Live Commentary: AC Milan 0-0 Ajax - as it happened

AC Milan's midfielder Riccardo Montolivo fights for the ball with Ajax's midfielder Davy Klaassen during the group H Champions League football match AC Milan vs Ajax, on December 11, 2013
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Sports Mole brings you live text commentary of the Champions League match between AC Milan and Ajax at the San Siro.

AC Milan hosted Ajax in their Champions League Group H tie at the San Siro.

The visitors needed to win to go through to the knockout stages, while a draw would send Milan into the last 16.

Ajax's cause was helped when Riccardo Montolivo picked up a red card for a foul on Christian Poulsen in the first half.

The Dutch side dominated the game, but could not make the breakthrough, allowing Milan to progress from the group.

Read how the action unfolded below.


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6.46pmGood evening and welcome to Sports Mole’s live text commentary of the Champions League match between AC Milan and Ajax at the San Siro.

6.49pmIt is the final night of the group stages, and both these teams can make it through to the last 16. AC Milan have eight points in Group H and are one point ahead of Celtic. They just need a draw to go through, while the visitors need three points to stay in the tournament.

6.52pmAC MILAN XI: Abbiati, De Sciglio, Zapata, Constant, Bonera, Muntari, Montolivo, De Jong, Kaka, Balotelli, El Shaarawy

6.53pmAC MILAN SUBS: Coppola, Mexes, Zaccardo, Poli, Nocerino, Emanuelson, Matri

6.54pmAJAX XI: Cillessen, Van Rhijn, Blind, Poulsen, Moisander, Denswil, Klaassen, Serero, Krkic, Schone, Fischer

6.55pmAJAX SUBS: Vermeer, Van der Hoorn, Ligeon, Sigthorsson, Andersen, Hoesen, De Sa.

6.58pmMilan name a strong lineup with Stephan El Shaarawy coming into the attack to play alongside Mario Balotelli and Kaka. The young striker has missed much of the season through injury but will be pleased he has a chance to stake his claim for a place this evening.

7.02pmBojan Krkic spent the season on loan at Milan last year, and will be keen to dent their hopes of progressing to the last 16 this evening. Another big player for Ajax is forward Davy Klaassen, who has scored five goals in his last four games, but hasn't found the net in the group stages.

7.05pmThe other match taking place in Group H tonight sees Barcelona take on Celtic at the Camp Nou. If the visitors manage to pull of an unlikely win, then Milan can top the group with three points here.

7.08pmOne man who is in fine form coming into the game, is Milan striker Balotelli. The forward scored twice at the weekend in his side's draw with Livorno, with the second goal a stunning long range free kick. His manager Massimiliano Allegri said this week that he can be "devastating" when he is at his best.

7.12pmAjax won 2-0 at the San Siro on their last visit in 2010, but they were playing against a Milan side that had already secured qualification to the knockout stages.

7.15pmThere could be cause for celebration tonight should Kaka find the back of the net. The Brazilian is one goal shy of 100 for Milan and it surely won't be too long before he hits that landmark.

7.18pmUPDATE: It hasn't been a good day for Italian teams in Europe. Galatasaray beat Juventus 1-0 earlier this afternoon, in a match that was replayed following yesterday's terrible weather conditions in Turkey. Wesley Sneijder scored the only goal of the game with five minutes left to play, to ensure they finished second in the group, with Juventus having to settle for a place in the Europa League.

7.22pmAnother Italian side whose fate hangs in the balance is Napoli, who face Arsenal this evening, and could go out of the Champions League even with a victory. If they win by three clear goals or better Borussia Dortmund's result against Marseille then they will go through. It is a tricky situation, that could see a team go out of the group stages with 12 points.

7.25pmMilan may have to win the Champions League this season, in order to book a place in the competition for next year. They are currently ninth in Serie A, and are a massive 22 points behind leaders Juventus. In addition, they are 14 points away from third place, and the first Champions League qualifying spot.

7.28pmAjax have not won any of their last six matches away from home in the Champions League. It is a big ask tonight, but something that needs to happen if they want to make it to the last 16.

7.31pmDespite that poor away record, they will be encouraged by the performance they put in during their last European outing. They beat Barcelona 2-1 in Amsterdam, despite having to play much of the second half with 10 men.

7.35pmPREDICTION: Both teams go into this game full of confidence following wins in their last Champions League fixtures, but I feel that the away side will be in for a tough night. Milan have started to find some form and should have enough quality to make it through. A 2-1 win for the home side is how I see this match finishing.

7.38pmREFEREE: Howard Webb will be taking charge of the game this evening.

7.42pmThe players are making their way out of the tunnel and are greeted by the San Siro crowd.

1 minKICKOFF! We are underway at the San Siro.

2 minThe home side have seen plenty of the ball in the opening stages of the game without threatening the Ajax goal.

