Junior Messias scored the winner on his Champions League debut to beat Atletico Madrid and keep Milan’s hopes of qualification alive in a desperately tight group.
The Rossoneri knew only a win could keep the very slim hopes of qualification alive, picking up just one point so far, but missed Fikayo Tomori, Davide Calabria, Ante Rebic, Mike Maignan, Samu Castillejo and Alessandro Plizzari, with Rafael Leao not ready to start. Atleti had Stefan Savic and Antoine Griezmann back from suspension, the latter winning an appeal to reduce his two-match ban.
In the opening minutes, Ciprian Tatarusanu needed a fantastic save on Rodrigo De Paul, but the offside flag was up anyway.
Brahim Diaz drilled wide and Theo Hernandez hit a half-volley not too far off target, while Alexis Saelemaekers and Lemar tested the goalkeepers from distance.
Simon Kjaer nodded over from a free kick, but Milan lost Giroud to a suspected hamstring strain as he was running for the ball.
Milan should’ve taken the lead on 71 minutes when substitutes Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Junior Messias combined, but Tiemoue Bakayoko’s shot was charged down by Stefan Savic.
Bakayoko threatened again with his header over from a free kick, while Jan Oblak made an astonishing save with his forearm on Ibrahimovic.
Moments later, Milan got a deserved goal, Franck Kessie down the left floating in a cross for Junior Messias to leap between the centre-backs for a header on his Champions League debut. The 30-year-old former Crotone player had been delivering washing machines only a few years ago to make ends meet.
Ibrahimovic thought he had another when dinking it over Oblak after a save on Ismael Bennacer, but Savic cleared it off the line.
Moments later, Atleti incredibly failed to equalise, as it was pulled back from the by-line only for Matheus Cunha to somehow fire wide from a couple of yards.
Porto were beaten 2-0 by Liverpool, so the group is incredibly tight behind Jurgen Klopp’s runaway winners. It all goes down to the final round.
Atletico Madrid 0-1 Milan
Messias 87 (M)