Feb 19, 2014 at 7.45pm UK at ​San Siro
AC Milan
0-1
Atletico Madrid

Abate (44'), Bonera (61'), Rami (90')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Costa (83')
Insua (20'), Suarez (41'), Costa (69'), Adrian (90')

Live Commentary: AC Milan 0-1 Atletico Madrid - as it happened

Atletico Madrid's Diego Costa celebrates after scoring his team's second goal against Athletic Bilbao during their Copa del Rey match on January 29, 2014
© AFP
Sports Mole brings you live commentary of the first leg of the last-16 Champions League clash at the San Siro as Atletico Madrid beat AC Milan 1-0.
The first leg of the last-16 Champions League clash between AC Milan and Atletico Madrid took place at the San Siro this evening.

Milan had the better of the opportunities in the first period, but could not make the breakthrough with the scores level at the interval.

It was a similar story in the second half, but Diego Costa secured a vital away goal for Atletico late on.

Read how it all unfolded in Sports Mole's minute-by-minute live commentary of the action below.

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6.46pmEvening all! Our Champions League last-16 coverage continues this evening as AC Milan welcome Atletico Madrid to the San Siro for the first leg. The two sides have never met in a competitive match, but respective managers Clarence Seedorf and Diego Simeone were regular opponents during their illustrious playing careers.

6.49pmBREAKING TEAM NEWS: Brazilian attacker Kaka captains AC Milan this evening, while Michael Essien, Mario Balotelli and Adel Taarabt all start for the home side. There is also a spot at centre-back for Adil Rami. Atletico, meanwhile, are without Filipe Luis and David Villa, with Insua and Mario Suarez both selected in the XI. Full teams to follow.

6.52pmTEAMS:

MILAN: Abbiati; De Sciglio, Rami, Bonera, Emanuelson; De Jong, Essien; Kaka, Poli, Taarabt; Balotelli

ATLETICO: Courtois; Juanfran, Miranda, Godin, Insua; Gabi, Suarez, Koke; Garcia, Turan; Costa



6.55pmSo there we have it. No Mexes or Abate in the Milan XI this evening, with De Sciglio and Emanuelson preferred in the full-back areas. Balotelli, as expected, will lead their line. David Villa has been deemed fit enough for the Atletico bench alongside on-loan Wolfsburg midfielder Diego, but Insua is given the nod at left-back. It promises to be a fascinating tactical battle in Milan.

6.58pmMilan boss Seedorf makes his coaching debut this evening in the competition that he won with three different clubs. The Dutchman lifted the trophy with Ajax in 1995, Real Madrid in 1998 and twice with Milan in 2003 and 2007. However, Seedorf will need his side at their best if they are to move past a talented and hardworking Atletico outfit over the two legs.



7.01pmMilan booked their spot in the last-16 stage of the competition by finishing second in Group H to Barcelona, who knocked them out of the two previous campaigns. The Italian outfit won just two of their six group matches, drawing three times and losing once. A total of nine points was enough for them to advance ahead of Ajax, who finished with eight points.

7.04pmMilan, who have won the European Cup on seven occasions, might not have faced Atletico in a competitive match, but they have lost their last four knockout ties against Spanish opponents – three times to Barcelona in 2006, 2012 and 2013 and once to Deportivo La Coruna in the 2004 quarter-finals.

7.07pmWhat's more, Milan have only won one of their last 13 Champions League games against Spanish opposition, losing six times in the process. However, their win during those run of fixtures came at this stage of the competition last season when they beat Barcelona 2-0 in this stadium. A similar result this evening would certainly appease some of the club's disheartened supporters.

7.10pmThat said, Milan have won just two of their last 12 Champions League knockout matches and have exited the competition at this stage in four of the last five seasons. Recent statistics appear to favour Atletico, but there is no question that the Italian outfit are the more experienced of the two teams at this particular level of football.

7.13pmOverall, Milan's home record against visitors from Spain is won 11, drawn seven and lost six. Meanwhile, Atletico's record in Italy is won three, drawn one and lost four. However, the Spanish outfit, who have never won the Champions League, were 3-1 winners against Lazio on their last visit to Italy in a Europa League last-32 clash.

7.16pmIt has been a disappointing season for Milan in Serie A with the club currently in ninth position in the league table. They are 31 points behind the leaders Juventus and 18 points from the top three. In total, they have won eight, drawn eight and lost eight of their 24 matches this season. The Champions League will provide a welcome distraction from their troubles.

7.19pmThey enter the match off the back of a 1-0 win over Bologna and with Italian forward Mario Balotelli in fine form, netting five goals in his last six appearances. However, Milan are not the same side as the one that used to be among the favourites for the Champions League each season. That said, their history stands alongside the best. It must be said that the pitch is in wonderful condition this evening...



