Milan vs Porto 1-1: Rossoneri Knockout Hopes Hang by Thread

Milan got their first point of the Champions League this season as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Porto. The Rossoneri conceded first courtesy of Luis Diaz, who netted his ninth goal of 2021/22. Porto had a few chances to extend their lead but could not do so.

Milan however, did not hold back and tried their best for an equalizer, getting it in the 61st minute thanks to Chancel Mbemba’s own goal. Zlatan Ibrahimovic appeared to have won the match for them in the 82nd minute but his goal was ruled out for offside.

The Rossoneri needed to win today’s game but Stefano Pioli might not be too disappointed with the result given the number of chances Porto had to extend their lead.

There were a few changes to Milan’s XI from their victory in Rome with skipper Alessio Romagnoli starting ahead of Simon Kjaer. Sandro Tonali replaced Franck Kessie while Brahim Diaz was starting in his first game since recovering from coronavirus. Ibrahimovic was on the bench and Pioli fielded Olivier Giroud upfront.

Porto manager Sergio Conceicao made three changes to the team that thrashed Boavista 4-1 with Mbemba starting in central defense after not featuring in the last couple of games. The central midfield duo was Sergio Oliveira and Marko Grujic, replacing Vitinha and the injured Mateus Uribe. 

Porto could not have asked for a better start as Diaz opened the scoring after just six minutes thanks to the chance that was created by Grujic. The Serb had a couple of good chances to double his team’s lead but he was foiled by Ciprian Tatarusanu. Porto were dominated in possession but they had a lot more attempts on goal. Unfortunately, nothing came of them.

Milan did not create too many chances during the first half but had a very good chance of equalising through Olivier Giroud. However, the Frenchman’s shot was saved by Porto goalie Diogo Costa.

The Rossoneri had another opportunity to make it 1-1 just before half-time when Diaz made a run forward and passed to Rafael Leao. The 22-year-old’s cross reached Alexis Saelemakers, whose left-footed shot was well over the crossbar.

Milan made one change during the interval, which was bringing on Pierre Kalulu in place of Davide Calabria. The Rossoneri started the second half well and had a glorious chance to equalize when Theo Hernandez’s precise pass found Leao one-on-one with Costa. The Portuguese nearly went past the goalkeeper but his shot hit the side netting. 

Just a few minutes later, Porto nearly made it 2-0 when Pepe’s header from a free-kick found Evanilson, who headed it onto the crossbar.

Milan eventually found their equalizer just after the hour-mark. Ismael Bennacer’s free-kick was blocked by the wall but the ball went towards Giroud, whose shot was parried by Costa towards Kalulu. The Frenchman’s shot went through the goalie’s legs before being poked in by Mbemba.

As the second half progressed, a number of substitutions were made by both teams with Ibrahimovic coming on, among others. The Swede appeared to have given Milan the lead but his goal was ruled out for offside.

Both sides looked desperate to find a winner but no further goals were scored and the match ended 1-1. Milan aren’t eliminated from the Champions League but their chances of qualification keep getting slimmer and slimmer. 

The Rossoneri will have to win their remaining two group games against Liverpool and Atletico Madrid and hope that other results go their way if they are to qualify for the knockout stages.

Next up for Pioli & Co. is the Milan Derby against Inter on Sunday.



November 3, 2021 – Champions League 2021-2022 Group B

SCORERS: 11′ Luis Diaz (P), 61′ Mbemba (P, o.g.)

MILAN (4-2-3-1): Tatarusanu, Calabria (46′ Kalulu), Tomori, Romagnoli, Hernandez, Tonali (68′ Kessie), Bennacer, Saelemakers, Diaz (68′ Krunic), Leao (85′ Maldini), Giroud (76′ Ibrahimovic) (Mirante, Jungdal, Kjaer, Bakayoko, Gabbia) Coach: Pioli
PORTO (4-4-2): Costa, Mario, Pepe, Mbemba, Sanusi, Otavio (86′ Martinez), Grujic, Oliveira (69′ Vitinha), Diaz (79′ Costa), Taremi (85′ Pepe), Evanilson (79′ Conceicao) (Marchesi, Cardoso, Ramos, Corona, Manafa, Nanu, Vieira) Coach: Sergio Conceicao

REFEREE: Turpin (France)
NOTES: Yellow Cards: Pioli (M), Grujic (P), Tomori (M), Mbemba (P), Vitinha (P), F. Conceicao (P) ; Added Time: 1st Half 2′, 2nd Half 3′