AC Milan Crushes Stade Rennais in Europa League | Sportsmonks
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AC Milan Crushes Stade Rennais in Europa League

AC Milan

AC Milan delivered a commanding performance in the first leg of their Europa League playoff tie against Stade Rennais, securing a resounding 3-0 victory at home. Ruben Loftus-Cheek emerged as the hero of the night, netting two headers, while Rafael Leão added a third to give Milan a comfortable advantage heading into the second leg.

Milan, relegated to the Europa League after finishing third in their Champions League group, asserted their dominance early in the match. Loftus-Cheek broke the deadlock in the 32nd minute, guiding Alessandro Florenzi’s cross into the net with a well-placed header. The goal provided Milan with a deserved lead and set the tone for the remainder of the game.

The English midfielder continued to make his presence felt after the halftime break, doubling Milan’s advantage just two minutes into the second half. Reacting swiftly to a rebound off Stade Rennais’ goalkeeper Steve Mandanda, Loftus-Cheek executed a diving header to extend Milan’s lead to 2-0. His brace highlighted his aerial prowess and clinical finishing, further solidifying his importance to the team.

Milan’s dominance was further exemplified by Leão’s goal in the 52nd minute. The Portuguese forward combined skillfully with Theo Hernández before calmly slotting the ball past the goalkeeper to make it 3-0 in favor of Milan. Leão’s goal showcased Milan’s attacking flair and ability to capitalize on scoring opportunities.

Despite their commanding lead, Milan were thwarted on several occasions by Stade Rennais’ resilient defending. The French side, determined to minimize the damage, put up a spirited effort to keep the scoreline respectable. However, Milan’s relentless pressure and clinical finishing ultimately proved too much for them to handle.

In other Europa League matchups, Qarabag produced a stunning upset with a 4-2 victory over Braga in Portugal. The Azerbaijani side’s impressive performance puts them in a strong position to advance to the round of 16. Meanwhile, Benfica secured a narrow 2-1 win over Toulouse, thanks to two penalty conversions from Angel di Maria. Lens and Freiburg played out a goalless draw in their respective fixture.

Milan’s comprehensive victory in the first leg of their Europa League playoff tie reaffirms their status as contenders in the competition. With Loftus-Cheek leading the charge with his clinical finishing and Leão adding to the scoring prowess, Milan will be confident of sealing their progression to the next round. However, they will need to maintain their focus and determination in the second leg to ensure they advance to the next stage of the tournament.

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By- Sahiba Suri

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