Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa scored a late goal against AC Milan to secure a 1-0 away win at the San Siro Stadium.
The victory gives Atletico Madrid the advantage in this round of 16 tie heading into the second leg at their home stadium (Vicente Calderon Stadium) back in Spain. AC Milan, the lone Italian club left in the tournament, needs to win by two goals (or at the very least a 2-1 victory) in order to advance to the quarterfinals.
Milan looked the better side in the first half and came close to scoring twice, with Kaka hitting the bar on the first chance and Madrid keeper (on loan from Chelsea) Thibaut Courtois pushing a Andrea Pirlo header onto the post on the other.
The match tightened up in the second half with very few genuine goal-scoring opportunities and looked to be heading for a goalless draw. But with seven minutes remaining the Brazilian-born Costa got Madrid on the board with a brilliant header thanks to an inadvertently flick of a corner kick by Milan defender Ignazio Abate.
A tough defeat for AC Milan and manager Clarence Seedorf who now face a tough hurdle in order to advance. The second leg will be held on March 11.