3 minMontolivo bursts through the midfield and is brought down just outside the box. Balotelli is standing over the ball and it looks like he's going to go for goal.

4 minCHANCE! Balotelli does indeed strike the free kick goalwards, but it is hit straight at Cillessen who does well to hold on.

5 minOFF THE POST! Ajax go straight down the other end and win a corner. Schone takes the set piece, and Poulsen meets the ball with a firm header, but he is desperately unlucky to see his effort come back of the post and land in the keeper's arms.

7 minBojan wins a free kick for Ajax inside the Milan half, to the left side of the penalty area. It is played into the box and Poulsen again meets the delivery, but this time he heads over the bar.

10 minAjax have been encouraged by hitting the woodwork so early on and are starting to dominate the possession deep inside the Milan half.

11 minBojan picks up the ball around 25 yards out from goal and fancies his chances, but his effort is struck high and wide of Abbiati's goal.

13 minMuntari plays a long ball into the path of Balotelli, who flicks it on brilliantly into the path of El Shaarawy, but he is closed down well by the defence and his attempt is blocked.

15 minThe home side are starting to get a hold of the ball better and look to have settled after their early scare. A goal for them would certainly get rid of the tension around the ground.

19 minCHANCE! Ajax come close again, as the ball is whipped in from the right by Van Rhijn, and Klaassen meets it with a diving header. It looks like the ball is heading into the bottom corner, but Abbiati is at full stretch to pull off a fine save.

22 minRED CARD! Montolivo has been sent off for Milan for a late challenge on Poulsen. It was a poor tackle and his side will have it all to do now, as they look to hold on with 10 men.

24 minSUBSTITUTION: Poli is coming on for Milan with El Shaarawy making way.

25 minAbbiati pulls off another fantastic save after Schone's shot takes a huge deflection off Fischer, but the striker was in an offside position and the flag was already raised.

27 minMilan are looking to play on the counter attack now, and Kaka is able to break away down the left hand side, but his cross into the middle is slightly too long for Balotelli and drifts out of play.

29 minEvery time that Poulsen receives the ball he is greeted with a chorus of boos from the stands. They feel that he exaggerated the foul by Montolivo, but when they see the replays later on, they will understand why Webb gave the Red card.

32 minAjax haven't managed to create any big chances since the sending off. They have dominated the possession as you would expect from a team playing against 10 men, but their manager will want to see a little more cutting edge to their play.

35 minVan Rhijn attempts to play the ball back to his keeper from the half way line, which nearly allows Balotelli the chance to latch onto it, but Cillessen rushes off his line to make the clearance.

37 minMilan win a free kick after Poulsen drags back Balotelli, but Muntari's delivery into the box is poor and Cillessen is able to claim under no pressure.

40 minAjax know that just a single goal will take them through to the knockout stages, which may explain why the haven't pushed too many players forward in this first half. They will be happy to keep the scores goalless until the later stages, and hope that the 10 men of Milan tire.

43 minMilan are looking to use Constant as an outlet down the left hand side, but he has twice been caught offside from a long ball. They can't afford to give the ball away so cheaply in their situation.

45 minBalotelli has held the ball up really well for the hosts during this first half. He is using his experience and his manager will be hoping he can keep a cool head.

45 minAjax have won a free kick just outside the area after Klaassen is fouled by Muntari. This is a great chance right at the end of the first half.

45+2 minThe free kick from Schone is poor and doesn't come close to troubling the keeper.

45+2 minHALF-TIME: AC Milan 0-0 Ajax

8.35pmIt is half time at the San Siro, and while the game may be goalless, it has certainly been eventful. Montolivo's dismissal midway through the half has given Ajax the advantage, but they have not made the breakthrough yet. Poulsen came the closest to scoring five minutes into the match, when his header came back off the post, but chances for both teams have been limited.

8.38pmAjax have enjoyed 67% of the possession in the first half, which is understandable considering they are playing against 10 men. I expect that statistic to stay the same as they look for the goal needed to reach the last 16.

8.42pmUPDATE: In tonight's other Group H game, Barcelona have a 3-0 lead over Celtic. Gerard Pique, Pedro and Neymar all found the net, and if the score stays the same in the second half, they will finish top of the group.

8.45pmUPDATE: There is plenty yet to be decided around Europe tonight, and Group F hangs in the balance. Arsenal and Napoli are drawing 0-0, while it is 1-1 between Borussia Dortmund and Marseille. If those scores stay the same, then Arsenal and Dortmund are through, but there is still a lot of football left to be played.

8.48pmThe players are making their way back out of the tunnel and it shouldn't be too long before the second 45 minutes get started.

46 minWe are back underway at the San Siro.

46 minSUBSTITUTION: Ajax make a change at the start of the half, with Poulsen being replaced by Hoesen.