7.22pmAtletico, meanwhile, are enjoying a remarkable season under Simeone. Their near-perfect campaign was harmed somewhat when they lost three successive matches earlier in the month - twice in the Copa del Rey to Barcelona – but they returned to form at the weekend with a 3-0 win over Real Valladolid in the league.

7.25pmA total of 60 points from their 24 league matches this season has left them level on points with Barcelona and Real Madrid at the top of La Liga, with each side winning 19, drawing three and losing once in the league this season. Atletico recently exited the Copa del Rey at the semi-final stage, but they still have much to play for in the latter part of the campaign.

7.28pmAtletico arrive in Italy as one of only three sides that avoided defeat in the group stages of the competition. The Spanish outfit won Group G with 16 points having won five and drawing one of their six matches. They scored 15 times in the process and conceded just three, which was the joint-best defensive record in the group stages alongside Chelsea and Manchester United.

7.31pmAtletico have not reached the quarter-finals of the Champions League since 1997 when current boss Simeone was a player. What the Argentine has done to this side over the last couple of seasons is nothing short of incredible. Success in this competition would rank among the greatest achievements in the modern game.

7.34pmThe Spanish outfit have won each of their last three competitive encounters with Italian opposition, scoring eight times in the process and conceding just once. However, this is only the third time in their history that they have reached this stage of the competition. Their most recent appearance in the last 16 came in the 2008/09 campaign.

7.37pmMuch of Atletico's success this season has been down to the form of Diego Costa, who has scored four times in his last three Champions League matches. In total, the Brazilian-born Spanish international has scored 21 times in 24 games this season and is fast becoming the most talked-about forward in world football. Can he influence a match of this magnitude?

7.40pmPREDICTION: It is the fallen giants against the young pretenders this evening. Home advantage should help Milan, but the Italian outfit have really struggled for form this season. Aside from Balotelli, I just cannot see where the goals are coming from. Atletico have a number of key players returning and I am backing them to secure a 1-0 win on a tight evening at the San Siro.

7.43pmHere we go then. Both sets of players join us on the pitch as that wonderful Champions League tune erupts around the stadium. Following the completion of the pre-match handshakes and exchanging of flags, we will be ready to get the action underway. Let's hope for a pulsating night in Milan.

0 minJust a reminder that there is another tie taking place this evening with Arsenal hosting Bayern Munich. Be sure to stick around the site for all the best action. It must be said that there is a wonderful atmosphere inside the stadium as the home side get the first period underway. What an occasion!

2 minIt hasn't always been the best of surfaces at the San Siro, but the pitch is in fine condition this evening. The early running is made by Atletico as Garcia meets a cross from Insua, but Abbiati takes charge at the vital moment. You just get the feeling that the crowd could play a big part for Milan this evening.

4 minNeither side has really been allowed to settle in the opening four minutes with both guilty of losing possession too easily in the final third. Balotelli is the main target each time Milan look long, but Godin and Miranda have been in charge thus far. Incredible intensity to the early exchanges.

6 minExtremely confident start from Atletico as they pass and probe outside the Milan box. A low cross from Insua finds Costa, but the striker cannot fashion enough space to create a striking opportunity. Milan, meanwhile, are just struggling to keep hold of the possession. Goalless with six minutes on the clock.

8 minBetter from Milan in the last couple of moments with Taarabt and Balotelli starting to see more of the ball. Atletico threaten on the counter as Garcia comes close to meeting a cross from Juanfran, but Rami is on hand to clear at the vital moment. Still we wait for the first real chance of the evening.

10 minSome news from the Emirates, where Arsenal are playing Bayern Munich. The home side had the chance to take the lead from the spot after Ozil was felled by Boateng, but the German had his penalty saved. Back to this match, Milan have a free kick just outside the Atletico box.

12 minThe resulting free kick is delivered into the Atletico box by Balotelli, but his effort whistles wide of the post. The home side have managed to quell some of the early Atletico pressure, but clear chances have been at a premium in Milan thus far.

15 minAgain it is bright work from the away side as Juanfran combines with Gabi outside the Milan box, but it just runs through to Abbiati at the final moment. Milan are down the other end with Balotelli in the next attack, but the Italian is forced back as the home supporters start to show some frustration with De Jong firing high and wide from outside the box.

16 minCROSSBAR! Milan have the first real chance of the match as Taarabt works the ball to Kaka, who lashes an effort towards the top corner, but Courtois pushes it onto the crossbar. The atmosphere has just started to rise inside the stadium.

18 minThe referee has been more involved than he would have liked in the last couple of moments due to a number of late challenges. The latest from Rami presents a free kick to Atletico outside the box. Koke plays it short before Gabi delivers, but Bonera is on hand to clear.

