by a participant in a single match within the Champions League this season and essentially the most by a Milan participant since Opta began accumulating this information (2003/04).Milan have overwhelmed Tottenham in European competitors for the primary time on the fifth try (D2 L2), and it is their first victory of their final 10 in opposition to English opposition (D1 L8), since a 4-0 win over Arsenal in 2012 within the Champions League.Tottenham are the primary English aspect to lose 4 Champions League knockout stage video games in a row since Arsenal between 2016 and 2017, with Antonio Conte’s aspect failing to attain in every of these fixtures.Milan loved their first Champions League knockout victory since beating Barcelona 2-0 in February 2013 within the final 16, dropping every of the three since then.Harry Kane made is 66th look for Tottenham in main European competitions, the joint-most of any Spurs participant, stage with Hugo Lloris.
What’s subsequent for Spurs?
Sunday nineteenth February 4:00pm
Kick off 4:30pm
Tottenham return to Premier League motion with a house sport in opposition to West Ham, dwell on Sky Sports Premier League on Sunday from 3.30pm; kick-off 4.30pm.
Spurs will play the second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie with AC Milan on Wednesday March 8 at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium; kick-off 8pm.