Ten-man AC Milan shot themselves in their foot as Atletico Madrid came from a goal down to secure pivotal UEFA Champions League win.

Late drama ensued at the San Siro as Spanish champions Atletico Madrid mounted a second-half comeback to defeat AC Milan 2-1 in stoppage time. It was the Italian giants’ first home game in the Champions League since their 1-0 defeat against the same opponents in 2014. They got off to a bright start with Rafael Leao giving them the lead in the 20th minute.

Ecstasy turned into agony just nine minutes later as midfielder Franck Kessie received his marching orders for two quickfire yellows. The Ivory Coast international’s exit turned the tide of the game and saw Atletico seize the initiative.

Diego Simeone’s men piled on the pressure but were unable to make anything happen. In fact, they only had their first shot at goal in the 76th minute of the game. In fact, it was still Milan who looked likelier to score and Leao saw an effort come off the bar. Substitute Antoine Griezmann scored his first goal for the club since his return in the 84th minute to draw Atletico level.

It sparked a large frenzy that saw both Antonio Florenzi and Joao Felix go close at either end. The deadlock was broken in a heartbreaking fashion in stoppage time when Pierre Kalulu gave away a penalty. Luis Suarez did not need further encouragement and stepped forward to strike the ball past a despairing Mike Maignan to give his side the win.

Milan, for all their effort, ended the game empty-handed and now have ground to cover in their aim to qualify for the round of 16. With Liverpool winning both their games, the Rossoneri now go into the double header with FC Porto knowing nothing less than six points will do. It is rather unfortunate that despite such a good performance, Stefano Pioli’s side are yet to put up any points on the board.

Had it not been for poor game management from Kessie and a few rather close refereeing decisions, they could have had a night to remember at the San Siro. We now take a look at how the players from both sides fared on the night.

AC Milan

Mike Maignan: 6/10

There was little for the Frenchman to do apart from picking the ball out of his net on two occasions. Marshalled his defence well and held the fort when called upon. He made a couple of smart saves including one from Joao Felix late into the game. Will be unhappy with himself at being beaten down the middle for the decisive penalty.

Davide Calabria: 6/10

The AC Milan vice-captain contributed not only in the defensive phase but also while going forward. A fine performance by the 24-year-old, whose night out deserved much more.

Fikayo Tomori: 8/10

The Englishman is steadily establishing himself as a rock in the Milan rearguard. A stellar performance that saw Tomori make several interceptions and largely neutralise Atletico’s attack. Cannot be faulted for any of the Spanish side’s goals and was solid on his end.

Alessio Romagnoli: 7/10

The skipper continued from where he left off against Spezia and held his own well. Could have done better to track his man in the lead-up to Atletico’s equaliser.

Theo Hernandez: 7/10

Solid at the back and made a number of adventurous ventures upfront. His temper threatened to boil over at times but Theo kept it together to prevent Milan further problems.

Franck Kessie: 2/10

The Ivorian had a night to forget and his dismissal changed the game for both sides. Kessie never quite got going in the game and got himself into trouble early on with a 15th minute caution. he would not last half an hour and received his marching orders for another foul in the 29th minute.

Milan can consider themselves hard done by for the second yellow but the midfielder should really be doing better given that he was already on thin ice. His departure handed Atletico the initiative, one that would eventually cost Milan dear.

Ismael Bennacer: 7/10

A cool, calm presence for Milan in the middle of the park. Stepped up in Kessie absence and helped Milan keep their shape. Made several key interceptions and was available all over the pitch.

Brahim Diaz: 7/10

Diaz was the hero against Spezia at the weekend and followed it up with arguably his best performance of the season. The 22-year-old started brightly and made the assist for Leao’s opener. Was available to bomb forward when he could but found opportunities hard to come by following Kessie’s red card.

Alexis Saelemaekers: 6/10

A comparatively quiet night for the Belgian, who has been in top form for Milan in the last few weeks. A man down, his focus was primarily to defend and he did it well on the right flank. The difference he makes for the team was visible when he was taken off for Kalulu in the second half. Earned himself a yellow for pulling back Joao Felix.

Rafael Leao: 7/10

There was little chance of Leao not making the starting XI following his heroics against Spezia. He was a constant thorn in the Atletico defence and gave Milan the lead with a well-taken effort in the 20th minute. Despite being a man down he did his best and hit the crossbar with an audacious bicycle kick. Largely isolated in the second half and was forced to feed off scraps as Milan went on the defensive.

