AC Milan made a winning start to UEFA Cup Group E on a night when Filippo Inzaghi reclaimed the outright title of all-time leading scorer in European club competition.
Inzaghi helped create the opener when Heerenveen midfielder Calvin Jong-A-Pin turned the ball in under pressure from the forward and Gennaro Gattuso soon added a second. With 21 minutes left Inzaghi made it three to take his personal tally in UEFA competition to 64, one more than Raúl González, prior to a Danijel Pranjić consolation from the penalty spot.
Heerenveen started brightly and peppered the Milan box with crosses before Mika Väyrynen tested Dida from distance. But just when the Dutch side seemed to be on top, they fell behind as Kaká crossed from the left and Jong-A-Pin deflected the ball past Brian Vandenbussche with Inzaghi looking to get a touch. Soon it was 2-0. Kaká was again the supplier, playing in the ball for Gattuso to convert. Slowly Trond Sollied's men came back into the game as Tarik Elyounoussi and Goran Popov had chances.
Heerenveen went even closer in the opening ten minutes of the second period, Pranjić and Gerald Sibon bringing saves out of Dida. But as in the first half, Carlo Ancelotti's Rossoneri soaked up the pressure before finding the net again themselves. Gattuso threaded a pass through the Heerenveen defence that set up Inzaghi to smash a shot past Vandenbussche. Inzaghi gave way to Pato, who forced Vandenbussche to tip his strike around the post, yet Heerenveen at least were rewarded with a late goal after Giuseppe Favalli fouled Paulo Henrique in the area and Pranjić slotted in the penalty. Milan welcome SC Braga on 6 November when Heerenveen go to VfL Wolfsburg.