AC Milan strode on to the field for the second leg of the Coppa Italia semifinal at the San Siro on Tuesday with a chance to qualify for their first final in 13 years.
The Rossoneri have been absent from the showpiece since they defeated Roma for the trophy in 2003. To give you an idea of the passage of time, the final was still a two-legged affair at that point.
Milan came in nursing a 1-0 lead on aggregate against a plucky Alessandria team that had risen from the third tier of Italian football to make a Cinderella run worthy of a place in European history as one of the biggest surprises in cup competition.
Given how skewed the Coppa is toward top teams—and the fact that Alessandria had eliminated opposition from a higher league four times, including two Serie A clubs, to reach this point—the run truly was remarkable.
This stage, however, is the one where superior teams tend to shine through. A team like Alessandria can pull surprise after surprise in a one-off game, but over two legs, talent gaps—really more like talent gulfs in this case—tend to show through, and it certainly did Tuesday, when Milan added five goals to the one they scored a month ago to run out of the San Siro 6-0 aggregate winners.
Who were the winners and losers of this one-sided affair? Let's take a closer look at the match and find out.