What do Christian Pulisic and AC Milan need to qualify for the Champions League Round of 16?
A damaging home defeat to Borussia Dortmund means Milan need two results to go in their favour on matchday six.
USMNT duo Christian Pulisic and Yunus Musah’s hopes of featuring in the 2023-24 UEFA Champions League Round of 16 are hanging in the balance after AC Milan were deservedly beaten by Borussia Dortmund at San Siro on matchday five of the group stage.
While Musah wasn’t involved in the game due to suspension, “Captain America” started on the left of a front three and played the full 90 minutes, but was unable to prevent the Italian giants from slumping to a 3-1 home reverse, while sees them slump to the bottom of Group F, aka the “Group of Death”.
Can Pulisic’s Milan still qualify for the UCL knockout stage?
But while the standings may not make for happy reading with one match to play, the Rossoneri, who reached the semi-finals last season, are still in with a slim chance of qualifying for the Round of 16.
Milan end the group stage with a trip to Newcastle United on matchday six, with both teams currently tied on five points. With Dortmund having qualified as a result of their victory in Italy, the sole objective for Stefano Pioli’s team is to catch and overtake Paris Saint-Germain, who have seven points from their first five games.
What combination of results do the Italians need on matchday six?
Their task is England is simple. Only a victory at St James’ Park will do and they must also hope Dortmund do them a favour by defeating Luis Enrique’s side at Westfalenstadion. Those results would take Milan onto eight points and see PSG and Newcastle remain on seven and five respectively.
Should the French club draw in Germany and also finish with eight points, they would finish ahead of Pulisic and Co by virtue of having a better head-to-head record, which is the first tie-breaker in the Champions League group stage.
Will Musah be available to play against Newcastle?
Pulisic has started four of Milan’s five Champions League group stage matches and will again be in contention to play from the off in Newcastle. Musah, meanwhile, has completed his one-mach suspension in the tournament and will be available for selection once again. Three of his nine starts this season have come in the Champions League.