2 May 2007
MILAN 3-0 MAN UNITED
The heavens had opened up before kick-off but fortunately the San Siro pitch is in good condition thesedays and it had no impact on play.
Gattuso touched on a half cleared free kick to Seedorf and having controlled the ball with his left foot, he shot with his right through a ruck of players and Van der Sar parried the ball out for a corner. Milan played the ball out of defence after Kaladze broke up a United attack. Nesta exchanged passes with Gattuso before floating a cross to Seedorf as the United defence were sucked in, two players were on Seedorf and two were watching Inzaghi, Seedorf headed the ball back to the onrushing Kaka and his crisp left foot volley pierced the bottom left corner of the net. Seedorf gave Milan a 'proper' lead on the half hour mark (4-3 on aggregate). Vidic slipped under pressure from the eternal pest Inzaghi, Pirlo gathered the ball and played around with it as Heinze closed him down, he got to the by-line and flashed a cross between the posts, Vidic headed out, Seedorf took the ball on his chest, shrugged off Fletcher, rode a Vidic sliding tackle then fired into the exact same corner as Kaka'. Gattuso beat Carrick to a loose pass from Pirlo and gave it to Seedorf, with the outside of his right foot he poked a fantastic through pass to Oddo but Inzaghi volleyed his centre off target.
With Gattuso poised to tackle, Ronaldo panicked and played a hospital pass to Ambrosini, he fed Kaka', who had taken up a position on the right, and Vidic matched him in a foot race, as they entered the box Kaka' suddenly turned, sending Vidic crashing to the ground but VDS make a superb save and Inzaghi couldn't get near the rebound. Milan are the best team in Europe - until the 60 minute mark and once again they appeared to run out of steam as United were finally able to gain sustained periods of possession. The Milan defence were caught out by a low driven cross from Heinze, Rooney touched the ball to Fletcher but he sliced wide as Jankulovski closed him down. Minutes later Rooney jumped for a scissor kick as Oddo challenged him for a cross then, to show his utter desperation, made strenuous appeals for a penalty. Now it appears Milan have finally learned a valuable lesson because United's charge lasted all of five minutes as the home side sat deep and tried to hit their opponents on the break, two bloody years too late. Anyway some magnificent interplay between Pirlo and Seedorf went unrewarded when the Dutchman's inviting cross was missed by Gilardino. Brown got the better of Seedorf as he tried to launch a counter attack, unfortunately he gave the ball straight to Ambrosini who hit a perfect crossfield pass to Gilardino and he raced away from the half-way line before calmly placing the ball wide of VDS. Seedorf put the ball out of play after Kaka' went down with cramp. United didn't give the ball back and instead Scholes launched an attack. After the attack came to nothing the Milan players, lead by Gattuso, swarmed around Scholes and Gattuso earned himself a yellow card. After being booked he walked towards Scholes, making the wanker hand gesture, put up two fingers and said, and I quote, "Wanker, f*ck off bastard, f*cking bastard.". If only he added the word GINGER to that sentence. Ancelotti took him off fearing another yellow card and Kaka' soon followed him to the bench. The online Word editor helps you compose easily documents for the web.
This match was a perfect demonstration of Milan's measured passing game coupled with their trademark high tempo pressing. Not bad for a slow team of old men. Regardless of what happens in the final next years Milan will be even better.
This was posted on a wrestling message board. Matthew, Cardiff :
"For anyone who thought Ronaldo actually was the best player in the world, hang your heads in shame. Then f*ck off."
And so Milan earn a return to Athens, scene of their magnificent 4-0 crushing of Barcelona. It's time for Kaka' and Gattuso to write themselves a piece of history just as Savicevic and Desailly did 13 years ago. One more thing, Ambrosini STAY FIT.
Milan win 5-3 on aggregate
Attendance : 78,500
Assists : Seedorf, n/a, Ambrosini
1 May 2007
LIVERPOOL 1-0 CHELSEA
Gerrard's theatrics earned Liverpool a free kick near the left touchline. With the Chelsea defence expecting a cross to Crouch, to take advantage of make shift centre back Essien's vulnerability in the air, Gerrard rolled the ball across the box and Agger hit a precise first time shot inside the left post. Under pressure from Lampard Mascherano played a square pass in his own half to Mikel who, in an advanced position, showed his true qualities with an excellent lofted pass to Drogba but having lost Agger he shot straight at Reina. Essien blew Chelsea's only other chance of the half when he miss-timed a header after Drogba had flicked on a corner.
