Tottenham edges Milan in first leg at San Siro
Milan, Italy – Peter Crouch scored with 10 minutes remaining and Tottenham edged AC Milan, 1-0, on Tuesday at the San Siro in the first leg of their Champions League round of 16 series, which ended with Milan’s Gennaro Gattuso head-butting a coach and punching a player from Spurs.
Aaron Lennon’s brilliant run, which started on the opposite side of midfield, ended with a perfect cross to Crouch, who shot into the lower-left corner from 12 yards for the lone goal of the match.
Schalke also earned a result on the road in Tuesday’s other round of 16 match, as Raul scored in a 1-1 draw against Valencia at the Mestalla.
Spurs take the away goal back to White Hart Lane on March 9, trying to advance to the last eight in its first-ever Champions League appearance. Gattuso won’t make the trip as accumulated cards ruled him out and a further suspension will likely be added following his actions after the final whistle.
Gattuso, who had a few clashes with Crouch during the match, was face-to-face with Spurs assistant Joe Jordan after the match and head-butted the coach. He then took a swipe at a Spurs player and appeared to hit him in the face.
The veteran Italian couldn’t spoil Tottenham’s win, though, as a great overall performance was awarded with the crucial away goal in rainy Milan.
Milan lost starting goalie Christian Abbiatti just 15 minutes into the game as he was stretchered off with a concussion following a collision with Crouch.
Rafael van der Vaart tested Abbiatti’s replacement later in the half but Marco Amelia was up to the challenge, tipping the long shot over the crossbar.
Mario Yepes started the second half with two chances for Milan, but Tottenham goalie Gomes made a pair of fine saves to keep the match scoreless.
Gattuso’s temper began to show midway through the half when he earned a yellow card, but neither Gattuso or his teammates could do anything to stop Lennon on the decisive play.
Lennon picked the ball up deep on his own side, drove at least 70 yards before avoiding a helpless Yepes, then squared a pass to Crouch near the penalty spot for a first-time finish.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s overhead kick appeared to even the game four minutes into stoppage time, but the goal was called back because he pushed off to open room for the shot.
Gattuso did not go quietly, as he clashed with the Spurs coach and player. The teams were eventually separated, and the second leg promises to be memorable – even with Gattuso absent.
In Spain, Raul scored his 70th goal in European competition in the 63rd minute as the German side earned a tie and takes a big away goal to Gelsenkirchen for the second leg on March 9.
Klaas-Jan Huntelaar whiffed on an open chance from 10 yards as Schalke wasted an early chance and Valencia was in front inside 20 minutes as Roberto Soldado bagged his sixth goal of the competition.
Jeremy Mathieu drove a cross in from the left and Soldado turned the ball past Schalke goalie Manuel Neuer at the near post in the 17th.
Soldado later turned a header just wide of the left post, and Raul brought his side back into the match in his first match in Spain since leaving Real Madrid to join Schalke last summer.
Raul had a shot pushed around the left post by Valencia goalie Vicente Guaita early in the half, but followed by tucking Jose Jurado’s cross into the lower- right corner to send Schalke back to Germany with a good chance of advancing.
Courtesy of Score Mobile FC