This season’s Champions League group stage campaign has been full of many ups and downs, and plenty have taken place in the Group of Death. Liverpool, Porto, AC Milan and Atletico Madrid are all battling it out for two spots in the knockout stage and last night, we took another step towards finding out who that would be as Atletico Madrid and AC Milan squared off in Spain.
It was a tight and nervy encounter, as most people were expecting, with one goal being what settled it when all was said and done – and it was AC Milan who came away with three vital points.
The Messias story
Junior Messias is on loan at AC Milan right now but his story began as a delivery driver when he was playing in the Italian lower leagues. At the age of 30, he managed to score the biggest goal of his career by a country mile on Wednesday to give Milan the win. It’s the kind of story that is enough to put a smile on the face of any football fan, and it’ll be interesting to see if he can continue to build off of this success.
The reigning Spanish champions are 4th in La Liga and now, they’re also in that spot in their Champions League group. For a team that has achieved so much it’s strange to think that they could be dumped out of Europe altogether, although it definitely wouldn’t be undeserved. They’ve had a few bright moments here and there for fans to enjoy but when push came to shove, they weren’t able to step up and contend with the rest of the elite clubs in their group. With that being said, there’s still one game left to go.
Milan are still alive
If AC Milan are able to beat an already-qualified Liverpool on the final matchday and Porto drop points to Atletico, Milan will qualify for the last 16. That would serve as a monumental accomplishment when you consider just how “down and out” they were with three games gone in the group. Sure, they’re going to focus a great deal of their energy on their pursuit of the Serie A title, but they now see a route forward to the knockouts and that’s the kind of opportunity they can’t pass up.
Get ready, because the reverse fixture against the Reds is shaping up to be something special.