Tottenham 0-0 Milan (0-1 agg): Conte´s side eliminated from Champions League
Milan held Tottenham to a 0-0 draw on Wednesday to preserve their 1-0 lead from the first leg and advance to the Champions League quarter-finals for the first time in 11 years.
Brahim Diaz’s goal in the early stages of the reverse fixture gave Milan something to protect at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and they did exactly that in a game of few chances.
Neither side managed an attempt on target in the first half and, while Spurs did show more urgency in the second period, there was not enough quality to break down Milan.
Spurs, who had Cristian Romero sent off 11 minutes from time for a second bookable offence, have now exited the Champions League and FA Cup in the past week.
Milan hold out!#UCL pic.twitter.com/HoGKEjGOz2
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) March 8, 2023
Kick-off was delayed by 10 minutes due to traffic congestion around the stadium and neither side truly turned up in the first half.
The onus was on Tottenham to find a goal but Emerson’s deflected shot, which failed to test Mike Maignan, was the best they could muster and they were booed off at half-time.
Stand-in Spurs goalkeeper Fraser Forster was called into action early in the second period when keeping out Diaz’s shot with his feet.
Maignan was finally required with 63 minutes played, but Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg’s angled drive was simple enough to deal with.
Romero flew into a challenge on Theo Hernandez to receive a second booking, yet Harry Kane so nearly salvaged extra time when his header was superbly kept out by Maignan.
There was to be no late drama, though, with Divock Origi going closest to making the breakthrough on the day when hitting the post at the end of a late breakaway attack.
What does it mean? Unhappy return for Conte
Antonio Conte was back in the dugout after recovering from gallbladder surgery, but the big question now is just how long he will remain there as Spurs head coach?
Tottenham were knocked out of the FA Cup by second-tier Sheffield United in his absence and now only have a top-four finish in the Premier League to play for.
As for Milan, their hopes of retaining the Scudetto have long been over, but this second win away at an English club in 22 games ensures they remain alive in Europe.
Kane epitomises Spurs’ struggles
The four shots in the first half of this second leg were the fewest attempted before half-time of a Champions League game this season.
Spurs quite simply did not get going, with Kane – who finishes with just one goal in eight Champions League games this season – unable to test Maignan until added time.
Tomori thwarts Tottenham
While Tottenham were hugely disappointing, Milan deserve credit for limiting their opponents to pretty much just one clear-cut opportunity across the two legs.
Fikayo Tomori in particular was brilliant at the back for the visitors, finishing with the most clearances (four) of and most blocks (two) of any player on his return to London.
Key Opta Stats:
– Tottenham have failed to win any of their last five Champions League knockout matches (D1 L4) since a 3-2 win over Ajax in May 2019.
– This was Spurs’ 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 draw.
– Milan have kept four consecutive clean sheets in the Champions League for the first time since doing so between April and October 2006.
– Romero became only the second Tottenham player to be sent off in a Champions League knockout match, along with Peter Crouch in April 2011 against Real Madrid in that season’s quarter-finals.
Tottenham are back in home action on Saturday when they take on Nottingham Forest in the Premier League, while Milan host Salernitana in Serie A next Monday.
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