Coach Massimiliano Allegri fielded a 4-4-2, but it was more of a diamond shape formation, which positioned Clarence Seedorf behind Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Robinho. Ronaldinho was rested.
Despite a rather bold formation, it was Ajax who took the lead. In the 23rd minute, Luis Suarez eluded Alessandro Nesta with a brilliant move, and he passed for Mounir El Hamadoui to finish after a quick shot on the turn.
Robinho then had a brilliant chance to equalize, but he somehow spurned a terrific opportunity. Clarence Seedorf provided a wonderfully weighted pass, but Robinho, with only the goalkeeper to beat, somehow shot it wide.
Ibrahimovic made no mistake seven minutes from half-time, however. He expertly brought down Seedorf's pass, and slotted home from close range, while the ball was bouncing somewhat awkwardly.
Milan threatened to score the winning goal from that moment on, but it was to end 1-1. Milan now have four points, while Real Madrid, who beat Auxerre 1-0, top Group G with six.