AC Milan 4, FC Salzburg 0: Qualified

It is November second, and Milan have already achieved their season's goal of going further in the Champions League this year than last. By obliterating Salzburg 4-0 in front of a sold out San Siro, Milan secured second spot in Group E and have qualified for the Round of 16 for the first time since 2014. The performance was dominant and ensured that the club will receive the extra cash involved for qualification as well as additional TV rights monies, even if they bow out in the next round. After a very negative performance on Sunday against Torino, Milan reacted well and are qualified.

Contract renewal and qualification all in one week. Worth celebrating.

Theo Hernández announced Milan's intentions in the third minute when he hit the outside of the post with a shot across goal. Then Giroud opened up the scoring with a header from a Tonali corner kick in the 14th minute. 1-0 Milan. He scored again in the 26th on the rebound from a great Theo shot, but it was called back for offside.

Killer instincts.

A couple of minutes later, Salzburg were hoping for a penalty when Okafor tried to shoot, but Kalulu came screeching in with a last second tackle, and Tatarusanu cleaned up. After a VAR review, however, there was no penalty, as Kalulu got enough ball (in addition to some of Okafor). Both teams traded shots, blocks, and saves for the rest of the first half. Tatarusanu actually made six saves in all in this match, some of them pretty decent.

Never underestimate Rade Krunić.

Krunić opened up the second half with a great header, and an even more fantastic assist from Giroud to make it 2-0 Milan. Ten minutes later, Giroud scored again, after Leão crossed it perfectly across the goal and Salzburg failed to clear it. 3-0 Milan. He would finish with two goals and two assists for Giroud on the night (plus the offside goal,) which I am sure inspired UEFA to select him for their Man of the Match

A deserved award for our hardworking forward

A few minutes later, there was a very scary moment when Theo was down for treatment after a foul by Gourna-Douath, who received a yellow card for his efforts, and was also subbed off shortly thereafter himself, while Theo was actually able to continue. Theo had been brilliant in this match, terrorizing Salzburg all over the pitch, as Pioli gives him license to do when he does not have a creative trequartista on the pitch.

Theo terrorized Salzburg tonight

Leão hit the bottom of the crossbar with a wicked shot, then was subbed off for Messias, while Bennacer was subbed off for Pobega in the 70th minute. Ballo-Touré and De Ketelaere replaced Theo and Krunić in the 78th minute, and finally Gabbia came on for Kalulu in the 86th. Just to ensure that Milan were not playing by mercy rules, Messias scored a brilliant goal in the 91st minute for emphasis to make it 4-0 Milan. With a Giroud assist, of course. In front of 75,000 fans.

Three goals just weren't enough

Maldini was emotional as he spoke to the media following the match about the qualification and the club's ambition for the future. I hope he is still as positive after Monday's Champions League draw, where we could lean that we will be facing one of Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, Manchester City, Tottenham, Porto, or Benfica in the Round of 16. We can worry about that on Monday, however. For now, he has once again turned water into wine. Against all odds, including injuries and ref calls, Milan are qualified. 

75,000 fans at the San Siro, a perfect stage for Milan reaching their objective

Milan Primavera finished even better than the first team

Abate's Primavera defeated FC Salzburg's U19 team 2-1 earlier in the afternoon. Lazetić and Alesi scored the goals. They finished top of Group E in the UEFA Youth League and have qualified for the Round of 16.

This post inspired by the music of the Prince & the Revolution's "Let's Go Crazy"

Our next match is 
Serie A Week 13
Milan vs. Spezia
Saturday, November 5 • 20:45 CET (3:45pm EDT)*
Central European Summer Time ended, so there is an alternate time difference
U.S. Daylight Savings Time ends Sunday morning

AC Milan 4, FC Salzburg 0: Qualified AC Milan 4, FC Salzburg 0: Qualified Reviewed by Elaine on 9:30 PM Rating: 5
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