Filippo Inzaghi's AC Milan were denied a victory against Real Madrid CF but the 37-year-old had the consolation of a new goalscoring milestone and a hug from José Mourinho.
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There was no hiding the frustration of two points dropped to a last-minute equaliser but AC Milan forward Filippo Inzaghi also expressed his "great pride" at reaching 70 goals in the UEFA club competitions with his double strike against Real Madrid CF.
The arch-poacher's brace on 68 and 78 minutes, which cancelled out Gonzalo Higuaín's opener at San Siro to give Milan a lead they would lose deep in stoppage time, took Inzaghi level with former Madrid marksman Raúl González in the all-time European football goals chart.
With Raúl still featuring on the UEFA Champions League scoresheet with new club FC Schalke 04, the contest between the veteran duo is set to run. However, the balance in Milan's Group G rivalry with Madrid shifted heavily in the Spanish side's favour with Pedro Léon's 94th-minute equaliser. "The disappointment of missing out on a victory that was virtually ours was tempered slightly by the goals, but it's a shame we didn't win this match," Inzaghi said.
The eventual 2-2 draw kept the Rossoneri five points behind a Madrid team that had beaten Milan 2-0 at the Santiago Bernabéu on Matchday 3. Inzaghi, 37, admitted that he has been impressed by José Mourinho's new charges: "Real were superb in the first 20 minutes and then we had a couple of chances which we knew would come our way."
The No9's ensuing goals – a predatory header after Iker Casillas spilled Zlatan Ibrahimović's cross, followed by a shot steered past the goalkeeper from a Gennaro Gattuso pass – were all the more notable given they came out of nowhere in a match largely dominated by the visitors. "We responded superbly and could even have won were it not for that late effort that squirmed in."
With Madrid's profligacy combined with Inzaghi's striker's instinct having put the Serie A outfit into a winning position, the late twist was Léon's last-gasp strike through the legs of Milan keeper Christian Abbiati, who could count himself unlucky. The draw, however, was probably no less than Mourinho's men deserved, and Inzaghi revealed that the former FC Internazionale Milano coach had congratulated him afterwards.
"I know the respect Mourinho has for me," the former Italy forward said. "Last year when he was at Inter he surprised me by waiting outside the dressing room to ask for my shirt. Coming from him that was a great honour, and the fact he hugged me after tonight's game made me very happy."