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Milan tie sets Tafforeau aflutter

Published: Tuesday 26 September 2006, 17.26CET
Experienced LOSC Lille Métropole captain Grégory Tafforeau admitted that his heart skipped a beat at the thought of taking on AC Milan tonight.
by Chris Burke
from Lens

Tournament statistics

LilleMilan

Goals scored8
 
20
Attempts on target52
 
82
Attempts off target62
 
83
Corners33
 
71
Offsides8
 
38
Fouls committed146
 
181
Yellow cards21
 
19
Red cards1
 
1
 
Published: Tuesday 26 September 2006, 17.26CET

Milan tie sets Tafforeau aflutter

Experienced LOSC Lille Métropole captain Grégory Tafforeau admitted that his heart skipped a beat at the thought of taking on AC Milan tonight.

LOSC Lille Métropole captain Grégory Tafforeau admits that Tuesday's UEFA Champions League tussle with Italian titans AC Milan is unlikely to resemble a normal day at the office.

Unique atmosphere
The left-back is the northern French outfit's most experienced player, and the only one to have featured in both the club's previous UEFA Champions League campaigns, but even he is not immune to the unique atmosphere that is sure to colour the Group H encounter. "There's so much attention surrounding games like this that you can't help but feel your heart skip a beat," he explained. "Playing a team like Milan is special and although our first aim is to avoid making fools of ourselves, we want to prove ourselves against the best."

Different challenge
Having secured a 1-1 draw away against RSC Anderlecht in their opening fixture, there is no reason why Lille should not give a good account of themselves, and Tafforeau is adamant he and his team-mates will not be overawed by the array of stars on the opposite side of the pitch. "Milan have got so many great individual talents, but we'll be concentrating on ourselves rather than worrying about what team they put out," he said. "We got a good point at Anderlecht which was important for our confidence, but we know this is going to be a different challenge altogether."

Losing concentration
If they are to stand any chance of rising to that challenge, Les Dogues need to ensure they remain consistent over the whole 90 minutes, something they notably failed to do against Olympique Lyonnais at the weekend. Three second-half goals consigned the visitors to a 4-1 defeat in that match, and Tafforeau hopes the lesson has been learned. "We've been starting well only to lose concentration after half-time - that has to change," he continued. "Against Milan, things could go wrong very quickly if you let your focus slip."

Lille pace
One thing the French club do have on their side is pace, not least in the form of winger Kader Keita and striker Peter Odemwingie, but experienced Milan full-back Cafu believes his colleagues will cope. "We know they have fast players but so do we," he said. "It's going to be a difficult match, but it's an important one for us. It would be ideal to get a win to make our life a bit easier later down the road."

Last updated: 26/09/06 13.50CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2006/matches/round=2357/match=1116345/prematch/focus/index.html#milan+sets+tafforeau+aflutter

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