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Inzaghi inspires Milan triumph

Published: Thursday 9 March 2006, 0.45CET
AC Milan 4-1 FC Bayern München (agg: 5-2)
Filippo Inzaghi scored twice as the 2005 finalists comfortably overcame the German champions.
by Trevor Haylett
from San Siro
Published: Thursday 9 March 2006, 0.45CET

Inzaghi inspires Milan triumph

AC Milan 4-1 FC Bayern München (agg: 5-2)
Filippo Inzaghi scored twice as the 2005 finalists comfortably overcame the German champions.

AC Milan turned on the full might of their attacking power before an exultant home crowd to destroy FC Bayern München and book a place in the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals.

Attacking prowess
Filippo Inzaghi scored twice with headers at the start of each half while the other components of Milan's exciting forward trident, Andriy Shevchenko and Kaká, both found the net. It took Shevchenko's tally for the competition to eight and it should have been nine, the Milan captain aiming wide from the penalty spot. Valérien Ismaël had temporarily brought the German champions back into contention, but in the end Felix Magath's side had no answer to Milan's fire power.

Inzaghi opening
The early minutes gave an idea of the feast that lay in store. Roy Makaay found enough space in Milan's half following Bastian Schweinsteiger's pass to demand that Kakha Kaladze's defensive work be both timely and effective. From there, Milan went to the other end where a dazzling combination between Shevchenko and Kaká enabled them to force the first of a series of corners. The pressure brought quick reward. A weak clearance gave Serginho the chance to measure his deep cross and either Inzaghi or Shevchenko could have taken advantage – indeed they almost collided in the rush to be first – but it was Inzaghi who met it with a firm header into the corner of the net.

Shevchenko miss
There were clearly more goals in the offing and one should have come in the 24th minute after Ismaël tangled with Inzaghi and conceded a spot-kick for the second time in the tie. Shevchenko had earned the Italian team a draw from just this position in Munich two weeks ago but now he got his placement all wrong, stroking the ball wide of the left-hand upright.

Ismaël hope
A minute later, however, Milan attacked again and this time Shevchenko was celebrating as a right-wing cross from Jaap Stam found the Ukrainian between markers and he had no problem placing his header beyond Oliver Kahn. It was a dispiriting first 25 minutes for the Bundesliga leaders but one goal would revive them and their chance came following a rash challenge from Johann Vogel. Schweinsteiger struck the free-kick powerfully and Dida could do no more than fend it off. Ismaël was alive to just such a possibility and had a simple task to score.

Decisive blow
Makaay had struggled to make an impact and was withdrawn at the interval with José Paolo Guerrero taking over. However, Bayern's cause was undermined again just two minutes into the second half, with another example of defensive uncertainty allowing Milan their third goal. Serginho's centre caught Bixente Lizarazu in two minds and, with Ismaël unable to effect a clearance, the ball fell invitingly to Inzaghi whose initial attempt sent the ball looping up into the air. Fortune continued to stay with the Italian international, however, as he was able to meet the ball with his head and guide it over the line.

Clinching fourth
Bayern continued to play a dangerous game at the back, Willy Sagnol allowing Shevchenko to get away from him. The Milan No7 was looking for his second goal but, like the onrushing Clarence Seedorf, was crowded out. The visitors could not afford to be so negligent because Milan were in full cry, threatening to punish every error. In the 59th minute, Shevchenko gave Kaká the opportunity to bear down on Kahn, and a rising drive forced the Bayern skipper to pick another one out of his net and sent Milan into the last eight in style.

Last updated: 09/03/06 11.30CET

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