STADIO SAN SIRO (Milan): AC Milan got what was just their second Champions League win in the last two seasons after returning to Europe’s elite club competition last term, beating Dinamo Zagreb 3-1 at the San Siro on Wednesday evening. Having drawn their opener this season, the three points were much needed by Stefano Pioli and his side.
Milan were, expectedly, the better team on the night and from early on as well. The Serie A champions didn’t always have an easy time in breaking their visitors down, but they were well on top for the majority of the opening 45 minutes.
Giroud breaks the deadlock against Dinamo Zagreb
Chances came and went for Milan in the first half without there being too many that could’ve been seen as major. Sandro Tonali headed the first of those off target, Rafael Leao swiped at a couple, and there were other attempts from range, but they got their breakthrough when Leao went down in the box.
With the minutes ticking over the regulation 45 and into stoppage time, Giroud stepped up and converted as he sent Dominik Livakovic the wrong way and allowed the Rossoneri to end the half on a high and with a deserved edge.
Saelemaekers and Pobega get on the scoresheet
A nicely-worked goal brought Milan’s second and with less than two minutes of play either side of half-time separating it from their opener. Rafael Leao was again the assist man, floating a centred cross for Alexis Saelemaekers to dispatch a bullet header.
But the Rossoneri’s confidence momentarily veered into complacency and Dinamo made them pay. This time it was their turn to string together a well-constructed venture forward, and Mislav Orsic capped it off with a fine finish.
Milan looked to really get in control of things from there, and the points were sealed in the 77th minute with substitute Tommaso Pobega thumping a shot in off the underside of the crossbar for their third after a Theo Hernandez cutback.
AC Milan’s attention now turns to Serie A with fixtures against Napoli and Empoli to come before a Champions League double-header against Chelsea on October 5 (away) and 11 (home).