Real Betis 1 AC Milan 1: Musacchio injury overshadows draw

By Sports Desk November 08, 2018

AC Milan came from behind to earn a 1-1 Europa League draw with Real Betis that was overshadowed by a serious-looking injury to Mateo Musacchio.

It appeared set to be another disappointing game for under-fire Milan coach Gennaro Gattuso, who had seen the pressure eased slightly by three straight domestic victories, as Giovani Lo Celso's third goal in as many Europa League games put Betis on course for a second successive win over Milan having beaten them 2-1 at San Siro last time out.

However, a somewhat fortuitous 62nd-minute free-kick from Suso levelled matters after Betis wasted chances to extend their lead.

The mood at Estadio Benito Villamarin was dampened significantly eight minutes from time when Milan defender Musacchio was taken off on a stretcher in a neck brace after clashing heads with team-mate Franck Kessie.

Betis opened the scoring in fine fashion in the 12th minute. Neat interplay between William Carvalho and Joaquin fed Junior Firpo down the left and his excellent pull back was confidently tucked into the bottom-right corner by Lo Celso.

Lo Celso and Joaquin then combined in a one-two that sent the latter through down the left side of the box, the veteran prodding towards goal but seeing his effort cleared by Ricardo Rodriguez to prevent Betis doubling their lead.

Again Lo Celso was involved as another clear-cut chance to make it 2-0 went begging, the midfielder playing the ball into Joaquin after a surging run before a low cross from Firpo was stabbed wide by Antonio Sanabria.

Milan came to life somewhat after the restart and an acrobatic save from Pau Lopez was required to keep out a curling effort from Suso.

But Lopez was unsighted as Suso restored parity three minutes later, his inswinging free-kick drifting beyond everyone in the box and into the bottom-left corner.

Fabio Borini then forced Lopez into action once more with a strike off the outside of his boot but the game ended on a concerning note as Musacchio left the field to applause from the entire stadium.


What does it mean? Milan keep things tight in Group F

Despite what has been viewed as a disappointing start to the season, Milan are in contention for the Champions League, sitting fourth in Serie A. Their hopes of keeping the Europa League route into the competition looked set to take a hit when Lo Celso opened the scoring but, while Olympiacos' win over Dudelange has seen the Greek side gain ground, Milan's fightback means Betis have just a one-point lead over that pair with two games to go.

Betis profligacy punished

Though Joaquin was unfortunate to see his goal-bound effort cleared, Sanabria should have done better with his chance and Betis did not do enough to make their first-half superiority count. They were sloppy in the second half and Suso ensured they were punished for their earlier profligacy.

Lo Celso looks the part

After starring at San Siro, Lo Celso was once again a thorn in Milan's side, pulling the strings for Betis from midfield and taking his goal magnificently. Betis have an option to make their loan move for the PSG midfielder permanent and more performances like this should convince them to do so.

What's next? 

Betis pit themselves against the might of Barcelona at Camp Nou on Sunday, when Milan will aim to make it two defeats in a row for Juventus and trim their lead at the top of Serie A.

Related items

  • Walker Cup counts as Hydel High School's first-ever title Walker Cup counts as Hydel High School's first-ever title

    Hydel High won their first major football title on Wednesday by defeating Excelsior High 2-0 in the final of the restructured Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA) Walker Cup knockout competition at the Stadium East field. 

  • Muller going through 'difficult' period, says Low Muller going through 'difficult' period, says Low

    Germany coach Joachim Low feels Thomas Muller is going through a "difficult phase" as he backed the forward to return to his best.

    Muller, 29, has struggled to find his best form for Bayern Munich, who are fifth in the Bundesliga, this season.

    But he remains part of Low's plans and the coach said Muller – the Golden Boot winner at the 2010 World Cup – could still play a key role for Germany.

    "Although he hasn't stuck out lately at the national team or his club, Thomas Muller is a player who gives a lot of energy and can lead and animate the youngsters," he told a news conference.

    "He still has those qualities of a great finish, of backing up. I have seen him in good form against [Borussia] Dortmund. Bayern's players were in a good form for 60-70 minutes.

    "Thomas Muller is a player who will always be able to decide matches, although he is currently going through a difficult phase."

    Germany face Russia in a friendly on Thursday before meeting Netherlands in the Nations League four days later.

    Low's men are facing relegation from League A and the 58-year-old accepted his team, stunningly eliminated in the group stage of the World Cup, were going through a tough period.

    "To stay in the Nations League is out of our hands. We have to wait and see how Netherlands will play against France," he said.

    "The most important thing for me are next year's [Euro 2020] qualifiers. Next year is important to find the right line-up, to get used to one another and to become more secure in the way we play.

    "Of course we are in a period of upheaval. The match against France showed we are able to keep up. [The] result [against Russia] won't be of too much relevance.

    "For me, it's about what we will get out of the match and what we will notice.

    "We need to see how Netherlands will perform against France. We might have a chance to get through the group, depending on Netherlands' result.

    "Then we will have to win this game, if possible."

  • Rooney wanted to finish career at Manchester United Rooney wanted to finish career at Manchester United

    Wayne Rooney says he wanted to finish his career at Manchester United but believes he chose the right time to leave the club.

SportsMax Zone

Latest Tweets

South Africa lose 28-9 in Windies defeat  Read full story here:  #WindiesvSouthAfrica…
Congratulations to Hydel High school! Walker Cup counts as Hydel High School's first-ever title Read full story,…
The defending Berger Paint Elite League champions eke out a narrow win on opening night. See story here:…
Follow SportsMax on Twitter
© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.