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Milan mission accomplished

Published: Tuesday 7 December 2004, 23.45CET
AC Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti is satisfied having attained his goal of winning Group F with a draw at Celtic FC.
Published: Tuesday 7 December 2004, 23.45CET

Milan mission accomplished

AC Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti is satisfied having attained his goal of winning Group F with a draw at Celtic FC.

AC Milan clinched first place in UEFA Champions League Group F - and ended Celtic FC's European campaign - with this goalless draw in Glasgow. Second-placed FC Barcelona lost 2-0 at FC Shakhtar Donetsk, meaning the Ukrainian side overtake Celtic to take third position and enter the UEFA Cup. Celtic failed to break down a vastly experienced Milan defence that held firm despite the aerial threat posed by strikers Chris Sutton and John Hartson.

Martin O'Neill, Celtic manager
I am naturally disappointed but I could not ask for any more from the team. We started well, then Milan came into it but there was a period just before half-time when I thought we were going to score. We played wonderfully well against one of the tournament favourites, and I am very proud of the team and of their play. Some of our moves were terrific and we were led by young Aiden McGeady who looked as though he'd been on this stage all his career. It should not be forgotten we have drawn against Milan and drawn against Barcelona at the Nou Camp. I have absolutely no complaints with Barcelona - they got the points on the board and earned the right to do what they wanted. The players here have served us really well - in this big tournament it involves money and having a big squad. We went to Milan in September and the guys they had sitting in the stand would have walked into our squad.

Jackie McNamara, Celtic captain
The players gave it everything and although we are naturally disappointed we have to try and take the positives from this group. We played very well tonight against a top-class Milan team and also in Barcelona when we drew. Being involved in these types of matches is what we want - and we want more.

Carlo Ancelotti, Milan coach
We played well for the first hour. The last 30 minutes we got a little tired but we got the result we wanted. I am very happy because our goal was to be first in the group and we have achieved that. I was a little bit disappointed that [Andriy] Shevchenko and [Hernán] Crespo did not play at their best. We hoped the midfield would be able to get forward but it did not really happen for us - but we still achieved the result. The difference between us and Barcelona was that we had good players to come in to replace good players to help us to achieve the result. I am very sorry for Celtic - this crowd deserves a stage in European football. There is a big difference between the stadium here in Glasgow and the stadiums in Italy - this was a great show.

Last updated: 08/12/04 11.36CET

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