49 minThe second half has started with Ajax seeing plenty of the ball. They manage to work it wide to Bojan, who takes it past his man and gets to the byline, but his cross is straight into the hands of Abbiati.

51 minCHANCE! Fischer bursts forward to the edge of the Milan area, before exchanging passes with Bjoan and lashing a strike over the bar. It was a good opening, but he needed to keep his composure in such a good position.

54 minMilan have everybody back behind the ball and are struggling to get out of their half. The visitors are pegging them further and further back, and are unlucky to see Bojan's cross from the right unable to find anyone in the middle.

57 minFischer picks up the ball outside the area and again fancies his chances on goal, but his low drive is blocked by Bonera.

58 minThe ball breaks kindly to Klaassen, who is just inside the box, but his attempt on goal is straight at the keeper.

63 minYELLOW CARD! Blind picks up the first booking for the away side, after bringing down Balotelli.

65 minAjax win a free kick in a good position down the left hand side, but they waste the set piece as the flag is raised for an offside.

67 minCHANCE! Abiatti is keeping his side in this. The ball breaks to Klaassen on the right side of the area, but his low drive is saved by the legs of the keeper.

69 minVan Rhijn plays a deep ball into the area that isn't well dealt with by the home side, and it breaks to Bojan who is just outside the box, but he smashes his effort well wide.

71 minYELLOW CARD! Balotelli picks up a booking for a poor foul from behind.

72 minSUBSTITUTION: Ajax make another change and Bojan makes way for Sigthorsson.

74 minCHANCE! Fischer comes agonizingly close to giving the visitors the lead, as a long ball drops to him inside the box, but he pokes his effort wide of the goal. That was a massive opportunity for Ajax.

76 minBalotelli is going to have to be very careful here, as he is arguing with Blind and looking extremely angry. He is already on a yellow card, and surely the manager must be thinking about taking him off.

78 minAjax have been disappointing from their deliveries tonight. On this occasion, Blind whips in a cross from the left, but it is too close to the keeper who easily claims.

79 minMilan have a rare shot on goal when Constant latches onto a loose ball, but his effort is fired high over the bar.

80 minSUBSTITUTION: Milan make a defensive change, as Mexes comes on for Kaka.

80 minSUBSTITUTION: Ajax have also made a change, as van der Hoorn is on for Serero.

83 minThe hosts haven't seen much of the ball this half but they are enjoying a good spell in their opponents final third. They eventually work it down the line and get a ball into the middle, but there is no one available in the box to get a final touch.

84 minYELLOW CARD! De Jong picks up a booking for the home side.

85 minThings just aren't going Ajax's way at the moment. A long ball drops to Klaassen who is unmarked inside the box, but he can't make clean contact with the ball and the hosts manage to clear.

87 minBalotelli's hold up play has been outstanding tonight. He squeezes past the challenge of two Ajax defenders before being brought down for a free kick, that will buy his side priceless seconds.

88 minYELLOW CARD! De Sciglio is the next Milan player to pick up a booking this evening.

89 minMilan have a free kick by the right corner flag after Poli keeps hold of the ball, before being hacked down.

90 minBalotelli again does brilliantly to win his side a throw in after being closed down by three defenders.

90 minThere are going to be five minutes of stoppage time!

90+1 minAjax are throwing the ball into the box at every opportunity, but the home side are standing strong. Eventually the ball breaks to Blind on the edge of the box, but his low strike is saved by Abbiati.

90+3 minVan Rhijn delivers the ball in from the right and Van der Hoorn gets a flick on, but it goes wide and Milan have a goal kick.

90+5 minFULL-TIME: AC Milan 0-0 Ajax

9.42pmMilan have made it through to the knockout stages! They have held on with 10 men and produced a great defensive display. Ajax will be disappointed they didn't make the breakthrough, and will play in the Europa League in the new year.

9.45pmThat's all we have got time for here, after a nerve-racking 90 minutes. Please stay with us at Sports Mole for all of tonight's results and reaction, but from me, it's goodnight!

James Forrest of Celtic is congratulated by teammate Virgil van Dijk of Celtic after scoring the opening goal from the penalty spot during the UEFA Champions League Group H match between Celtic and Ajax at Celtic Park Stadium on October 22, 2013
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5AC Chievo VeronaChievo11002113
6Sampdoria11002113
7Roma11001013
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9Torino10101101
10Genoa10100001
11Lazio10100001
12SPALSPAL10100001
13SassuoloSassuolo10100001
14BeneventoBenevento100112-10
15Udinese100112-10
16Atalanta BCAtalanta100101-10
17Hellas VeronaHellas Verona100113-20
18CagliariCagliari100103-30
19Crotone100103-30
20Fiorentina100103-30
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