The AC Milan defense and midfield didn't look particularly convincing during their Champions League playoff tie against PSV Eindhoven, but their attackers did an excellent job of finishing off their chances when they had them. Thanks to Kevin-Prince Boateng and Mario Balotelli, an even match ended 3-0 at the San Siro on Wednesday, giving Milan a 4-1 aggregate victory in the tie.
Boateng's opener came just one minute after Christian Abbiati made a brilliant save on a header by Tim Matavz. The PSV defense gave Boateng too much space as he dribbled towards the penalty area and he pulled up from 25 yards, hitting a powerful shot past Jeroen Zoet low and to his left.
Adam Maher nearly leveled the tie in the 21st minute with an impressive volley from 30 yards, but Abbiati came up with an even more impressive stop. Milan had a couple more chances to extend their lead in the first half, but narrowly missed both of them. Riccardo Montolivo missed inches wide of the near post with a close-range shot in the 30th minute before Stephan El Shaarawy smacked the crossbar from the edge of the box two minutes later.
PSV came out of the locker room like gangbusters and nearly fought their way back into the match, but their failure to score came back to haunt them quickly. Abbiati made a stop on Giorgino Wijnaldum just a minute after the second half began and Mario Balotelli made him pay dearly for that miss in the 54th minute.
The tie-clinching goal came on a corner, with Philippe Mexes winning the ball in the air and flicking backwards towards the penalty spot. Balotelli was waiting and unleashed a stellar volley into the roof of the net to put his side up 2-0 on the night and give them a major cushion.
Boateng completed a brace in the 77th minute, beating Zoet with a left-footed shot to the far post from inside the penalty area to completely put the tie to bed.
AC Milan: Abbiati, De Sciglio, Mexes, Zapata, Abate, De Jong, Muntari (Nocerino 82'), Montolivo, Boateng (Robinho 86'), El Shaarawy (Poli 74'), Balotelli,
Goals: Boateng (9', 77'), Mario Balotelli (54')
PSV Eindhoven: Zoet, Willems, Bruma, Rekik, Brenet, Schaars, Park, Wijnaldum, Depay (Locadia 74'), (Jozefzoon 61'), Maher (Toivonen 69'), Matavz