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Alessandro Nesta


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The Rossoneri affirmed that although they are not happy about the result from the first leg, they remain confident that a victory awaits them in the return with their fans at the San Siro

Here is what the Rossoneri players had to say at the end of the Manchester 3-2 Milan first leg tie:


‘We are completely confident, disappointed about how it finished but confident about the return leg. We sat back a bit too much and left the initiative too open for them. Having conceded that goal obliges us to make the return leg all ours. The 2-2 would have unconsciously made us play a waiting game. Instead, like this we know that we must win. Did we have problems at set pieces? It is just a matter of attention. We are ready for the return leg. I repeat, tonight we are disappointed but confident.’


‘It was a good first half. We stopped playing in the second half and that’s where we made the mistake. We thought that we were out of danger like happened against Munich, but it didn’t turn out that way. We will fight in the return leg. They were fired up tonight thanks to their fans, but the return leg will be just the opposite. We have great fans and that will be seen in the second leg. I want to say that we will do it, that we can do it.’


‘I am not doing great or else I wouldn’t have left the field. I can’t put weight on my foot. I will work hard to recover. I will work the entire week to be there for the second leg.’


‘I am happy with my goals, but sorry about the result. Just like I said before Bayern-Milan: we must take an important step at the San Siro to remain in the contest. I like my second goal better, but the first wasn’t bad either as it was a left-footed shot and that isn’t my foot. I came close with a third as well, but it didn’t go in. Too bad. I will prepare hard for the return leg. I think that our fans will be there to support us for this important and difficult game.’

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Nesta rues missed chance

Alessandro Nesta was disappointed after Milan conceded a late winner against Manchester United in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final.

Kaká scored twice before the break, but his brace wasn’t enough to secure victory, as the Rossoneri allowed Wayne Rooney to net with only seconds remaining.

That gave the Red Devils a narrow 3-2 lead ahead of next week’s second leg at the San Siro.

“We played well in the first half,” said Nesta. “Unfortunately we stopped playing after the break and that is where we made our biggest mistake.

“We thought we were out of danger, like against Bayern, but it didn’t turn out that way. Anyway, we will fight next week. They were fired up thanks to their fans, but the return leg will be different.

“We have great supporters and that will be confirmed in the second leg. I am sure we can do it,” concluded Nesta.

Massimo Ambrosini is also feeling confident ahead of Wednesday’s match at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza.

“We are sad about how it ended tonight, but optimistic for the next match,” said the midfielder. “We sat back too much and let United take the initiative.

“Having conceded that late goal will force us to play an attacking match – but that might not be a negative aspect.

“A 2-2 draw would have allowed us to play a waiting game. Instead, now we know we must win. We are ready for the return leg,” concluded the Rossonero.

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TORINO (4-4-2): Abbiati; Comotto, O.Brevi, Franceschini, Balestri; Lazetic, De Ascentis, Ardito, Coco; Rosina, Stellone.

MILAN (4-3-1-2): Dida; Cafu, Nesta, Bonera, Favalli; Ambrosini, Pirlo, Brocchi; Seedorf; Gilardino, Ronaldo.

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Torino 0:1 AC Milan - match report

Scorer: Seedorf 25 (M)

Clarence Seedorf maintained Milan's march in Serie A, but Torino will need a better performance than this to avoid relegation.

The Rossoneri again rested some top stars for Wednesday's Champions League semi-final with Manchester United and had Kakha Kaladze suspended. Toro desperately needed points to avoid the drop in these final weeks, having picked up one in four games. Former Milan men Christian Abbiati and Francesco Coco faced their old teammates, but Simone Barone sat out a ban.

Roberto Stellone nodded off target and Cristian Brocchi's volley whistled wide of the upright.

Ardito deflected Ronaldo's effort out for a corner and Alessandro Rosina was abandoned by his teammates on the counter, eventually stopped by Alessandro Nesta.

Clarence Seedorf broke the deadlock with a powerful strike. The Dutchman took advantage of the extra space left by a back-tracking defence to unleash a fierce right-foot drive that slotted into the top corner despite Abbiati getting a hand to it.

