Slavia Praha 1-3 AC Milan (3-7 agg): Rossoneri ease into Europa League QFs

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan booked their place in the quarter-finals of the Europa League with a 3-1 win on the night away against Slavia Praha, meaning a 7-3 aggregate victory overall.

In rather symmetrical fashion to the first leg, a red card for Slavia inside the opening half an hour heavily conditioned the outcome, with Holes sent off after a VAR review following a stamp on Davide Calabria’s ankle.

Also like in the game at San Siro, Milan got three goals before half-time. The first came from Christian Pulisic as he fired into the bottom corner, then Ruben Loftus-Cheek tapped home a Theo Hernandez cross and finally Rafael Leao thumped one into the top corner.

Jurasék did get one back for the hosts late on but the Rossoneri were just happy for it to be a routine night in the end, especially after the anxiety in the build-up following a disappointed defensive performance in leg one and all of the corporate uncertainty surrounding the club.

Stefano Pioli opted to make five changes to the starting line-up from the team that beat Empoli with Matteo Gabbia coming back into the defence, Yacine Adli and Yunus Musah rejoining the midfield, Rafael Leao returning on the right and Olivier Giroud leading the line.

The first moment of panic came in the opening stages of the game when Mike Maignan received the ball and was being closed down by Vlcek. The goalkeeper just about got rid of it, having to sidefoot it out for a corner, though he was caught after playing the ball and got a free-kick.

After playing on for a couple of minutes it looked like Maignan could not continue as his right leg were giving him some problems, so Marco Sportiello began to warm up. The Frenchman played on for a bit longer and then hit the deck after a cross, with Sportiello again getting up, yet he was told to sit back down.

All of the early pressure came from the home side, in particular when a corner pinballed around inside the Milan box as several attempts to clear didn’t work. The danger was never cleared, and Maignan was forced to make a smart stop with his right leg at the near post from Chytil’s shot.

The game stopped again in the 18th minute when Calabria writhed around in serious pain on the floor after getting his ankle stood on by Holes. The full-back spent a couple of minutes getting treatment and then the referee Nyberg was called to the monitor to review the incident, and he awarded a red card to the Slavia man, their second early sending off in the tie.

Trpišovský was absolutely incensed by the decision, and he went into the book not long after Milan squandered a brilliant three-on-two counter when a though ball to Leao ended up just behind him as he would have been in on goal.

Christian Pulisic continued to be the man who led the breaks for Milan and after a one-two with Giroud the American found himself one-on-one with Stanek, who stood up well to block the shot.

Stanek made another vital save to keep his side level on the night and it was arguably an even better chance than the Pulisic one moments early, thwarting Leao this time after the Portuguese winger had drifted centrally and was also put through on goal.

Finally Milan’s period of dominance paid dividends as they took the lead in the 33rd minute and made it 5-2 on aggregate. Leao was found in space down the left and when he cut onto his right it seemed certain he would fire on goal himself, he selflessly rolled it to Pulisic who took a touch to send the defender flying before firing home.

Three minutes later, the Rossoneri doubled their advantage. A lovely exchange between Leao and Theo saw the former find the latter near the byline, and the full-back’s teasing cross was almost sat on the goal line for Ruben Loftus-Cheek to tap into an empty net.

Not long before the break, Fikayo Tomori went into the book for a challenge from behind that he just mistimed, and that means that he will miss the first leg of the quarter-finals.

In the fifth of eight minutes added at the end of the first half, Leao got his own name on the scoresheet and it was the pick of the bunch without a doubt. The forward picked up the ball about 25 yards out, opening up onto his right and whipping a gorgeous shot into the top right corner past a motionless Stanek.

Pioli made two changes at the break as Tomori and Calabria both made way for Malick Thiaw and Pierre Kalulu, the latter slotting in at left-back. After a subdued opening to the second half in which Milan had all the ball but little penetration, Samuel Chukwueze came on for Pulisic.

Giroud should have joined the party just after the hour mark as the space began to open up again and he received the ball inside the box with plenty of space, yet steered his effort wide of the woodwork.

Things turned a bit unsavoury midway through the second half as Milan lined up to take a corner but the players were pelted with objects from the crowd. The referee asked for a message to be put out over the PA system, while Slavia’s captain spoke to the leading ultra.

The last goal of the game went to the home side and it felt fitting to reward their fans, who had remained behind the team despite the tie being over very early. Jurasék spun Thiaw inside the penalty area and fired into the bottom corner past Sportiello.


Tags AC Milan Slavia Praha Milan


  1. We played very good today. The movement of the players was brilliant. To my fellow brothers who bash’d me for not being completely satisfied with the win last week. If you have time wach the 1st leg and watch this match. You’ll clearly see the difference. Malick should have closed the player down quicker but probably he was afraid of concede a foul in the box. Another than that I’m happy

  2. Good win even though we could and should have scored a few more than we did it was nevertheless a comfortable performance today against a bunch of butchers who should have gotten more cards than they got,

  3. “The forward picked up the ball about 25 yards out, opening up onto his right and whipping a gorgeous shot into the top right corner past a motionless Stanek.”

    Well… He didn’t just “pick up the ball” as it was Pulisic’s fine cross over the Praha defense that opened up the chance for Leao to shoot. But sure, let’s not give any credit to the American for this one either.

  4. Good win. The only negative I saw was the obvious fact that once again, pioli took his foot off the gas, switched to 5 at the back, and surprise surprise we concede a goal. He will never learn…

Comments are closed

Serie A Standings

Live football scores . Current table, fixtures & results.