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Málaga out to maintain dream start against Milan

Published: Monday 8 October 2012, 9.45CET
Manuel Pellegrini's Málaga CF really will have arrived in the big time if they can make it three Group C wins out of three when they host seven-time winners AC Milan.
Málaga out to maintain dream start against Milan
Joaquín and Martín Demichelis celebrate one of Málaga's three goals against Anderlecht on matchday two ©Getty Images
Published: Monday 8 October 2012, 9.45CET

Málaga out to maintain dream start against Milan

Manuel Pellegrini's Málaga CF really will have arrived in the big time if they can make it three Group C wins out of three when they host seven-time winners AC Milan.

Málaga CF will look to continue their dream start to life in the UEFA Champions League when they welcome AC Milan to La Rosaleda.

• The tournament newcomers head Group C after 3-0 victories over FC Zenit St Petersburg and RSC Anderlecht, and will increase their lead at the top to five points if successful against second-placed Milan.

Match background
• This is the first encounter with Italian opposition for Málaga, who are yet to concede in four European outings this term, qualifiers included.

• This is only Málaga's second season of European football and they remain unbeaten at home in UEFA competition. In 2002/03 they played eight home fixtures from the third round of the UEFA Intertoto Cup through to the UEFA Cup quarter-finals, recording five wins and three draws. Add this season's successes over Panathinaikos FC in the play-offs and Zenit on matchday one and they have conceded only three goals in ten home outings.

• Milan's 3-2 victory at Zenit last time out was their first win in seven UEFA Champions League away matches.

• The Rossoneri's last visit to Spain was a 3-1 defeat by FC Barcelona in the 2011/12 quarter-finals. They had drawn 2-2 at the Camp Nou in the group stage.

• Milan's last win on Spanish soil came in the 2009/10 group stage, beating a Real Madrid CF side coached by Manuel Pellegrini. Their overall away record against teams from Spain is W4 D6 L12.

Team ties
• Pellegrini's Madrid lost 3-2 against Milan at the Santiago Bernabéu in 2009/10, Pato scoring twice – including the 88th-minute winner – but earned a 1-1 draw in Italy and ended top of the group with the Serie A side second.

• During his semi-final run with debutants Villarreal CF in 2005/06, Pellegrini got the better of FC Internazionale Milano in the quarter-finals, ousting them on away goals after a 2-1 away loss and 1-0 home victory.

• Pellegrini's Villarreal also earned 1-1 UEFA Cup group stage draws at S.S. Lazio in 2004/05 and ACF Fiorentina in 2007/08.

• Riccardo Montolivo found the net in Italy's 2-1 friendly victory over Spain in August 2011. Along with Ignazio Abate he was in the side beaten 4-0 by Spain in the UEFA EURO 2012 final.

• Bojan Krkić won all five of his games against Málaga with Barcelona. His only goal came in a 3-1 win at La Rosaleda in May 2011, his final outing for Barcelona. Like Bojan, Carmona began his career with the Catalan club.

• Robinho scored for Madrid in a 2-0 Liga win at Málaga in December 2005. He played with Javier Saviola and Brazil colleague Júlio Baptista during his time at Madrid.

• Roque Santa Cruz and Nigel de Jong were together at Manchester City FC between 2009 and 2011.

• Martín Demichelis played in Bayern's 2010 UEFA Champions League final loss against Inter.

• Mario Yepes was a team-mate of Demichelis and Saviola at CA River Plate. After leaving for FC Nantes in 2002, Yepes played alongside Jérémy Toulalan.

• Oguchi Onyewu was on Milan's books between 2009 and 2011 but made only one competitive appearance, as a substitute in a 1-0 UEFA Champions League home defeat by FC Zürich in September 2009.

• Cristián Zapata (Villarreal) and Christian Abbiati (Club Atlético de Madrid) have also played in the Spanish Liga.

• Eliseu made two substitute appearances in Serie A for Lazio in 2009/10.

FARE Action Week
• Matchday three of the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League will contribute to the fight against all forms of discrimination in football stadiums as UEFA gives its full support to Europe's biggest anti-discrimination campaign – the FARE Action Week. Forty matches across the competitions on 23, 24 and 25 October will restate UEFA's commitment to ensuring that European football is free of racism, intolerance and xenophobia.

Last updated: 18/01/13 15.24CET

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