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Rampant Milan reach Athens final

Published: Thursday 3 May 2007, 0.59CET
AC Milan 3-0 Manchester United FC (agg: 5-3)
The Rossoneri were imperious as they eliminated visitors United to set up a repeat of the 2005 final.
by Richard Aikman
from Stadio Giuseppe Meazza

Match statistics

MilanMan. United

Goals scored3
 
0
Attempts on target7
 
2
Attempts off target5
 
6
Corners4
 
5
Offsides1
 
2
Fouls committed11
 
21
Yellow cards2
 
1
Red cards0
 
0

Standings

Matches

 
Published: Thursday 3 May 2007, 0.59CET

Rampant Milan reach Athens final

AC Milan 3-0 Manchester United FC (agg: 5-3)
The Rossoneri were imperious as they eliminated visitors United to set up a repeat of the 2005 final.

AC Milan are through to their eleventh European Champion Clubs' Cup final after overturning a first-leg deficit against Manchester United FC with a memorable 3-0 win in the UEFA Champions League semi-final at San Siro.

Repeat final
First-half goals from Kaká and Clarence Seedorf, and Alberto Gilardino's 78th-minute strike were enough to end United's dreams of a second treble in eight years. Instead the Serie A giants completed their third semi-final success in the competition against their English visitors and set up a repeat of the 2005 UEFA Champions League decider against Liverpool FC in Athens on 23 May.

Portentous
The torrential rain, thunder and lightning which had broken out shortly before kick-off made for a fittingly dramatic stage upon which two of Europe's most renowned sides were to contest the continent's most coveted prize. The Rossoneri wasted no time in taking to the conditions and Seedorf set his sights as early as the second minute, stepping inside his marker on the D before forcing Edwin van der Sar to tip his shot over the bar.

Kaká strike
Milan, trailing 3-2 on aggregate, had made known their intent and they claimed the lead on ten minutes with a beautifully-worked goal. Seedorf showed exceptional vision to head Massimo Oddo's long ball back into the path of Kaká, and as he has done nine times already in the tournament this season, the Brazilian scored with an unstoppable low drive into the corner from 20 metres. United, now behind on away goals, needed to find a way through themselves and were almost gifted the chance when Alessandro Nesta misdirected a header to the feet of Ryan Giggs on 19 minutes, but the Welshman's low strike was clutched by Dida at the second attempt.

Seedorf masterstroke
Andrea Pirlo and Seedorf were combining well in midfield and it was Milan's No10 who doubled the hosts' advantage on the half-hour after a defensive mix-up. Surprised by Gabriel Heinze's risky pass, Nemanja Vidić lost his footing in his own area and Pirlo dispossessed him before crossing from the right. Although United cleared the immediate danger, Seedorf controlled the loose ball, flicked it past Darren Fletcher and Vidić before firing a fantastic shot from the inside limit of the box. United appeared frozen as Milan surged upfield again, Oddo crossing five minutes before the break for Filippo Inzaghi to blaze wide.

United advance
Gennaro Gattuso then epitomised the dominance of Carlo Ancelotti's men with a crunching tackle on Cristiano Ronaldo, celebrated by a punch in the air. Kaká could have enhanced their supremacy early in the second half as he broke clear and cut inside Vidić yet Van der Sar saved. Requiring at least two goals for survival, the English Premiership leaders finally began to push forward, carving out their first noteworthy opportunity on 62 minutes when Wayne Rooney played in Fletcher only for the midfielder to blast wide from 12 metres.

Gilardino delivers
Milan, though, were irresistible and, of the two teams, always looked the likelier to score on the counterattack. Substitute Gilardino, on for Inzaghi, did just that as he raced on to Massimo Ambrosini's measured throughball from deep before curling a shot around the advancing Van der Sar. Tempers flared late on as Gattuso and Ronaldo were booked for clashes with Paul Scholes and Seedorf respectively, but that will not matter to Milan as they eye a mouthwatering rematch with Liverpool.

Last updated: 03/05/07 12.28CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2006/matches/round=2360/match=300139/postmatch/report/index.html#rampant+milan+reach+athens+final

Lineups

milan

Milan

man. united

Man. United

1
DidaDida (GK)
1
Van der SarEdwin van der Sar (GK)
4
KaladzeKakha Kaladze
4
HeinzeGabriel Heinze
8
GattusoGennaro Gattuso
Yellow Card81
Substitution84
6
BrownWes Brown
9
F. InzaghiFilippo Inzaghi
Substitution67
7
RonaldoCristiano Ronaldo
Yellow Card84
10
SeedorfClarence Seedorf
Goal30
8
RooneyWayne Rooney
13
NestaAlessandro Nesta
11
GiggsRyan Giggs (C)
18
JankulovskiMarek Jankulovski
15
VidićNemanja Vidić
21
PirloAndrea Pirlo
16
CarrickMichael Carrick
22
KakáKaká
Goal11
Substitution86
18
ScholesPaul Scholes
23
AmbrosiniMassimo Ambrosini (C)
Yellow Card75
22
O'SheaJohn O'Shea
Substitution77
44
OddoMassimo Oddo
24
D. FletcherDarren Fletcher

Substitutes

16
KalacZeljko Kalac (GK)
29
KuszczakTomasz Kuszczak (GK)
2
CafuCafu
Substitution84
5
FerdinandRio Ferdinand
11
GilardinoAlberto Gilardino
Substitution67
Goal78
9
SahaLouis Saha
Substitution77
19
FavalliGiuseppe Favalli
Substitution86
14
SmithAlan Smith
25
BoneraDaniele Bonera
20
SolskjærOle Gunnar Solskjær
27
SerginhoSerginho
23
RichardsonKieran Richardson
32
BrocchiCristian Brocchi
33
EaglesChris Eagles

Coach

Carlo Ancelotti (ITA) Sir Alex Ferguson (SCO)

Referee

Frank De Bleeckere (BEL)

Assistant referees

Peter Hermans (BEL), Mark Simons (BEL)

Fourth official

Paul Allaerts (BEL)

Legend:

  • GoalsGoals
  • Own goalOwn goal
  • PenaltiesPenalties
  • Missed PenaltiesMissed Penalties
  • reds_cardRed Cards
  • yellow_cardsYellow cards
  • yellow_red_cardsYellow/red card
  • SubstitutionSubstitution
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