The AC Milan camp was all smiles after their dramatic UEFA Champions League quarter-final elimination of Olympique Lyonnais last night. Filippo Inzaghi was the Rossoneri's two-goal hero in the 3-1 win and he was delighted to have played such a crucial part in what developed into a momentous match.
Inzaghi has scored four goals in five games in the competition this season, proving that he is back to his best after a career-threatening injury kept him out of the game for the better part of two years until his return three months ago. "I'm really happy to have scored again," he said. "I certainly didn't expect to score twice again after doing so against [FC] Bayern München in the last round." His goals against the German champions contributed to a convincing 4-1 second-leg win but Inzaghi's second strike against Lyon was all the more important for its timing - two minutes from the end of a tie which the French side were about to win on away goals.
No pain, no gain
'SuperPippo' continued: "We left it late, it's true, but that's football for you. It's a long-suffering game.
If we don't like suffering then we should give up on football and take up another profession. This was a very big win for us - that's one of the most pleasing aspects of this victory. We kept going until the very end and showed great team spirit and character. We suffered to the last but sometimes the agonising matches are the sweetest to win."
Looking ahead to their semi-final against either FC Barcelona or SL Benfica, Inzaghi made no secret of the side he most fears. "If we play Barcelona then it will be very difficult for us," said the Italy striker. "On paper they are a better side than Benfica, but we'll see. You never know we may end up playing Benfica." Inzaghi's Brazilian team-mate Kakà , by contrast, is keen to bring on the Catalans. "I'd most look forward to playing Barcelona in the semi-finals because that would be a final in itself."
Clearly someone who revels in the big-match atmosphere, the attacking midfielder was also impressed by the rousing support of the San Siro faithful, who continued to generate a cacophony of noise until the very end. He said: "It was an unbelievable atmosphere. It's such a pleasure to play in front of such great support - almost as much as it's nice to feel safe in the knowledge that we can score at any time, even at the very end."
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