Allegri lauds Milan strength-in-depth

Massimiliano Allegri praised the "great contributions" made by AC Milan's substitutes in victory against Celtic FC, who Neil Lennon believed did not get their just rewards.

Milan celebrate beating Celtic
Milan celebrate beating Celtic ©AFP/Getty Images

Massimiliano Allegri, Milan coach
It was important to win tonight. We struggled, especially at the beginning of the second half, and we were lucky in scoring the first goal, even if we had some great chances before that. This is a victory for the whole team, who put in a solid performance. We didn't concede, which is important, and I can't say that winning games in the final minutes makes me angry. If all the games ended this way, I would be a happy man. We gave the ball away too much in the first 15 minutes, but when we needed to defend strongly we did that with all our men behind the ball.

The boys have big hearts and strong will, because games like this are open until the end. We must improve the way we control the game and try to read the situation better. We had several new players tonight in the starting XI and this made things more difficult, but the players coming off the bench made great contributions.

Substitutions are important; those players who were on the bench and came on in the second half performed well. Playing in San Siro or in a UEFA Champions League match is never easy. This team can improve a lot, technically and mentally, and they need to be more confident.

Neil Lennon, Celtic manager
We dominated for long periods. I said to the players that when you're on top, you need to take your chances. I thought we were brilliant. Sometimes in football you don't get what you deserve. I couldn’t see Milan scoring in the second half. It's funny you say that you have come away to San Siro and end up disappointed that you've been beaten.

I'm very disappointed because we played well for a long time in the match and we were the better team. We didn't want to leave without three points. We were confident and had a lot of chances, so there is regret. We have done enough in terms of performance, of course, and our goalkeeper wasn't very busy during the second half.

I'm proud of my team. We were confident and had a good mindset. We have to face Barcelona, it will not be easy, but we want to compete with all these teams.