Europa League - Qualifying Second Round
Shamrock RoversShamrock Rovers0AC MilanAC Milan2

Europa League: Zlatan Ibrahimovic inspires AC Milan to 2-0 win over Shamrock Rovers

Goals from Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Hakan Calhanoglu saw AC Milan beat League of Ireland side Shamrock Rovers in their Europa League qualifier in Dublin.

Ibrahimovic clinically fired home from the edge of the box on 23 minutes after playing a one-two with Calhanoglu.

The Swede hit the bar, before playing his part in a precise passing move which set up Turkey forward Calhanoglu, who scored with a tidy finish on 67.

Rovers' Aaron Greene forced three good saves from Gianluigi Donnarumma.

The Milan goalkeeper twice denied Greene in the first half and made another fine stop after the interval at a Tallaght Stadium devoid of spectators in line with Uefa guidelines.

Ibrahimovic's first-half strike was perfectly placed as he took one touch and slammed the ball right-footed past Alan Mannus at his near post.

The 38-year-old striker almost grabbed his second when a looping shot over his head cannoned off the woodwork and then Davide Calabria's inswinging shot forced a smart save from Mannus.

Aaron McEneff cleared off the line from Theo Hernandez while Ronan Finn saw his header saved by Donnarumma at the end of the first half.

Milan aiming to emulate past glories

The victory will provide a boost for the Serie A side in their first competitive fixture of their new Covid-19 delayed season.

The 18-times Italian champions are aiming to rebuild their reputation as one of Europe's major forces in club competition after being unable to challenge for the top honours in recent years.

Milan missed out on playing in Europe last season as they were handed a one-year ban from European football for breaching Uefa's Financial Fair Play rules.

The seven-time European Cup winners finished sixth in Serie A last season and manager Stefano Pioli has been tasked with plotting the club's way back to the highest echelons of European football.

His team will face Bodo Glimt of Norway in the third qualifying round of the Europa League next week and must then also negotiate the play-off round if they are to progress to the group stage of the competition.

Shamrock Rovers were the first League of Ireland club to make the group stages in 2011 but their defeat at the hands of the Italian giants leaves them to concentrate on the Irish Premier Division, which they currently head by eight points from Bohemians.

The Dublin side exited the Europa League at the same stage of the competition last season - losing 4-3 after extra-time on aggregate over two legs to Cypriot outfit Apollon.

Line-ups

Shamrock Rovers

  • 1Mannus
  • 28O'Brien
  • 4Lopes
  • 5GraceBooked at 51mins
  • 8Finn
  • 10McEneff
  • 16O'NeillSubstituted forWattsat 70'minutes
  • 29Byrne
  • 23FarrugiaSubstituted forKavanaghat 83'minutes
  • 21Burke
  • 9GreeneSubstituted forWilliamsat 88'minutes

Substitutes

  • 2Marshall
  • 7Watts
  • 11Kavanagh
  • 18Callan
  • 19Williams
  • 25Pöhls
  • 26Oluwa

AC Milan

  • 99Donnarumma
  • 2Calabria
  • 24Kjaer
  • 46Gabbia
  • 19Hernández
  • 4BennacerSubstituted forTonaliat 84'minutes
  • 79Kessié
  • 7Castillejo Azuaga
  • 10CalhanogluSubstituted forDíazat 84'minutes
  • 56SaelemaekersSubstituted forKrunicat 74'minutes
  • 11Ibrahimovic

Substitutes

  • 1Tatarusanu
  • 8Tonali
  • 21Díaz
  • 29Colombo
  • 33Krunic
  • 43Campos Duarte da Silva
  • 93Laxalt
Referee:
Adam Farkas

Match Stats

Home TeamShamrock RoversAway TeamAC Milan
Possession
Home32%
Away68%
Shots
Home9
Away21
Shots on Target
Home5
Away7
Corners
Home2
Away4
Fouls
Home13
Away19
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As It Stood

A

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1Sevilla65011431115
2Apoel Nicosia6312108210
3FK Qarabag6123811-35
4F91 Dudelange6114818-104

B

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Malmö FF632186211
2FC Copenhagen62315419
3Dynamo Kyiv61417707
4Lugano603325-33

C

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1FC Basel6411124813
2Getafe640284412
3FK Krasnodar6303711-49
4Trabzonspor6015311-81

D

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1LASK6411114713
2Sporting6402117412
3PSV Eindhoven6222912-38
4Rosenborg6015311-81

E

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1Celtic6411106413
2CFR Cluj640264212
3Lazio620469-36
4Rennes611458-34

F

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1Arsenal6321147711
2Frankfurt6303810-29
3Standard Liege6222810-28
4Vitória Guimarães6123710-35

G

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1FC Porto631289-110
2Rangers62318629
3Young Boys62228718
4Feyenoord612379-25

H

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1Espanyol6321124811
2Ludogorets6222101008
3Ferencvárosi TC614157-27
4CSKA Moscow612339-65

I

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2Wolfsburg632197211
3Saint-Étienne604268-24
4Oleksandria6033610-43

J

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1Istanbul Basaksehir631279-210
2Roma623112669
3B Mgladbach622269-38
4RZ Pellets WAC612378-15

K

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1Sporting Braga6420159614
2Wolves6411115613
3Slovan Bratislava61141013-34
4Besiktas6105615-93

L

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2AZ Alkmaar623115879
3Partizan Belgrade6222101008
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