Football News

“They’ll have a real opportunity” – Tottenham fall in Milan but there is still hope in Champions League tie

By Harry Edwards

Published: 22:26, 14 February 2023

Tottenham Hotspur will have to come from behind to keep their Champions League journey going after they were beaten 1-0 by AC Milan.

A repeat of the 2010/11 Champions League last 16 tie, Tottenham will have been hoping for a repeat of their 1-0 victory with Peter Crouch scoring the only goal in the first leg at the San Siro.

That goal came in the 80th minute, but within 10 at the San Siro on Tuesday night, Tottenham were behind. Antonio Conte’s men went into the game off the back of a 4-1 thrashing at the hands of Leicester in which they capitulated after taking an early lead.

The defeat also saw Tottenham lose Rodrigo Bentancur for the remainder of the season, with Oliver Skipp and Pape Sarr the midfield pairing, and the duo did well. Unfortunately, it was down the flanks where Milan got at Tottenham.

With Emerson Royal pushed high up the pitch, Milan sent a ball over the top for Theo Hernandez to contest against Cristian Romero, which the Frenchman won. Hernandez then beat Dier to win the second ball, firing a shot at Fraser Forster.

The Tottenham goalkeeper did well to save and even better to stop Brahim Diaz’s follow up shot but it was third time unlucky as the Milan man got his head onto the rebound to bundle the ball over the line.

It proved to be the only goal of the game, with Milan securing their first Champions League knockout win in 10 years since a 2-0 victory over Barcelona in February 2013. And it perhaps could have been more, with Milan spurning a number of good chances to add to their lead particularly in the second half with Charles De Ketelaere and Malick Thiaw.

Despite Milan’s advantage, though, Rio Ferdinand believes Tottenham still have a good chance of making it to the quarter-finals.

“I just think when you’re at home in the Champions League, the fans play a big part,” he told BT Sport.

“I think the Spurs fans, if they get behind this team, they’ll have a real opportunity. And you’d like to think in the game at White Hart Lane (Tottenham Hotspur Stadium), that Harry Kane will get more opportunities. He’ll have more influence on the game, they’ll have a better version of [Heung-min] Son.

“These are all ifs, buts and maybes. But when I played in the Champions League, home advantage was massive. And I think they were fortunate enough today to finish the game 1-0.”

Jermaine Jenas added: “I feel like Milan coming out of this, even winning 1-0, especially with those big chances at the end they missed, will be disappointed. It should have been more.”