The Granata were defending so deep that even Nesta got forward to have a show charged down on the edge of the area. Milan hit the back of the net again when Abbiati only palmed a Brocchi shot into the path of Ronaldo, but it was ruled offside. Seedorf was running every attack in Kaka's absence and set up a good chance for Marcos Cafu.

Rosina was Torino's only inspired player and skipped into the box, but the ball ran away from him. It was mostly one-way traffic, as Andrea Pirlo curled two efforts just wide of the far post and Ronaldo scuffed his finish from nine yards.

Gianni De Biasi had to make changes and at half-time threw on Roberto Muzzi for the disappointing Coco, while Yoann Gourcuff replaced Massimo Ambrosini.

Toro almost equalised in bizarre fashion, as Gilardino cleared a free kick on to Giuseppe Favalli's back and it ricocheted over the bar. Nelson Dida then flapped a cross off Muzzi's head and smothered Rosina's follow-up.

Gilardino fired a good Gourcuff cross well wide as he only snatched at the volley, while Muzzi was furious when he felt he had been hauled down by Nesta clear on goal, but the linesman awarded the free kick against the Toro striker. It appeared to be a mutual pushing and shoving match.

Gilardino was stopped for offside and booked for dissent, so he will be suspended for the next Serie A tie.

Dida did nothing to boost his confidence, as he completely missed a corner kick and Muzzi drilled wide of the far post with the goal at his mercy. Marek Jankulovski replaced Seedorf for a tactical reshuffle.

Torino again felt hard done by as Nikola Lazetic dispossessed Cafu and ran towards the area, but the referee judged it to be a foul.

Substitute Jankulovski drilled wide from 25 metres with his trusty left foot and a weak Ronaldo angled drive failed to trouble Abbiati. Ronaldo was a little more effective when running down the left flank, as Oscar Brevi hauled him back and earned a second yellow card.

Gourcuff wasted a golden opportunity to kill off the game, hesitating when clear on goal with only Abbiati to beat. The Frenchman had a terrible match and in the final minute gave away a foolish free kick on the edge of the area. Ronaldo rushed out to charge it down from Muzzi, going too quickly and earning a yellow card. At the second attempt Muzzi drilled it through the wall and out.

Torino: Abbiati; Comotto, Brevi, Franceschini, Balestri; Lazetic (Ogbonna 80), De Ascentis, Ardito, Coco (Muzzi 46); Rosina (Gallo 84), Stellone

Milan: Dida; Cafu, Nesta, Bonera, Favalli; Ambrosini (Gourcuff 46), Pirlo, Brocchi; Seedorf (Jankulovski 65); Gilardino, Ronaldo

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GOALKEEPERS: Dida, Kalac, Storari;

DEFENDERS: Bonera, Cafu, Favalli, Jankulovski, Kaladze, Maldini, Nesta, Oddo, Serginho, Simic;

MIDFIELDERS: Ambrosini, Brocchi, Gattuso, Gourcuff, Kaka , Pirlo, Seedorf;

STRIKERS: Gilardino, Inzaghi, Ricardo Oliveira.

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Milan 3: Dida; Oddo, Nesta, Kaladze, Jankulovski; Gattuso (Cafu 84), Pirlo, Ambrosini, Seedorf; Kaka (Favalli 86); Inzaghi (Gilardino 66)

Manchester United 0: Van Der Sar; O'Shea (Saha 77), Brown, Vidic, Heinze; Fletcher, Scholes, Carrick; C Ronaldo, Giggs; Rooney.


1-0, KAKA, 11'

2-0, SEEDORF, 30'

3-0, GILLARDINO, 78'

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AC Milan 3:0 (5:3 on aggregate) Manchester United - match report

Scorers: Kaka 11 (Mi), Seedorf 30 (Mi), Gilardino 79 (Mi)

Kaka, Clarence Seedorf and Alberto Gilardino hammered Manchester United 3-0 to set up another Champions League Final against Liverpool!

The Rossoneri knew they had to fight back from a 3-2 first leg defeat at Old Trafford and so went for an attacking line-up with Massimo Oddo and Marek Jankulovski as full-backs and Pippo Inzaghi replacing the disappointing Alberto Gilardino upfront. Paolo Maldini was in the stands, but Gennaro Gattuso recovered from a bruised foot to start. Rio Ferdinand was only fit for the bench, but Nemanja Vidic returned and Patrice Evra was suspended.

