Milan vs Salzburg 4-0: Rossoneri Go Through in Champions League

In the final match of the Champions League Group Stage, Milan dispatched Salzburg 4-0 to qualify for a spot in the Round of 16.

After resting several starters over the weekend, Milan manager Stefano Pioli ran out a near-full strength starting 11. The 4-2-3-1 saw Ante Rebic start on the right wing, while Ciprian Tatarusanu replaced Mike Maignan, who is out with a long-term injury.

Needing a win to advance, Salzburg deployed an attacking 4-3-3. From the front, Noah Okafor and Junior Adamu headlined the forwards, both having scored six league goals this season.

The First Half

Just a few minutes in, the match got off to a quick start when Ante Rebic won the ball off of the Salzburg backline. Despite appearing to commit a foul, the Croatian found Theo Hernandez outside of the box, but the Frenchman drove his shot off the goalpost.

As Salzburg needed to win to advance out of the group, the Austrians deployed an aggressive press. At times, the high block created problems for Milan in the defensive third, but the Rossoneri were able to frequently break out of it.

Less than 15 minutes in, Milan scored the first goal of the game on a corner kick from Sandro Tonali. The midfielder served in a wonderful cross, and, despite being tightly marked, Olivier Giroud headed the ball into the back of the net.

Later, Giroud appeared to score his second after Salzburg goalkeeper Philipp Kohn coughed up the ball. However, he was in an offside position by about a foot, and the goal was called back by the Assistant Referee.

As halftime approached, Salzburg gained momentum and began to pressure Milan’s four-man backline. However, Ciprian Tatarusanu played well, and the hosts went into the locker room with a 1-0 lead.

The Second Half

After the break, Salzburg made an immediate substitution, replacing Oumar Solet with full-back Bernando to increase their attacking prowess.

Less than three minutes after play resumed, Milan scored an excellent team goal, which all but confirmed their place in the group. From the channel, Rebic played in a cross to Giroud, and the striker headed the ball down to Rade Krunic, who converted the chance with ease.

Just ten minutes later, the hosts scored their third goal of the night on a brilliant run by Rafael Leao. The winger dribbled the ball around the length of the box and played in a low cross that found Giroud. The striker fired the ball into the net, picking up the brace.

In stoppage time, Junior Messias picked up a fourth goal from the bench, cutting into the box and curling the ball into the far corner of the net.

With the win, the Rossoneri finish group play in second-place, behind only Chelsea. They will find out who they face in the Round of 16 with a draw on 7 November.