Notes On Three Big Points In Zagreb

Dinamo Zagreb 0-4 Milan
Gabbia 39’ Leao 50’ Giroud 59’(P) Ljubicic 69’(OG)

Tatarusanu; Kalulu, Gabbia, Kjaer, Theo; Tonali, Bennacer; Rebic, De Ketelaere, Leao; Giroud

A starting 11 featuring all of Rebic, De Ketelaere, Leao and Giroud would be considered offensive. Three points in Zagreb would mean that a match day 6 tie versus Salzburg would be enough for the Champions League knockout rounds.

The first few minutes were somewhat even and Milan had a scrambled action in the opposition box blocked by defenders. The hosts had a similar chance after the 15th minute mark. Dinamo Zagreb had more of the ball. Approachhing the half hour mark a good and prolonged passing movement led to Rebic getting the ball just inside the box, perhaps he could have done better and shot earlier. Moments later a back pass forced by Theo’s pressing almost found Rebic.

Milan were pinning the hosts back and a Giroud header, from a Kalulu cross, was punched out by Dominik Livakovic. A goal arrived when a Tonali free kick was met by a Gabbia diving free header.

Zagreb started the second looking brighter but it was Leao who doubled Milan’s lead. He took on the ball almost passed to Theo but ran and beat the goalkeeper himself. Giroud then had a header chance right at the goalie. Krunic replaced De Ketelaere and it is fair to say that young Belgian has yet to adapt to Serie A. Giroud then scored through a penalty. Tonali was held in the box by Robert Ljubicic. The Croatian also received a yellow. Giroud had several more headers and chances. The fourth goal was courtesy of an unfortunate unintentional header own goal, a Leao cross was misjudged by Giroud and the ball bounced to Ljubicic’s head an into goal. Messias, Ballo-Toure and Pobega came on for Leao, Theo and Bennacer to close the game. Origi then came on for relief of Giroud who, minus the penalty, had a frustrating night. Rebic had a late good chance.

The game ended with three big points towards the next stage of the UEFA Champions League.