Loading...
Loading Live Scoring...
*All times CAT (GMT+2)

Football | Champions League

Danny celebrates © Reuters Images

Zenit off to Europa with Milan win



Zenit St Petersburg booked a Europa League place with a 1-0 win away to a depleted AC Milan side thanks to a first-half goal by captain Danny in their final Champions League Group C match on Tuesday.

Massimiliano Allegri's Milan, already in the last 16 of the Champions League by finishing second, made eight changes to the side that won 3-1 at Catania in Serie A on Friday.

They still dominated the match but, apart from a penalty appeal after four minutes when Giampaolo Pazzini seemed to be fouled by Bruno Alves, Milan created few chances until they brought on their first choice strikers late in the game.

Zenit opened the scoring after 35 minutes when Danny snapped up a loose ball from a weak tackle and stroked home the decisive goal that ensured the Russian side finished above Anderlecht, who came bottom of the group after a 2-2 draw at Malaga.

Milan came close to equalising in the 73rd when Bojan Krkic embarked on a fine piece of dribbling but let the ball run away from him just before he could shoot and the resulting clearance flew past Pazzini's outstretched leg.

Milan brought on their Brazil forward Robinho and Serie A top scorer Stephan El Shaarawy to try to get something from the game and they each had a chance to level the score.

Robinho went close with a curling right foot strike after 83 minutes and two minutes later El Shaarawy dragged an effort wide with his left foot but it was too little too late.

Zenit held on for the win that secured third spot in the group and a place in the Europa League with seven points, one behind the Italians and two ahead of Anderlecht. Champions league debutants Malaga topped the group with 12 points.

"I'm disappointed that we lost, but the team played well. We conceded the goal from the first chance we gave them," said Allegri.

"They committed ten more fouls than us and when you commit more fouls it means that you're nearer the ball, in for more tackles.

"We might have had more of the ball, but when it came to tackles we weren't aggressive enough and, in fact, that's how they scored their goal."

Milan midfielder Mathieu Flamini, who started only his fourth game this season, added: "It's a shame because we played well, created chances but couldn't get that shot away.

"We're disappointed because we created the play, we kept the ball well but they scored that goal after which they put themselves behind the ball and played defence."

Shop

Gerrard: My Autobiography
Steven Gerrard is a hero to millions, not only as the inspirational captain of Liverpool FC, but as a key member of the England team.
R161.00
Rafa: My Story
Revelatory memoir from the greatest sportsman in the world today.
R182.00
Mitre Monde Soccer Ball - White
Voted as one of the UK's favourite match balls
R219.00


Comments

More expert analysis and opinion from Sport24
The opinions expressed by Sport24 experts and bloggers are theirs alone, and do not necessarily represent those of SuperSport

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Other Live Streaming

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Sports Talk



Carol Radull
How do you pay tribute to Thierry Henry?
If you’re a fan of the classic musical “The Sound of Music” then you will be familiar with the...

Dr Errol Sweeney
Some refs invite criticism
Why is it that some referees appear to invite criticism? Why is it that some referees put a...

Neil Tovey
Backing Tinkler for the big time
With Vladimir Vermezovic having jumped ship, Orlando Pirates find themselves in a state of flux.

Chima Emmanuel Aguma
Wenger in or out? I say out!
After Arsenal’s loss to Stoke City this past weekend, the call for Arsene Wenger to step down as...

Sunday Oliseh
Football's new undisputed best club?
When Barcelona appointed Pep Guardiola as head coach in 2008, their primary objective was to stop...

Arjun Vidyarthi
Make or break time
Ten years ago today, I remember Andy Gray's iconic commentary at Anfield, when Steven Gerrard...