AC Milan vs. Zenit St. Petersburg, 2012 UEFA Champions League: Final score 0-1, Zenit edge drowsy Milan

Claudio Villa

Zenit St. Petersburg booked a spot in the Europa League with a win over uninspiring AC Milan.

AC Milan had already clinched a spot in the Champions League knockout stages and while they had an outside chance at first place in Group C, they didn't play like they wanted it. They were slow and uninspired, which Zenit St. Petersburg were only happy to take advantage of. A goal by Danny led the Russians to a 1-0 win at the San Siro, which coupled with a Anderlecht draw at Malaga, earned Zenit third place in Group C and a spot in the Europa League.

The home side could have gone in front after just three minutes when Bruno Alves appeared to have fouled Giampaolo Pazzini in the box, but the referee did not award the penalty.

The first 30 minutes were devoid of chances for both sides. Hulk hit a long distance shot that didn't really threaten the goal and Cristian Zapata got on the end of the corner, but he put it over and the match dragged on.

Danny finally broke the deadlock in the 35th minute, but even then it wasn't particularly exhilarating. A misplayed pass left the ball in the box and Milan failed to clear it, giving Danny the chance to curl the ball to the back post for what would prove to be the winner.

The second half woke Milan up and had it not been for a couple good saves by Viacheslav Malafeev then they would have equalized, but the Zenit goalkeeper was up to the task.

Even when they began to get something going forward, Milan still didn't play great. Their chances were few and Sergei Semak and Hulk continued to give them problems at the back. Late on, Zenit took complete control and kept Milan from ever threatening, while also going forward on the counter upon occasion as they saw out a win that kept them in Europe, albeit in the continent's secondary competition.

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