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Seedorf, Nocerino on Milan inspiration Ibrahimović

Published: Thursday 29 September 2011, 3.45CET
AC Milan's Clarence Seedorf and Antonio Nocerino were grateful for the return of Zlatan Ibrahimović, who inspired a 2-0 defeat of an FC Viktoria Plzeň side that rued missed chances.
by Richard Aikman
from San Siro

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Published: Thursday 29 September 2011, 3.45CET

Seedorf, Nocerino on Milan inspiration Ibrahimović

AC Milan's Clarence Seedorf and Antonio Nocerino were grateful for the return of Zlatan Ibrahimović, who inspired a 2-0 defeat of an FC Viktoria Plzeň side that rued missed chances.

Midfielders Clarence Seedorf and Antonio Nocerino were both grateful for the return from injury of Zlatan Ibrahimović, who inspired AC Milan's 2-0 UEFA Champions League Group H defeat of FC Viktoria Plzeň with a goal and an assist. Plzeň's Martin Fillo reflected on Pavel Horváth's first-half miss and the Ibrahimović penalty as key turning points.

Clarence Seedorf, Milan midfielder
It was hard to begin with because they were fast, well organised and clearly really enthusiastic to get a result here. Slowly but surely we took control of the match and created a few chances in the first half. After the break we managed to score thanks to Ibra and when the second goal sealed the victory. It was great to have Ibrahimović back because he is a very important player for us but we need to have all our players back fit again as soon as possible.

We were under pressure for the first 15 minutes or so because we pushed on but they were counterattacking very well, but once we got the measure of them we were able to stop them from being a threat. We missed a lot of chances but we got the deserved win in the end. Now we have got four important points in the group and we'll need to win the next home match as well, and hopefully we will end playing Barcelona for top spot here in Milan.

Antonio Nocerino, Milan midfielder
It was great to finally get the breakthrough because we created a lot of chances but we couldn't finish them off. But we did well in the second half; we kept our patience and managed to score and stay on top for the rest of the match so I think we played a good match.

Great players are key to this side's success. Ibra is someone who makes a difference for us and so we are delighted to have him back from injury. Here's hoping we get some more back before Sunday's match against Juventus.

Coming to Milan was an amazing feeling for me and if I have made a good start to my career here it is thanks to the staff and the great players I play with every day. They have made it so easy for me to settle and helped me raise my game to another level. It is incredibly simple to play with such formidable players and great people who make the game look so easy.

Pavel Horváth, Plzeň captain
We could have had better than a 2-0 defeat. I had a big chance to score the opening goal, which could have changed the way it worked out. I was a little surprised that the ball came to me through the Milan player's legs, but I shoulf have taken the chance.

Marek Čech, Plzeň goalkeeper
Two good saves in the first half helped me get into the game. The parry I made from Ibrahimović's shot was a reflex save. Our defence played well, it's a pity we weren't able to keep a clean sheet longer than we did. We could have got a point here.

Martin Fillo, Plzeň striker
It was too bad that we didn't score because we created some chances too. In the first half we had a great chance, but unfortunately Pavel Horváth missed it and after they scored two goals and started playing layed well it was difficult for us. They had some chances too but the penalty was the crucial moment. We played quite well but they kept the ball really well and it was difficult to take the ball off them because they have some great players.

It's just a pity about the penalty because it would have been a lot harder for them had they not scored that first goal. They have some amazing players; we don't get to play against players that good in Czech Republic so it was an amazing experience to play them. Our main goal now is third place, of course, because AC Milan and Barcelona are giants of European football so we have to focus on third place, but we will do our best and we will see.

Last updated: 27/11/12 12.28CET

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