Malaga secured a famous result at the San Siro, drawing 1-1 with AC Milan to qualify from the Champions League group stage at the first time of asking.
Portuguese midfielder Eliseu was on target for the visitors in the first half and, whilst Alexandre Pato equalised for the hosts, the Spanish debutants were able to enjoy a historic night in the competition.
Off colour Milan have lost five of their first eight Serie A matches this term, their worst start to a campaign since the 1941-42 season, so it was little surprise their fans jeered them off at half-time, even though they were not playing badly.
Their supporters expect more though and Milan needed a second half header from Brazilian striker Pato to earn a point and stay second in the group.
In fact Milan were the better of the two teams but this is not a vintage Rossoneri side and they still have a lot to improve on this season. They took the initiative in this fixture but lacked the cutting edge, although their 13 shots at Malaga's goal, in contrast to the visitors’ three shots on target, tells its own story.
The Italians also won 11 corner kicks, whilst Malaga had just one, but the hosts were unable to convert any of those set pieces. Indeed Pato’s goal in an otherwise anonymous performance by the forward came in the 73rd minute from open play, as Kevin Constant delivered a great left foot cross to be headed home at the far post.
It was the first goal Malaga have conceded in Group C, in a superb debut campaign for the Andalusian outfit. They had gone ahead just before half-time with a nicely worked goal converted by Eliseu, after Isco dribbled through the midfield to set him up.
Malaga stay top of the group with 10 points from four games while Milan have five. Elsewhere in the group Anderlecht beat Zenit St Petersburg 1-0 at the Stade Constant Vanden Stock, meaning that qualification is still wide open for each team involved.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Willy: Malaga – The Argentine goalkeeper was on fine form for the visitors, saving a number of goal-bound Milan shots and securing a great result for the Spanish side.
AC MILAN: Abbiati 7, Mexes 6, Abate 5, Bonera 6, Montolivo 6, Constant 7, Emanuelson 7, De Jong 7, Pato 7, Bojan Krkic 7, El Shaarawy 6. Subs: De Sciglio 6, Boateng 6, Robinho 6.
MALAGA: Willy 8, Gamez 7, Weligton 7, Demichelis 6, Sergio Sanchez 6, Camacho 7, Joaquin 7, Iturra 7, Eliseu 8, Isco 8, Saviola 6. Subs: Toulalan 6, Seba 6, Santa Cruz 6.
- Sports & Recreation
- Alexandre Pato
- AC Milan