AC Milan came from behind to topple Paris Saint-Germain 2-1 in an enthralling Champions League encounter at the San Siro, blowing the so-called ‘group of death’ wide open.
Winless in their opening three Group F games, Milan had revenge on their minds following a dismal 3-0 defeat at the Parc des Princes last time out, knowing anything less than three points would probably rule them out of contention for a top-two finish.
However, PSG got off to a flying start. Marquinhos flicked the ball from the resulting corner to the back post, with ex-Inter Milan defender pouncing on it to make it 1-0 in the ninth minute.
Despite suffering an early setback, Stefano Pioli’s men recovered quickly as Yunus Musah forced a brilliant save from ex-Rossoneri goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma moments later.
Two minutes after the Italian’s save, Milan netted the equaliser. Olivier Giroud received the ball in his stride and unleashed a thunderous strike inside the box, with Donnarumma thwarting him.
But the ball fell nicely for Rafael Leao, who slotted home an acrobatic bicycle kick to level the score and get the Serie A giants off the mark in the 2023/24 Champions League campaign.
Chances kept flying around in the first half.
PSG came close to regaining the lead in the 27th minute. Ousmane Dembele set himself up nicely just outside the box and pulled the trigger heading to the top corner, but the crossbar stood in his way.
Milan replied instantaneously through Olivier Giroud, who picked up an inviting through ball on the edge of PSG’s penalty area and hit the side netting with a thumping shot from an acute angle.
Pioli’s side tried again late in the first half, with Fikayo Tomori taking a decent free-kick, though Donnarumma was equal to it to secure parity at half-time.
It took Milan just five minutes into the second half to turn the game on its head.
Hernandez whipped in a superb cross from the left flank. Giroud destroyed Skriniar in the air to connect with his compatriot’s teasing ball and find the top corner.
Milan could’ve doubled their advantage just after the hour mark. Yet Donnarumma made a stunning diving save to parry Hernandez’s well-taken free-kick from long range.
The Italian stopper’s incredible performance against his former side went in vain, as PSG couldn’t find a way past the Rossoneri backline for the rest of the game.
Leao ran the show at the San Siro, taking every opportunity to torment Achraf Hakimi, Marquinhos and Skriniar with his trademark runs down the flank.
Noah Okafor, who took the Portuguese winger’s place in the 84th minute, had a glorious opportunity to put the game to bed second after joining the fray.
The Austrian forward eased past his marker to go one-on-one with Donnarumma, but the Italy international came out victorious to earn a round of jeers from the home crowd.
Okafor’s miss could’ve cost Milan dearly as Kang-in Lee almost stunned the San Siro into silence on the cusp of stoppages, but his shot rattled off the post.
Milan weathered a late storm to get into the win column for the first time after four straight competitive games without winning, setting the tone for a nail-biting Group F finale.
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