Porto vs Milan 1-0: Luis Diaz Condemns Rossoneri to Third Loss

Milan came home from Porto with another Champions League loss under their belt. The Rossoneri succumbed to a lone goal from Luis Diaz on Tuesday night and virtually bode farewell to the top European Competition.

Paired with Liverpool, Atletico Madrid and the Portuguese champions in arguably one of the toughest pools in the Group Stage, few could expect that the young Rossoneri would survive the group of death. Still, tonight’s game at the Estadio do Dragao, which resulted in their third loss in a row, was the most disappointing one played by Stefano Pioli’s band in their European campaign so far.

Pioli’s lineup problems were well known, with Mike Maignan, Theo Hernandez, and Brahim Diaz all unavailable, as well as Franck Kessié – who was serving a one-match ban for his expulsion in the game with Atletico. The French full back was replaced by Fodé Ballo-Touré while Rade Krunic took Diaz’s “number 10” spot, joining Alexis Saelemaekers and Rafael Leao behind center forward Olivier Giroud.

Porto’s start was aggressive as the white-and-blues resorted to hard measures to keep the Rossoneri at bay. Wendell was spared an early yellow card by referee Felix Brych while Sergio Oliveira and Matheus Uribe were booked for their hard tackles.

The Dragoes approach, however, succeeded in pushing Milan back in their own half. The Rossoneri were intimidated, with Fikayo Tomori appearing unusually careless.

After just five minutes, Luis Diaz hit the post with a powerful conclusion from outside the box. Porto continued to be in control for the full first half though their chances were never extremely dangerous.

On 18 minutes, their one-touch exchanges put Mehdi Taremi in condition to strike but the Iranian’s curling effort went wide of the net. His next attempt, a header from a corner kick, produced the same outcome. And when Taremi finally managed to hit the goal target, Simon Kjaer saved the day with an acrobatic clearance to keep the score unchanged.

Milan’s only chance in the first half fell on Olivier Giroud’s head but the Frenchman didn’t exactly made the best out of a fine Rafael Leao service. Giroud also produced himself in a spectacular overhead kick that went wide by a few inches, though the offside flag was up.

The trend didn’t seem to change after the restart and so, after Porto had threatened the Milan goal with no success a few more times, Stefano Pioli came up with a triple substitution as he brought in Pierre Kalulu, Alessio Romagnoli and, moreover, Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Zlatan’s first effort was a free kick taken from sidereal distance that sent the ball crashing into the stands of the Estadio do Dragao. That was all the Swede could produce, though he received little service from his teammates.

On 65 minutes, Porto took a lead that few would call undeserved. It was Luis Diaz to find the back of the net, piercing Ciprian Tatarusanu with a deadly right-foot conclusion from the edge of the box. Milan protested over an alleged Taremi foul on Ismael Bennacer in the build-up but Felix Brych didn’t want to hear it.

There was little else to report as the game got more and more fragmented by fouls and interruptions as minutes went by. Pioli’s additional substitutions in Tiémoué Bakayoko and Daniel Maldini added little value to the mix. Porto goalkeeper Diogo Costa suffered no threat whatsoever and the Dragoes were able to wrap their first win of this Champions League campaign without sweating too much in the latest stages of the game.

Milan might be having an exciting Serie A campaign but there’s still a long way to walk before they can come back to play on the European stage as a protagonist. 



October 19, 2021 – Champions League 2021-2022 Group B

SCORERS: 65′ Luis Diaz

PORTO (4-4-2): Diogo Costa; Joao Mario, Pepe, Mbemba, Wendell (46′ Sanusi); Sergio Oliveira (67′ Vitinha), Uribe, Otavio, Luis Diaz; Evanilson (67′ Corona), Taremi (83′ Toni Martinez) (Marchesìn, Aquino Cossa, M. Lopez, Grujic, Vieira, F. Conceição, Costa, Manafa, Marcano) Coach: Sergio Conceicao
MILAN (4-2-3-1): Tatarusanu; Calabria, Tomori (58′ Romagnoli), Kjaer, Ballo-Touré (58′ Kalulu); Kessié, Tonali (66′ Tonali); Saelemaekers, Krunic (82′ Maldini), Rafael Leao; Giroud (58′ Ibrahimovic) (Jungdal, Desplanches, Gabbia) Coach: Pioli

REFEREE: Brych (Germany)
NOTES: Yellow Cards: Sergio Oliveira, Uribe (P), Tomori, Giroud, Kalulu, Ibrahimovic, Rafael Leao (M); Added Time: 1st Half 2′, 2nd Half 5′