Football News

Another disappointing Champions League exit for Spurs as Milan end an 11-year wait

By Mohamed Moallim

Published: 23:00, 8 March 2023

Tottenham was unable to overhaul a Champions League round of 16 first-leg deficit as they played out a goalless draw with AC Milan at home this evening.

Antonio Conte, back in the dugout, saw his side manage only two shots on goal as they attempted to overturn the Rossoneri‘s 1-0 lead (courtesy of Brahim Diaz) while ending with ten men after Cristian Romero was shown two yellow cards. This disappointing setback all but ended any silverware hopes for Spurs this season and further damages Conte’s already meagre record in this competition.

Even with their attacking riches — Son Heung-Min, Dejan Kulusevski and Harry Kane starting with Richarlison coming off the bench –, Spurs have failed to score in four of their eight games in this season’s competition with only FC Copenhagen (five) blanking in more games.

It also turned out to be their first goalless draw in a home game in all competitions since September 2017 against Swansea at Wembley, ending a run of 147 home games without a 0-0 stalemate.

Understandably there will be another inquest with Conte the latest manager to fail. In fact, since that memorable 3-2 win over Ajax in May 2019, the Lilywhites have failed to win any of their last five Champions League knockout matches (one draw and four losses).

As for Milan, it’s a welcome return to form. The seven-time European champions will now play their first Champions League quarter-final matches since 2011/12 when they knocked out Arsenal in the last 16.

Stefano Pioli’s men had another excellent defensive outing. By keeping a fourth consecutive clean sheet they’ve done something the club last managed between April and October 2006 back when Carlo Ancelotti’s charges were among Europe’s most feared sides.