AC Milan reach Champions League semifinals for first time in 16 years

AC Milan reach Champions League semifinals for first time in 16 years
# 19 April 2023 10:57 (UTC +04:00)

AC Milan reached the semifinals of the Champions League for the first time in 16 years after Olivier Giroud struck the crucial goal in a 1-1 draw in the quarterfinal second leg at Napoli, which completed a 2-1 aggregate victory over their fellow Italians, APA reports citing CGTN.

Giroud tapped in what turned out to be the decisive goal two minutes before the break after a blistering run from Rafael Leao, who was once again key as Milan beat Napoli for the third time this month.

The France striker's 13th goal of the season saved his blushes after he missed a penalty midway through the first half.

Stefano Pioli's side now face the prospect of a local derby in the last four as Inter Milan hold a two-goal lead ahead of their second leg with Benfica on Wednesday night.

"I'm very proud of this team, with that spirit we can dream of anything," said Giroud. "In the next round there will be another hard match whether it's against Inter or Benfica, but if we keep this spirit we can go anywhere."

After the match, Mediaset showed Leao a video of Ruud Gullit setting up a goal with an almost identical run at Napoli in 1988.

"It's the same," said a shocked Leao. "It's what I try to do, go at players, it's how I can make difference. If I can't score I look for my teammates. I saw Giroud there."

Milan have not contested a Champions League semifinal since they were crowned kings of Europe for the seventh and most recent time in 2007.