WEDNESDAY 28TH AUGUST – PLAYOFF – SECOND LEG
AC MILAN 3-0 PSV
Goals from Kevin-Prince Boateng and Mario Balotelli ensured Serie A giants AC Milan disposed of PSV Eindhoven to reach the Champions League group stages with a 4-1 aggregate win on Wednesday evening.
Philip Cocu’s men had their fair share of chances inside the packed San Siro but the Italian’s goalkeeper Christian Abbiati made a string of good saves before and after Boateng’s opener. Balotelli extended the Rossoneri’s lead early in the second period and any hopes of a comeback disappeared for the young Dutch side, when Boateng added another with only 13 minutes remaining to seal a 3-0 win on the night.
Both sides began the contest with 4-3-3 formations and spaces were hard to find in the early stages of the game. The Eredivisie side created the first opportunity when Slovenian striker Tim Matavž forced Abbiati into an early diving save with a precise header after eight minutes. Just moments later Milan went a goal ahead when Boateng found the bottom corner of Jeroen Zoet’s goal with a powerful right-foot shot from outside the area.
PSV should have been level but another sprawling save by Abbiati denied the Eindhoven side an equaliser, after the goalkeeper palmed away a superb Adam Maher volley which seemed destined to score and steal the show.
The hosts continued to threaten a second goal with Riccardo Montolivo and Stephen El Shaarawy especially going close, with a powerful shot that cannoned off the crossbar.
Milan were saved by the woodwork also after 41 minutes with a cross-cum-shot by left-abck Jetro Willems. PSV had another glorious opening to equalise immediately after the interval as a low cross from the left eluded everybody to reach the unmarked Georginio Wijnaldum at the far post but Abbiati somehow blocked the PSV captain’s close-range effort.
In the 55th minute, Milan made that Abbiati save count as the Italians went further ahead to concrete their victory. French defender Philippe Mexès headed an El Shaarawy’s corner across the goal for Balotelli to volley home.
Abbiati’s night finished with a fine save from a Stijn Schaars’s dangerous shot, and Boateng finalised the result with a precise low shot at the far post following a fine counterattack involving Balotelli and Andrea Poli.
PSV now drop into Friday’s Europa League draw as a consolation, a trophy they must be in a great chance of winning with this young powerful outfit.
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