It was a night of shocks in many ways – both Barcelona and Galatasaray were favourites to win their matches – but neither did. It was one of those magical European nights at San Siro, where two goals from two former Portsmouth footballers, Boateng and Muntari, in the second half helped Milan achieve one of its most famous victories in recent times.
What makes the victory even sweeter for the Italian team is the fact that they managed to keep a clean sheet against a team like Barcelona. Interesting, Abbiati was hardly asked to make any save in the Milan goal. Allegri had a plan and his team executed it perfectly. The young team hassled Barcelona all over the pitch, it is the sort of pressing one usually expects to see from the Spanish team. In the end, Milan were clinical, they took their chances and hardly looked like a team which is undergoing a rebuilding phase.
But Barcelona players are confident of making a comeback at Camp Nou. Fabregas, who was replaced by Sanchez in the second half, was not surprised by the result and felt that the players were not at their best physically.
“It is not a shock, we know it can happen.
“But when you look at what this team has done for the past five years then the only thing in your mind is positive. We know we can do it.
“So, we do not need to be down from this.
“We were not at our best at all. I think we paid a bit physically. We had a few players who were playing at their limit.
“We knew that but, still, we should have done better. I think it will be a very exciting second leg.” – The midfielder was quoted in press.
Meanwhile Gerard Pique accepted that it was ‘really bad result’ for the Catalan side and stressed on the fact that Barcelona needs to improve in the second leg.
“We will obviously try to win the return game.
“We must improve and learn from tonight. We will look to respond on one of those magical nights at the Camp Nou.
“It’s a really bad result. We played badly and can’t make any excuses.
“When they scored the first we lost control. This is a difficult place to play and Milan are a club with a big history.” – Said Pique.
Even Andres Iniesta pointed out that the players lacked ‘freshness’, but revealed that they will go for broke from the very first minute in the return leg.
“We were lacking a freshness in terms of ideas. They were well positioned on the field.
“There is a return game to play and we have to believe we can come back from this. It will be a different story at our stadium. From the very first minute at the Camp Nou we’ll be going for it.
“When you are not on your game this is what happens, it is a poor result. This is AC Milan, it is the UEFA Champions League so you know anything is possible. We’re looking at a very negative outcome from tonight’s game.” – Iniesta said.
Assistant coach Jordi Roura, who is currently in charge of the Catalan side, remains confident of winning this tie at home but has stated although Barcelona were not at their best that the score line exaggerated.
“We are confident in our own team and playing at our own stadium,” said Roura.
“It will be a different story in the second leg. We fully believe we can turn this around.
“This wasn’t our best game. Although we had problems I think that the result is excessive.
“They found a couple of opportunities and scored from them which now makes things tricky for us.” – Said the Spaniard.
Milan will be quietly confident of holding off Barcelona in the second leg as well, as both the teams are likely to play with similar tactics in the second leg. But what might worry the Milan fans is the fact that Lionel Messi, who was inconspicuous in the first leg, hardly has two bad games in a row. But the advantage now firmly lies with Milan in this tie.