Filippo Inzaghi looked to have consigned Real to defeat after netting twice in the second half to help the Italian outfit overturn a 1-0 deficit, given to Mourinho's side by Gonzalo Higuain on the stroke of half-time. However, with Mourinho set to suffer a losing return to the San Siro where he enjoyed so much success with previous club Inter Milan, Leon popped up in the fourth minute of additional time to drill home the equaliser. The result means nine-time European champions Real are guaranteed a place in the knockout stages even though they lost their 100 per cent record in Group G.
Mourinho complained that Inzaghi's second goal should have been chalked off. "Their first goal came from a slip by Pepe and their second was clearly and obviously offside, without a shadow of doubt," he said. "But I don't want to talk about Pepe or the referee, we played very well tonight and Leon's equaliser was deserved."
Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri praised his side's character. "I think the draw was a fair result, they were better in the first half but in the second we had a good reaction, that's our strength. Unfortunately, though, we didn't manage to hold on to the win."
Both sides had chances during an entertaining opening period, although it was in-form Madrid - with ten wins from 13 competitive games under Mourinho this season - who looked much the more likely scorers for large periods. In the opening ten minutes the visitors went close through Higuain and Pepe and then, after
Xabi Alonso fired a 30-yard volley just wide,
Real were looking in total control but Milan's star-studded attack were not without threat either and Casillas did superbly to deny
Mourinho's side deserved a goal for their first half efforts, and they got the breakthrough they had been looking for right on the stroke of half-time. Di Maria charged in from the left wing and threaded a superb disguised pass into fellow Argentinian Higuain, who collected possession by the penalty spot before sliding his shot past the unprotected Abbiati. That was Real's 700th goal in the European Cup, comfortably becoming the first club to reach the milestone.
Madrid were back on the attack at the start of the second half with
Pepe made a mess of trying to clear a through-ball, allowing Ibrahimovic to break down the left and then Casillas could only parry the Swede's cross up into the air, allowing the predatory Inzaghi the easy task of heading home from close range.
That was in the 68th minute, and ten minutes later the 37-year-old netted what looked like being the winner. The
Massimiliano Allegri's men must have felt that was enough to sentence Los Merengues to defeat, but the visitors refused to give up and Leon latched onto fellow replacement Karim Benzema's neat pass before drilling his shot through Abbiati's legs, sparking wild scenes from the visitors.