AC Milan cruised to an efficient but somewhat unspectacular 2-0 victory over Shamrock Rovers in the second round of Europa League qualifiers at Dublin’s Tallaght Stadium on Thursday evening.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s first half strike and a Hakan Calhanoglu goal after the break were enough to ensure that Stefano Pioli’s men made it safely into the third round of qualifying games.
The Rossoneri will now turn their attention back to domestic action as they prepare to face Bologna in their opening game of the new Serie A season on Monday evening.
It was the hosts who would have the first real opportunity of the evening, despite the Rossoneri having dominated possession in the opening quarter of an hour, when Aaron Greene’s low stinging shot called Antonio Donnarumma into action.
As is often the case in games of this nature the underdogs were made to pay for missing their opportunity to take the lead less than ten minutes later, Calhanoglu’s deft pass found Ibrahimovic in Rovers’ box and he calmly drove the ball into the bottom corner to give the visitors the lead.
With the advantage secured the remainder of the half descended into a game of keep ball with the Rossoneri happy to hold on to possession and take their advantage into the break.
Milan started the second half with a much more positive approach as the hosts looked to be tiring and Calhanoglu eventually doubled their advantage with a long range effort with just over 20 minutes to play.
The Hoops did briefly find a second wind in the final quarter of the contest, much to their credit, but they were unable to unlock the Rossoneri’s resolute back line before the full time whistle.