FC Porto 2-2 Milan Primavera (3-4p): Abate’s warriors make history after late drama

By Ben Dixon -

AC Milan’s primavera side have reached the final of the UEFA Youth League, after being FC Porto in a highly dramatic game.

Milan took the lead after just 12 minutes, when Filippo Scotti made the most of a defensive error from Porto, pouncing onto the ball and then driving down the right-hand side. Upon entering the box he prepared to shoot, before unleashing a venomous strike to the far post to give the Primavera the lead.

The Rossoneri continued to pile on pressure in the first half, going close on a few separate occasions. Unfortunately, though, the game was not one-way traffic for much longer, as Porto were awarded a penalty, which Jorge Meireles duly converted, even though Raveyre guessed the right way.

It was a lot of the same in the early stages of the second half, with both teams attempting to gain an advantage, and 25 minutes from time, the Portuguese side took the lead with Meireles involved once again, this time the assister,  though, and Gabriel Bras converted.

Both sides had chances to score following this, with Porto coming close on two occasions to making their advantage two goals, but after some late Milan pressure, they finally earned what their effort had deserved as Alexander Simmelhack bagged a last-minute equaliser after some magic from Kevin Zeroli – who recently extended his deal with the club until 2028.

Once again, the Diavolo had to go to penalties to secure their place in the next round. Meireles missed the first penalty of the shootout, and Milan gained an early lead, through Alessandro Bonomi. Bras levelled the scoring, and Jan-Carlo Simic’s penalty was saved. However, the hosts could not make the most of the missed chance, blazing their third penalty over the bar.

The Rossoneri converted their following three penalties, through Simmelhack, Mattia Liberali and Zeroli, the captain who fought until the end and proved his quality at the death.

Their third successive penalty shootout win in the competition makes them the first Italian team in the competition’s history to reach the final, and what an achievement it is for a highly impressive set of young talent.

Tags AC Milan Milan Primavera


  1. Olympiakos is the team that first beat Lecce in both games and later Inter in the playoffs (penalty shoot-out)… so they seem comfortable playing against Italian teams.

  2. They should play these last couple of matches with the senior team,we will finsh 2nd anyway ,we are sick of calabria,thiaw,benacer and others ,let these guys some minutes!

  3. Will Pioli give the lads some minutes in the league
    We are not fighting for anything
    With Juve drawing today Milan armored or less confirmed second position.
    Allow the young guys feel the joy of playing with the big boys in the league
    Zeroli, Eletu, Simic, Camarda

  4. If we really want to be like Ajax the best 4-5 players on this squad 18 and over need to be promoted to the first team this summer and kept there. Zeroli to backup RLC, Bartesaghi to backup Theo, Simic to backup the CBs, Jimenez to backup Calabria, etc.

    1. I’d be fully on board with that.

      But it would mean limiting the number of new signings and getting the first team squad down to a max of 23 otherwise they’d never play.

      Also we could look to promote Abate if we’re sacking Pioli. He knows these players and the club and he’d provide continuity.

      If he’s a good coach then it might click. He could be like Sacchi or Capello or Guardiola or Mourinho (interpreter to coach to manager).

      And if he doesn’t work out it’s cheaper and less disruptive than someone like Conte not working out.

      I mean there’s little point in trying to compete with money against the fossil fuel clubs. If we’re to stand a chance we need to be smarter and that involves getting the best youth players and properly developing them to their potential. And then using whatever money we do have to target players who can lift the side.

      For this to work we’d need to follow the Spanish model – fewer transfers and smaller squads.

  5. I think Pioli is a lost cause. We need a Mister now which will develop this incredible talent we have within a first team like Barca does with no regrets. I al sure with them on the pitch we may be still loose to Roma, but it would be different fight. Just freacking do it already!

  6. What a game! Lucky to have watched it. Lads got fighting spirit, they pressed Porto till it came on the last minute and i jumped and screamed!!! Lol…weldone Abate for the mentality of your team and weldone future warriors. Our goalkeeper is worldclass.

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