Zenit St Petersburg secured their place in the Europa League with a 1-0 win over AC Milan at the San Siro on Tuesday.
Zenit captain Danny scored the only goal of the game in the 35th minute to secure the Russian side’s first ever win on Italian soil.
Milan had already qualified for the knockout stages of the Champions League with their 3-1 win over Anderlecht on Matchday 5.
Malaga’s 2-2 draw at home to Anderlecht sees the Andalucians through as group winners.
Milan felt that they should have been awarded a penalty in the fourth minute. Giampaolo Pazzini was bundled to the floor by Bruno Alves after an Massimo Ambrosini header following a corner, but referee Tony Chapron was having none of it and waved play on.
Zenit scored the only goal of the game ten minutes before the interval. Ambrosini seemed to have dealt with the danger as the ball dropped to Sergei Semak in the area, but 29-year-old Danny, who missed nine months of action after a cruciate injury sustained in February, reacted quickest to steer the loose ball low past Milan goalkeeper Christian Abbiati.
Zenit sat back and invited Milan onto them, but although the Serie A side had plenty of possession in the final ten minutes of the half, they were limited to half-chances. Bojan saw an overhead kick float wide then Zenit goalkeeper Vyacheslav Malafeev was forced into an ungainly save from a 30-yard effort by Mathieu Flamini.
Fewer than 30,000 supporters turned out for what was basically a meaningless game for Milan, and there was precious little entertainment on show as a reward for their loyalty.
Malafeev did brilliantly to deny Pazzini with his feet early in the second half from Kevin-Prince Boateng's cross from the left, and substitute Robinho impressed in spurts after his introduction midway through the second-half.
But the impressive Zenit centre-half pairing of Bruno Alves and Nicolas Lombaerts held firm as the Russians secured third place in the group with only their second away Champions League win in 12 outings.
AC MILAN: Abbiati 6; De Sciglio 7, Zapata 7, Acerbi 7, Mesbah 6; Flamini 6, Ambrosini 6, Emanuelson 7; Boateng 6, Pazzini 6, Bojan 7...Subs: Robinho 7, El Shaarawy 7, Petagna 6.
ZENIT ST PETERSBURG: Malafeev 7; Anyukov 7, Alves 8, Lombaerts 8, Hubocan 7; Witsel 6, Shirokov 6, Denisov 6; Semak 7, Hulk 5, Danny 7...Subs: Lumb 6, Zyryanov 6, Kanunnikov 6.
MAN OF THE MATCH: Zenit St Petersburg defender Bruno Alves dealt superbly with the twin threat of Bojan and Pazzini, as the Russians recorded their first clean sheet in eight games.
- Sports & Recreation
- Zenit St Petersburg
- Bruno Alves
- Giampaolo Pazzini
- Massimo Ambrosini
- AC Milan
- Europa League