Milan 0-0 AEK Athens: Anestis’ heroics preserve draw for Greeks

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan suffered yet more San Siro disappointment as they were held to a 0-0 draw in the Europa League by AEK Athens on Thursday night.

In a drab encounter with little in the way of clear cut chances, Patrick Cutrone and Suso had the best opportunities in the second-half.

The Greek side were inspired by Giannis Anestis; the goalkeeper making a number of good reaction saves to preserve a well-earned point.

The result still leaves Milan in a good position to qualify from the group, with Vincenzo Montella’s men in top spot with seven points from three group games, though a 0-0 home draw will hardly relieve pressure on the coach.

The first half was almost completely bereft of clear cut opportunities, with both sides sloppy in possession but equally structured in defence.

Milan did have the ball in the back of the net inside 10 minutes through Patrick Cutrone, but his goal was correctly ruled out for offside following a nice turn and finish.

Suso and Manuel Locatelli had chances to test Giannis Anestis in the AEK goal, but they both dragged efforts wide before the half hour mark, while at the other end Simeos capitalised on Mateo Musacchio’s hesitance in possession but saw his shot saved by Gianluigi Donnarumma.

Cutrone found space inside the box in the 44th minute but sent a tame shot at the ‘keeper, and a minute later Andre Silva spurned the Rossoneri’s best chance of the half as his shot was blocked following a smart run, with Locatelli half-volleying the resulting corner wide.

The second half hardly provided much more excitement, though Anestis was to thank with a number of crucial saves.

Locatelli saw an effort from just outside the box parried over in the 54th minute, while Andre Silva headed over from the resulting corner at the near post.

Cutrone saw a header saved by the ‘keeper from a Suso cross on the hour mark, and with 22 minutes remaining Anestis made his best save of the night, keeping out Cutrone again as a loose ball fell to him inside the box.

With 80 minutes on the clock, Suso took matters into his own hands trying to snatch a winner with a bursting run, but the resilient AEK ‘keeper was again on hand to deny his deft chip from inside the box.

In the final minute of the game, Hakan Calhanoglu whipped in a fierce free-kick from the left side that almost caught Anestis out from a narrow angle, but he reacted late to preserve a point for the visitors.

Tags AC Milan Italy Milan Milan AEK News Rossoneri Serie A