GNK Dinamo Zagreb 0, AC Milan 4: Clear Message

After being robbed of any possibility of a result at home against Chelsea by referee Daniel Siebert, Milan needed three points in this match to maintain a chance of progressing to the Round of 16. Despite having Tomori suspended, also thanks to Mr. Siebert, and having so many players unavailable, Milan sent a clear message regarding their intentions with a 4-0 win over Dinamo Zagreb in Croatia.

All three on target to send a clear message about Milan's intentions to progress

The first 15 minutes were all Milan, although Dinamo's defense did well to prevent any shots on target. It was Dinamo who forced the first saves, actually, but Tatarusanu was up for the task, even trying to be like Maignan by coming way off of his line, but luckily Dinamo was not able to take advantage of it. Rebić did everything he could to score against a club that was once a rival for him, and in the 27th had the best chance up to that point, but was blocked by three desperate Dinamo defenders.

Great way to score your first goal

Gabbia was nutmegged by Mašić in the 28th, but Tatarusanu was able to save the shot. Then Milan were on the offensive again, forcing saves of Livaković with chances from Giroud and Leão. Rebić had a foul that could have been a yellow, but a level-headed referee, Marciniak, only gave him a warning. Less than five minutes later, Tonali sent a cross in, and it was Gabbia, in only his second Champions League start, who scored with a diving header. 1-0 Milan. Dinamo allowed Milan's former youth players to shine, having conceded a Pobega goal on his first Champions League appearance in the first leg.

Leão surfed his way right through the Dinamo defense

The second half kicked off with a De Ketelaere yellow card for an accidental stamp, he had a fantastic first half, and actually followed the card up with a great shot that was blocked, too. But it was Leão who scored next, with a great run and a little help from Theo in the 50th to make it 2-0 Milan. Pioli pulled De Ketelaere off shortly thereafter, replacing him with Krunić, who was reportedly not 100% fit, so had not started. This was a special appearance for him, though, as it marked his 100th appearance for Milan.

Giroud was never going to miss from the spot

Dinamo were not going to come back into the game, although to their credit they tried. Unfortunately, in the 58th, Ljubočić fouled Tonali in the box and earned a yellow card and a penalty for Milan. Giroud stepped up and converted it to make it 3-0 Milan. Then poor Ljubičic, who had also conceded the penalty, scored an own goal in the 69th minute, heading in a ball that was meant for Rebić. 4-0 Milan.

Rebić was so close to scoring, it hurt

Although the third goal put the game completely out of their reach, Tatarusanu still was called upon for a few more saves, he would make six saves in all. At the other end, despite conceding four goals, Livaković actually made seven saves. Kjaer was a beast, and Gabbia's goal made up for any errors he made, while Kalulu and Theo Hernández secured the flanks. Bennacer was flawless, and Tonali was UEFA's Man of the Match after being rested on the weekend.

Pioli brought on Messias, Pobega, and Ballo-Touré on in the 70th to rest Leão, Bennacer, and Theo Hernández respectively. After a Giroud header was saved once again, Pioli replaced him to give Origi ten minutes. Pobega actually scored a goal in the 82nd, but it was called back for offside. Krunić took a shot that Livaković managed to tip just wide, and Rebić had one final shot in the 88th, but he also sent it just wide.

An assist and overall beast performance to be named UEFA's Man of the Match

There can be no question as to Milan's intentions in the Champions League. They may have been down seven players with several others not 100% fit and playing away in a hostile, sold out stadium, but they took control of the match and did not let up. Milan scored four goals away for only the fourth time in the Champions League, according to @OptaPaolo. They finally grew into their white kits, with their first solid performance in the away kits all season long. It was the Champions League performance we wanted to see, without the refereeing controversy we did not. Now Milan sit in second place in Group E, and any result home against Salzburg next week will see us through to the Round of 16. This was a clear message.

This post inspired by the music of the Muse's "Feelin' Good"

Celebrating the Primavera moving on to the knockout round of the UEFA Youth League

Abate's Primavera defeated GNK Dinamo Zagreb's U19 team 2-1 earlier in the afternoon. They are still top of Group E in the UEFA Youth League and have qualified for the knockout round.

Our next match is 
Serie A Week 12
Torino vs. Milan
Saturday, October 30 • 20:45 CET (3:45pm EDT)*
Central European Summer Time ends Sunday, so there is an alternate time difference

GNK Dinamo Zagreb 0, AC Milan 4: Clear Message GNK Dinamo Zagreb 0, AC Milan 4: Clear Message Reviewed by Elaine on 11:00 PM Rating: 5
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