It was a historical night at San Siro in many ways. The starting line-up of AC Milan seemed like a pale shadow of their former self – it looked like a team which is undergoing a transitional phase – but it is a team of some confident young footballers.
Their illustrious opponents on the other hand have conquered it all. It was literally men against boys – at least so it seemed on paper – and looking at the odds made by the bookmakers, one could have hardly predicted Milan to get anything out of this match.
But the match last night once again showed the unpredictable and romantic side of the sports, especially in knockout tournaments. With a two goal lead, Milan are now just 90 minutes away from knocking out what is widely regarded as the best footballing side on the planet.
But Sulley Muntari, who scored the second goal of the night, sounded cautious about the return leg in Spain. The former Portsmouth midfielder praised his team mates for the organised and disciplined defensive display, but is well aware of the threat Barcelona possesses at their home turf.
“We played as a team, we listened to our coach and he did a fantastic job by putting us very well on the pitch.
“We were very disciplined and we closed every angle Barca had so they could not penetrate.
“We were very disciplined, Barcelona is a top club in the world – they play fantastic football and have amazing players and if you play without concentration they will harm you and make you suffer but we knew what we were going to face and it went well so we are happy.
“I was telling my wife that I had never scored before so it came today and it was a surprise, I’m really, really happy for the goal and for the team.
“It is a lot, but in the Camp Nou it is not easy – you could win four or five but they can do crazy things as this is Barcelona – we have two goals advantage and we will try our best to do well.” – Muntari said.
AC Milan goalkeeper, Christian Abbiati, who hardly made any save all evening, was delighted with the ‘spirit’ shown by his colleagues in the big match.
“We made a big performance, we showed a big sacrifice and spirit.
“We won a big match against a big team. We knew the ball possession would be with Barcelona, but with the coach we prepared a good match, and thanks to our forwards, who also helped on defence, we gave a good performance. Congratulations to the team.” – Abbiati was quoted in press.
Massimiliano Allegri on the other hand is convinced that Milan needs to score at Camp Nou in order to win this tie. The Italian was particularly pleased with the fact that Milan were able to keep a clean sheet in this match.
“We must score, because Barcelona at home have always scored a lot.
“It will be necessary to have a good match there, probably better than this evening’s.
“I think the team produced a big performance. My guys were really good defensively.
“Not allowing Barcelona to score is not easy. In the first half, we had a few chances and we could have done better. But I think my players deserved the win.
“At the end, we could have increased our lead.” – Allegri was quoted in Sky Italia.