Chelsea beat 10-man AC Milan to top Champions League Group E

Chelsea took a big step towards the Champions League Round of 16 with a 2-0 win at AC Milan on Tuesday, which propelled them to the top of Group E and left the Italians wondering what could have been. Graham Potter’s side took control at a sold-out San Siro against a Milan side who had to play most of the game with 10 men after Fikayo Tomori received a controversial early straight red card. The decision to send off Blues man Tomori in the 18th minute for a foul on Mason Mount in the area turned the game upside down as Milan drew level with Chelsea in the early stages.

Milan coach Stefano Pioli remained calm after a painful defeat but later told reporters: “I definitely don’t think the referee had one of his better evenings.”

Italy midfielder Jorginho converted the resulting penalty and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s cool finish eleven minutes before the break ended Milan’s resistance and put Chelsea a point ahead of Salzburg at the top of the group.

“It changes the game in terms of what Milan want to do, but for us we still had to make that count. It’s never easy playing against 10-man, especially here,” Potter said.

“It was a big moment, we still felt like we could do enough with 11 against 11 but the referee made a decision and we have to move on with that.”

It was a quick turnaround for Chelsea, who were bottom of the table ahead of their first game against Milan at Stamford Bridge last week and are now taking the lead after their fourth win in all competitions.

Back-to-back defeats by Chelsea leave Milan in third place, but they still have a chance of reaching the knockout stages for the first time since the 2013/14 season.

Pioli’s side are just two points away from qualifying and a trip to Dinamo Zagreb and Salzburg will decide their fate in the competition.

“I don’t think I have to motivate my players,” said Pioli afterwards.

“We need to prepare as best we can for the game in Zagreb and I will do my best for that.”

Tomori Rage

An already gruff, bad-tempered affair exploded when referee Daniel Siebert sent Tomori off and gave Chelsea a penalty after England defender Mount pulled out, brilliantly put through by Reece James.

Tomori couldn’t believe his eyes when he was sent off and both Mount and Olivier Giroud were cautioned for the scrum that followed, to deafening cheers from the home fans.

With an angry cacophony vibrating around the San Siro, Jorginho opened the scoring three minutes later, and further irritation from the Italian fans after his penalty kicks cost their national team their qualification for the forthcoming World Cup.

Giroud almost equalized against his old club with a header that went just wide of the post in the 27th minute, but Aubameyang soon put Chelsea in control of the game.

Mount was involved again, playing through both Aubameyang and Raheem Sterling, but it was the Gabon striker who went in first and finished calmly at Ciprian Tatarusanu’s near post.

The Blues’ runners-up, Aubameyang’s third in as many games, completely threw the wind out of Milan’s sails but to their credit they tried to force the problem in the second half, spurred on by their superb home support.

Sergino Dest could have pulled one back for the hosts on the hour mark, but he fired up a terrible effort up the stands when Rafael Leao smashed down the left flank and sent in an inviting cross that the American should have done better with.

Promoted

From then on, Chelsea were content to keep the ball and take the sting out of a game long since decided.

(This story was not edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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