20 minSAVE! Another wonderful chance for the home side as Poli meets a cross from Taarabt, but Courtois is on hand to make a stunning save. How good is this Belgian goalkeeper?! Just stunning.

21 minIt has all kicked off here between both sets of players as Insua dives into a late challenge with De Sciglio. It certainly angered the Milan players, but the referee calms the situation and issues the Atletico defender a booking. It is all happening after a fairly low-key start.

23 minNot too much from Atletico in the last few moments as the home side continue to dominate possession of the ball. You just get the feeling that Milan need to score during this positive spell. Moments later, another late challenge from Godin leaves Balotelli on the ground and brings more screams from the home supporters.

25 minMilan continue to threaten with crosses into the Atletico box, with the away side really struggling to keep hold of the ball. Essien delivers a wonderful cross into Poli moments later, but the Italian cannot collect at the vital moment. Still goalless with 25 minutes on the clock.

28 minHalf-chance for Atletico this time as Garcia meets a cross from Turan, but his header is straight into the arms of the Milan goalkeeper. The home side break down the other end moments later, but Balotelli is forced back into traffic. Milan are forced into a change in the next stoppage as Abate replaces De Sciglio.

30 minSlightly untidy period of the match in the last couple of moments with the referee forced to intervene following a number of late challenges. It remains goalless, but Milan have certainly had the better opportunities. That said, Atletico have just started to raise the tempo once more.

32 minCROSSBAR! Another wonderful chance for the home side as Balotelli feeds Kaka inside the box, but the Brazilian's effort hits the top of the crossbar. How on earth are Milan not ahead?

34 minNot too much to report in terms of chances in the last few moments, but it is more of an even contest with both sides enjoying possession of the ball. In truth, Atletico are lucky to still be level with 34 minutes on the clock. Very positive from Milan.

36 minSlight problem for Balotelli as the Milan striker takes an elbow in the face from Miranda, but the Italian does return to the field following a period of treatment. The opening 36 minutes of this match have just flown past. Meanwhile, it still remains goalless at the Emirates between Arsenal and Bayern Munich.

38 minCHANCE! Atletico's best chance of the match arrives following a low cross from Garcia, but Abate just manages to turn behind under pressure from Costa, who looked certain to tap home from close range. Little over five minutes of the first period remaining at the San Siro.

41 minSlight problem for Turan as the Atletico winger hits the deck following a challenge from De Jong, but it does appear that he will be fit to continue. Meanwhile, at the Emirates, Bayern have missed a penalty with Alaba rattling the post.

43 minIt's brilliant work from Balotelli as the Milan striker squeezes past Suarez on the edge of the box, with the Spaniard receiving a booking for fouling the Italian. The resulting free kick is taken by Emanuelson, but his effort is straight into the wall.

45 minCHANCE! Another opportunity for the home side as Balotelli curls one from just outside the box, but his effort moves wide of the post. Milan have been much the better team in the opening 45 minutes.

45 min+1HALF-TIME: Milan 0-0 Atletico

8.33pmSo there we have it. The referee brings the first period to an end with the two sides level at 0-0. Atletico started on the front foot, but Milan dominated the latter stages of the half and will feel that they should be ahead after the opening 45 minutes.

8.38pmSTATISTICS: The home side have had more of the ball with 54%, while they have had six attempts to Atletico's two. Kaka has twice struck the crossbar for the Italian outfit, while Poli was denied by a wonderful save from Courtois, who has certainly been the busier of the two goalkeepers in Milan.

8.43pmBENCH WATCH: Milan have already been forced into a change this evening with Abate replacing De Sciglio, but they still have the likes of Pazzini and Zaccardo in reserve. Atletico, meanwhile, have attacking options in the shape of Adrian, Villa, Rodriguez, Diego and Sosa. There are certainly goals in that list of players.

46 minHere we go then. Both sets of players join us on the pitch for the second period. Elsewhere, Arsenal are level with Bayern at the interval, with both sides missing first-half penalties and the Gunners down to 10 men. Let's hope for more of the same in the second period as Atletico get the action underway.

48 minNo changes for either side at the interval, which is not much of a surprise. However, I suspect both managers will consider alterations if the score remains level for the next 20 minutes or so. Bright start to the half from Atletico, who cause immediate concern with a deep cross into the Milan box, but Rami clears the danger.

50 minSlightly untidy period of the match in the last couple of moments due to a number of late challenges. Milan continue to look long into the Atletico box, but Godin and Miranda stand firm. You just get the feeling that the first goal - if there indeed is one - could be decisive in the overall tie, not just in this match. Costa tries his luck from distance, but his effort curls wide.

52 minNot too much to report in terms of chances in the early stages of the half, but it is more of an even contest with both sides enjoying periods with the ball. Just a reminder that the second leg at the Vicente Calderon will take place next month. Still goalless with 52 minutes on the clock.