Kaka bagged a brace in the first leg and had a chance after 60 seconds when he sprinted past Vidic but his low cross was just past Inzaghi in the driving rain. Moments later Edwin Van der Sar tipped a Clarence Seedorf strike out from under the bar.

Oddo's cross from the right found a too weak volley from Kaka and the Brazilian did a lot better on 11 minutes by giving Milan the lead. Seedorf nodded a searching Andrea Pirlo pass back to the edge of the area where Kaka drilled his low volley into the near bottom corner of the net. This goal consolidated his position as Champions League top scorer with 10 in 12 games and put Milan ahead on goal difference, 3-3 on aggregate.

Van der Sar rushed out to close down Pirlo's pass towards Inzaghi, then a Pirlo shot flashed across the face of goal. A Paul Scholes header looped over as Oddo kept him onside and Nelson Dida smothered a Ryan Giggs effort, as no Manchester United players were ready to pounce on the loose ball.

Vidic slipped inside his own area and gave the ball to Pirlo, then the clearance found Seedorf and he was able to shrug off two defenders to place a perfect low right-foot strike into the same corner as Kaka's goal.

Massimo Ambrosini's sliding tackle stopped Darren Fletcher short and Dida plucked a deflected cross off Cristiano Ronaldo's head. But Milan had a great chance to make it 3-0 before the break, as Oddo's low cross found Inzaghi to drill just wide of the near post.

Gattuso used his strength to shrug Cristiano Ronaldo off the ball on a counter, earning a standing ovation from the San Siro crowd. Wayne Rooney's snapshot felled Nesta and Ronaldo blazed well wide from distance.

Ambrosini won back the ball in midfield on 53 minutes and Kaka again left Vidic eating his dust, but Van der Sar parried the shot a little too far away for Inzaghi to pounce.

A defensive error at the other end sent Cristiano Ronaldo free, but his effort was charged down by Nesta. A Giggs through pass just missed Rooney's foot and Gattuso blocked Ronaldo's free kick.

Van der Sar ran out to clear from Inzaghi, but United were growing in confidence and Fletcher drilled wide of the near post, as he was totally unmarked on the edge of the box.

Rooney managed to turn Nesta but his shot flashed across the face of goal, then the England striker had penalty appeals as he attempted an ambitious overhead kick under pressure from Oddo.

Gilardino came on for Inzaghi as the Rossoneri seemed to tire after an hour of play. Kaka gathered a Seedorf pass and his shot was deflected wide with Van der Sar stranded. From the corner a Seedorf cross was cleared with some difficulty.

The first booking of the game only arrived after 74 minutes for Ambrosini's tackle on Paul Scholes. Gattuso fell awkwardly and appeared to twist his knee, but he was able to continue after treatment. Striker Louis Saha replaced defender O'Shea as Sir Alex Ferguson went for broke.

Milan made it 3-0 moments later with a classic counter-attack. Seedorf's first-time pass sent Gilardino clear on goal and he ran forward for 40 metres to side-foot the ball past a desperate Van der Sar. It was only his second Champions League goal in 10 appearances this season.

Kaka went down with cramp and so Milan put out the ball, but Manchester United did not return the sphere and had a shot on goal. Gattuso was furious and his teammates had to hold him back from attacking Scholes, the Italian earning a booking for his trouble.

Cristiano Ronaldo hacked down Seedorf and was also given a yellow card, which would suspend him from the Final. Gattuso was replaced by Cafu to keep him calm and Kaka made way for Giuseppe Favalli.

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KEEPERS: Dida, Kalac, Storari;

DEFENDERS: Bonera, Cafu, Favalli, Grimi, Jankulovski, Kaladze, Nesta, Oddo, Serginho, Simic;

MIDFIELDERS: Ambrosini, Brocchi, Gattuso, Gourcuff, Kakà, Pirlo, Seedorf;

STRIKERS: Borriello, Inzaghi, Ricardo Oliveira.

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