HomeChampions LeagueMilan revive Champions League hopes with thrashing of Zagreb

Milan revive Champions League hopes with thrashing of Zagreb

Soccer Football – Champions League – Group E – GNK Dinamo Zagreb v AC Milan – Stadion Maksimir, Zagreb, Croatia – October 25, 2022 AC Milan’s Olivier Giroud in action with Dinamo Zagreb’s Dominik Livakovic REUTERS/Antonio Bronic

ZAGREB (Reuters) – AC Milan revived their hopes of reaching the Champions League last 16 with a 4-0 win at Dinamo Zagreb in Group E on Tuesday.

Back-to-back defeats by Chelsea in their two previous matches had left Milan with plenty to do to qualify for the knockout stages, but Matteo Gabbia’s first-half header set them on their way to a crucial victory in Croatia.

Portugal forward Rafael Leao’s solo run and finish early in the second half put the game beyond the home side, before French striker Olivier Giroud made doubly sure of the three points with a penalty just before the hour mark.

A late own goal put the seal on the second win of Milan’s European campaign that moves them up to second place on seven points. If they avoid defeat next week against third-placed Red Bull Salzburg they will reach the last 16.

Milan’s victory also means Premier League side Chelsea progress to the knockout stages as group winners after their 2-1 win away to Salzburg earlier on Tuesday, while Zagreb stay bottom on four points.

(Reporting by Peter Hall; Editing by Ken Ferris)