54 minHalf-chance for Atletico as Costa attempts the spectacular from a Insua cross, but his effort was always moving high of the crossbar. We are starting to see more of the Spanish side as an attacking threat.

56 minStrong spell of possession for Milan in the last couple of moments, but they are finding it difficult to break through this stern Atletico defence. Strong midfield work from Essien creates some space in the final third, but the Ghana international then fells Garcia.

58 minSlight problem for Garcia as the Atletico midfielder hits the deck following a late challenge, but it does appear that the Spaniard will be fit to continue. Slightly untidy period of the match in the last few moments with little over 30 minutes of football remaining.

60 minHalf-chance for Taarabt as the Moroccan finds some space outside the box, but his effort is straight into the arms of Courtois. The away side attempt to break down the other end with Turan, but Costa is left too isolated. It appears that Diego will soon join the action for Atletico.

63 minAnother half-chance for the home side as Taarabt drives into the Atletico half before finding Kaka, but his effort is just wide of the post. The Brazilian has been the standout performer this evening there is no question about. Still not too much from Atletico in terms of an attacking threat with 63 minutes on the clock.

65 minHalf-chance for the away side as Atletico gain a free kick just outside the box when Costa is felled by Rami. The resulting set piece is taken by Gabi, but the whistle is blown for offside, with Godin moving too soon. Still goalless with little over 25 minutes remaining. Is there to be a goal in the first leg?

67 minThe untidiness continues in the middle of the park with the referee forced to intervene following a number of late challenges. This time Milan have the chance to threaten as Balotelli stands over a free kick some 40 yards from goal, but his effort is straight into the wall. The referee signals for a corner, but Essien heads just wide.

69 minJust a reminder that the second leg will take place at the Calderon next month. In truth, a 0-0 draw would not be the worst result for either of these sides. Atletico enjoy a period of possession in the Milan half, but they are still struggling to really test Abbiati.

72 minDiego Costa becomes the latest name to enter the book following a rash challenge on Balotelli as the free-kick count continues to rise. It is almost a match of set pieces at the moment. However, Balotelli's effort is straight into the wall once more.

74 minHalf-chance for the home side as Taarabt finds some space at the far post, but his effort is blocked by a host of yellow shirts. The pressure is starting to build from the Italian side with 74 minutes on the clock. You just get the feeling that there is a goal in this match.

76 minHalf-chance for the away side this time as Insua finds Garcia at the far post, but his effort flashes across the face of goal. Atletico make a change moments later as Rodriguez replaces Turan, who has struggled to influence proceedings this evening. It appears that Milan are also preparing a change with Pazzini receiving his final instructions.

78 minOpportunity for Garcia as the Atletico midfielder finds some space outside the box before striking towards goal, but Abbiati makes the save. Better from the Spanish outfit as Koke forces a corner moments later. Little over 10 minutes of this Champions League last-16 clash remaining.

80 minMilan make their second change of the match as Pazzini replaces Balotelli, who leaves the field holding his shoulder. That injury could keep the Italian on the sidelines for an extended period. Still no goals at the San Siro, but you just get the feeling that chances will arrive in the latter stages.

82 minCHANCE! A lovely move from Atletico brings an opportunity as Juanfran finds Garcia inside the box, but his effort is high and wide of the crossbar. That proves to be his final involvement as Adrian enters the field in place of the Spaniard.

83 minGOAL! Milan 0-1 Atletico (Costa)

84 minAtletico take the lead with little over five minutes remaining as Diego Costa plants a powerful header into the back of the net following a corner. What a goal that could be in the context of this tie.

86 minMilan make their third and final change of the evening as Kaka is replaced by Constant. You just get the feeling that there is another big chance left in this match. Atletico have ridden their luck this evening, but they have grown into the second half there is no question about that.

88 minAnother opportunity for the home side as Poli is felled outside the box by Juanfran. The resulting set piece is taken by Rami, but his effort just flashes wide of the post. Atletico are almost there with 88 minutes on the clock.

90 min+1The fourth official indicates that we will play an additional three minutes and we are indeed into the first of those. Milan just cannot keep the ball at the moment as Atletico continue to force the issue.

90 min+2It's brilliant work from Costa as the Atletico forward drives to the edge of the Milan box, but Rami fells the striker and gains a yellow card for his troubles. Brilliant chance for 2-0...

90 min+3The resulting free kick is taken by Gabi, but his effort is straight into the wall. Atletico are almost there in the San Siro.

90 min+4FULL-TIME: Milan 0-1 Atletico

9.38pmSo there we have it. The referee brings the match to a close with Costa's goal the difference between the two sides. Thanks for joining Sports Mole for the action and be sure to stick around for all the reaction. Until then!

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