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Ancelotti wary of United backlash

Published: Thursday 24 February 2005, 0.13CET
Carlo Ancelotti admitted AC Milan were "only halfway there" after defeating Manchester United FC.

Match statistics

Man. UnitedMilan

Goals scored0
Attempts on target2
Attempts off target10
Fouls committed12
Yellow cards1
Red cards0


Published: Thursday 24 February 2005, 0.13CET

Ancelotti wary of United backlash

Carlo Ancelotti admitted AC Milan were "only halfway there" after defeating Manchester United FC.

Hernán Crespo's late strike gave AC Milan a crucial one-goal win at Old Trafford and the edge in their first knockout round tie with Manchester United FC. The Italian side's coach, Carlo Ancelotti admitted that although at times his side "struggled", for much of the encounter they "felt in control". His United counterpart Sir Alex Ferguson was typically sanguine, lamenting his players' "rushed" chances in the first half. His confidence seemed to be born from memories of the 1998/99 UEFA Champions League semi-final when United went to Italy and earned a 3-2 win to eliminate Juventus FC. The Serie A side's coach that night was Ancelotti and he readily admits, "We are only halfway there."

Sir Alex Ferguson, Manchester United manager
It was a match of high quality. They played an open game, which suggests they thought their best chance was here tonight. If we'd gone in front we'd have had less work to do, but the opportunities we had in the first half were rushed and we failed to take advantage. After the goal we started making mistakes and could have conceded again at the end. It wasn't right to play Ruud [van Nistelrooij] from the start; coming in to a game like this is difficult after such a long lay-off. Looking to the next leg, we can still score away from home. It'll be difficult for us, but no more difficult than Juventus [six] years ago.

Carlo Ancelotti, Milan coach
I felt that we played well. Although there were some periods of the game when we struggled, for much of the game we retained possession and dictated the pace. We were caught out a couple of times on the counterattack but for much of the encounter we felt in control. Our focus was on trying to score a goal. Towards the end we were able to create more opportunities but this was because United had to chase the game. In this type of match you can't expect lots of chances, it will often come down to just two or three sights at goal. We succeeded in preventing United from developing attacks but I think they retain a legitimate hope of winning the Champions League. We are only halfway there.

Last updated: 24/02/05 9.49CET

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