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Ancelotti's plan comes together

AC Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti had praise for his team from front to back after they deposed Group D leaders FC Shakhtar Donetsk with a 4-2 San Siro victory.

AC Milan overcame their recent disappointing spell to move to the top of UEFA Champions League Group D with victory against previous leaders FC Shakhtar Donetsk, and the holders' coach Carlo Ancelotti had praise for his team from front to back. His opposite number Mircea Lucescu bemoaned the defensive errors that let Milan take control early.

Carlo Ancelotti, Milan coach
We knew Shakhtar played attacking football and they fielded lots of players up front so we had the chance to hit them with quick counterattacks. Everything became easier for us because we scored two early goals and they had to leave us space. We played a good game tactically and created many opportunities to score. [Zeljco] Kalac played very well in goal. He made some good saves and was very secure. We are happy for him. [Alessandro] Nesta and [Kakha] Kaladze also played very well in the centre of the defence.

We missed many chances but many of those were for Kakà who was not fully fit and despite this he had a great game. His performance was extraordinary, especially from the athletic point of view. He was devastating. We played well tonight and did exactly what we had to do. Now we need consistency. We will see in the next few games if we can keep this up. We have often managed to overcome difficult situations in the past. In Donetsk it will be a difficult game because they have plenty of quality. Tonight it was not easy at all even if you would think differently if you just saw the result.

Mircea Lucescu, Shakhtar coach
We lost and we deserved to lose. I'm happy because we didn't concede more goals, even if we could have scored more as well. I'm disappointed because we conceded goals from corner kicks, making incredible mistakes. Milan played as they had to. They needed an early goal and we gave them a gift early in the game and another even bigger one soon after. Then they were able to play their best football when they were 2-0 up. Some of my players were too scared to play in this stadium, some others were trying to do too much. We had planned a different game but when we were 2-0 down everything changed, we missed too many crosses and easy passes because the players lost their confidence.

We lost control in midfield. Our young Brazilian players did well in attack but not as well in defence. They missed important tackles, giving Milan the opportunity to create many chances from counterattacks. Now we have two weeks to learn how to respect our opponents and respect our system of playing. I'm still confident we can qualify but tonight we made some major errors. We reacted well in the second half and could even have equalised after getting back to 2-1. Then they scored the third and the game was over.