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Toothless AC Milan Fail to Beat Cagliari Leaving UEFA Champions League Hopes Hanging in the Balance

AC Milan bottle the chance to qualify for the Champions League tonight. They will have to win their final game (away) vs Atalanta to qualify, assuming both Napoli & Juventus will both win too.

The task was simple. Win today and the Rossoneri would qualify for the UEFA Champions League but they were held by Leonardo Semplici’s side at San Siro. Cagliari have their battles to be fair to them as they hover dangerously above the relegation zone.

Alexis Saelemaekers forced a fingertip save from Alessio Cragno early on. Then Davide Calabria’s effort went wide minutes later. Milan were dominating but no clear-cut chances were being created. Cagliari got their first sniff of a goal from a corner when Leonardo Pavoletti forced Theo Hernandez to clear a header backward. Half-time, 0-0.

Joao Pedro has been the talisman for the Sardinian team this season with 16 league goals and 10 big chances created. He created the 10th chance in the second half but Gianluigi Donnarumma denied Pavoletti and kept Joao Pedro on 3 assists. Cagliari began to dominate proceedings. From a corner, Diego Godin powered a header towards goal only for Donnarumma to save again. Ante Rebic veered to his favored left side and whipped in a cross that Samu Castillejo kicked over the bar with his right. That was the chance right there. The Spaniard also failed to meet substitute Rafael Leao’s cross at the back post minutes later. The angle was probably against him too. Hakan Calhanoglu belted one at the near post that hit the bar even though Cragno had it covered.

The chances kept falling to Samu. He curled one just past the post in the dying minutes and then Godin blocked his volley moments later. 

A draw at the San Siro means Napoli and AC Milan are level on points with  2 games remaining in Serie A TIM. Cagliari are not totally safe but a win or draw over 14th-placed Genoa will keep them safe.


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