Ante Rebic: 6/10

The Croat was taken off at half-time after an anonymous display against Spezia at the weekend. It appears to have jolted him and he put in a much better showing against Atletico. Had an excellent chance in the first half and should have done better to beat Jan Oblak. Taken off for Sandro Tonali early on as Milan restructured their formation following Kessie’s dismissal.


Sandro Tonali: 7/10

The youngster came on early on as Milan looked to cope with Kessie’s absence. Kept the ball well and sided his defence with passion. Picked up a slight knock, something Milan will hope is not serious.

Fode Ballo-Toure: 6/10

Solid at the back and had few opportunities to get forward. Could have done better but then did not really do much wrong either.

Olivier Giroud: 4/10

A difficult player to rate given the absolute lack of service afforded to him on the night. Held the ball up well when he got it but failed to do much afterwards.

Alessandro Florenzi: 5/10

Lost his man for Atletico’s equaliser. He went close with an effort on the other end late on but by then the damage had already been done.

Pierre Kalulu: 5/10

Made one good interception but gave away the decisive penalty on the night. In his defence, there was little he could have done to prevent the ball from hitting his arm. A victim of the rather stringent rules we see in the game today.

Atletico Madrid

Jan Oblak: 6/10

Held the fort early on as Milan started on the front foot. Reacted smartly to deny Ante Rebic but could do little about Leao’s opener. The Portuguese forward beat the Atletico goalkeeper once again only for his attempt to rebound off the crossbar. Had little to do in the second half but was alert to thwart Florenzi when called upon.

Kieran Trippier: 5/10

It was not just Milan who restructured following Kessie’s sending off. Tripper made way for Joao Felix as Diego Simeone looked to seize the initiative and take the game to the home side.

Jose Gimenez: 6/10

The Uruguayan was far from his best and missed a critical interception in the lead-up to Leao’s opener. Largely spared in the second half as Milan approached the game with a defence first policy.

Felipe: 6/10

A largely unremarkable performance where he did little wrong. Mustered up his side’s first shot on target in the 76th minute with a long-range effort that Maignan had covered.

Mario Hermoso: 6/10

Did not do much wrong. He was, however, taken off as Simeone added more offensive options on the field to take the game to Milan.

Marcos Llorente: 5/10

A quiet outing for the Spaniard, who had little to no notable moments in the game. A pale shadow of the mercurial player who hounded opposition defences in seasons past.

SAN SEBASTIAN, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 14: Marcos Llorente of Atletico de Madrid looks on prior to the warm up during the Liga match between Real Sociedad and Club Atletico de Madrid at Estadio Reale Arena on September 14, 2019 in San Sebastian, Spain. (Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images)

Marcos Llorente struggled to impress for Atletico. (Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images)

Geoffrey Kondogbia: 4/10

Another midfielder who was disappointing on the night. Caught out of position numerous times but Milan could not drive home the advantage. Kessie’s sending off gave him some breathing space as the home side went on the defensive. Picked up a warning or a rather needless challenge.

Koke: 4/10

Little said about him the better. A truly disappointing outing for the Spanish international, who saw the game pass him by. Taken off for Antoine Griezmann, who would prove to be a bigger threat on the night for Milan.

Yannick Carrasco: 4/10

Nothing to write home about as the midfielder was taken off at half-time. Lacked both imagination and drive in a rather dour 45-minute outing.

Andrea Correa: 3/10

Might as well have been wearing Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak and was an anonymous presence on the pitch. One would be forgiven for thinking it was Atletico who were down to 10 players.

Luis Suarez: 6/10

Age has caught up with the veteran striker who struggled to impose himself on the night. Credit should also be given to Tomori and Romagnoli who marshalled him well. Had the last laugh with his stoppage-time penalty, his first away goal in the competition for some time. A player whose talents are on the wane, he appears to be on his last legs at the top level.


Joao Felix: 6/10

The youngster was not exemplary but provided an outlet for attacking moves after coming on. Felix had a hand in almost all of Atletico’s attacks and should have started the game over Correa. Forced Maignan into an excellent save late on.

Renan Lodi: 6/10

Came on for Hermoso and instantly provided an attacking outlet down the left. Got himself an assist for Griezmann’s opener.

Antoine Griezmann: 7/10

The French superstar has struggled since returning to the Wanda Metropolitano this summer. He grabbed his first goal of the season on the night and will hope it is a sign of better things to come.

Rodrigo De Paul: 5/10

An ineffectual performance by the Argentine who is capable of so much more. An opportunity missed to show off his abilities.

Thomas Lemar: 5/10

The Frenchman replaced Kondogbia in the 64th minute as Atletico looked to tighten the screws. His most notable contribution was to win the rather contentious penalty that Suarez scored to win the game. Did precious little otherwise.

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