MADRID (Reuters) – A stunning header from Junior Messias in the dying minutes handed AC Milan a 1-0 win over Atletico Madrid and kept alive their hopes of qualifying for the last-16 in the Champions League on Wednesday.
Milan arrived in Madrid rooted to the bottom of Group B with only one point and anything but a win against Atletico would have eliminated them from this season’s competition.
Wednesday’s result means the race to see who will join group winners Liverpool in the next round will go down to the wire. Porto, who are on five points, as well as Milan and Atletico, who are tied on four points, will have to wait until the final round of fixtures to decide who will finish second, and hence progress to the last 16.
Milan will host Liverpool while Atletico will travel to Porto on Dec. 7 for the final Group B fixtures.
In a freezing night in Madrid, a packed crowd at the Metropolitano Stadium failed to spur on Atletico, who struggled to make any kind of impact against a Milan side who showed urgency and aggression in a must-win situation.
Brazilian Messias broke the deadlock in the 87th minute with a spectacular header after latching on to a perfect cross from Franck Kessie.
(Reporting by Fernando Kallas, editing by Pritha Sarkar)