Pennant turned Makelele inside out on the right flank twice before swinging a brilliant cross to the back post but Crouch failed to generate enough power to beat Cech. Riise fired in a cross from the opposite flank, Kuyt out-jumped Essien with ease and beat Cech all ends up only to see his header crash against the crossbar. Another superb pass from Mikel, who would do a far better job of running Chelsea's midfield than Lampard given half the chance, sent Ashley Cole clear of fellow midget Pennant but Carragher made a brilliant clearance before Drogba could get on the end of the defenders centre. Kuyt had a goal disallowed for a marginal offside.
It would be easy to say extra time was half an hour of my life I'll never get back but by then I had lost interest and wasn't paying attention.
Zenden - I though he's Dutch so he'll miss. Bad penalty but Cech went the wrong way
Robben - Exactly the same height and side (right) as Zenden but Reina saved
Xabi Alonso - Low to the right, under Cech
Lampard - Whacked into the top left corner
Gerrard - Bottom right AGAIN and Cech went to his left
Geremi - Left of centre, poor height, saved
Kuyt - Bottom left corner, Cech dives but doesn't get close
Mourinho gave a shitty interview at the end claiming Chelsea were the best side/team (they weren't) and that they were the only team trying to win the match in extra time, which is debatable but bringing on attacking midfielders is a waste of time if the rest of the team play longball. I expect he won't be at Chelsea next season and while he can rightly feel aggrieved by the boards failure to bring in a centre back in the transfer window he has no one to blame but himself for the longball garbage his team have played over the past few months.
Match tied 1-1 on aggregate. Liverpool win 4-1 on penalties
Attendance : 42,554
Assist : Gerrard (fk)
25 April 2007
CHELSEA 1-0 LIVERPOOL
The first chance fell to Lampard in the 8th minute. Drogba headed a cross from Ashley Cole down towards the centre circle, Shevchenko controlled the ball and was about to shoot when Lampard took it off his feet and hit a volley straight at Reina. Joe Cole swung a deep cross into the box, two Liverpool defenders stood waiting for offside while Drogba beat Reina to the ball but completely missed the target. Terrible miss. Carvalho intercepted a Kuyt header while Liverpool were on the attack. He carried the ball 20 yards out of defence before feeding Drogba on the right flank, he muscled his way past Agger, cut inside the defender and Cole slid across the box to slam his centre past Reina.
Mikel headed a Riise thrown in straight onto the right boot of Steven Gerrard but his stunning, dipping volley was matched by an incredible one handed save from Cech. Drogba back-heeled a long ball towards Lampard, he caught it on the bounce but once again wastefully shot at Reina. While the Spaniard remains a great shot stopper he's still dodgy at crosses. He ran into traffic when attacking a 92nd minute corner but Drogba headed well wide of a post.
While Zenden gave Ferreira the run-around Liverpool's big stars didn't show up. Their failure to score an away goal could prove very costly. Essien will be back from suspension to give Chelsea a massive boost. Makelele is great defensively but his passing is mediocre at best. By the standards of previous Champions League encounters between these sides this was a classic.
Attendance : 39,483
Assist : Drogba
24 April 2007
MANCHESTER UNITED 3-2 MILAN
Dida gave Milan the lead after just five minutes. He strayed off his line from a corner, Ronaldo headed the ball at him and, under pressure from Heinze, he pushed it into his own net. Milan reacted as if nothing happened and showed off their midfield muscle by dominating possession. While Gilardino distracted Brown (it was his only contribution of the night) Seedorf pass a ball into Kaka', he accelerated away from Carrick and Heinze and as van der Sar covered his near post he angled a shot into the opposite corner. Brilliant finish but not as good as his second which was missed in real time by the director. IDIOT. Dida walloped a goalkick into the United half, Kaka' beat Fletcher to the bounce before flicking the ball inside Heinze, Heinze almost held him off but as Evra came into cover Kaka' headed the ball between them sending Evra crashing into Heinze and Kaka' ran into the box before slotting past VDS.
Although Milan usually run out of steam on the hour mark the loss of Gattuso on 53 minutes didn't help. Milan had sufficient numbers in the box as Man United were trying to find a way through after a counter attack, Scholes pierced the defence with an outrageous toe poke, Rooney gathered the ball on his chest, rode a challenge from Nesta and smashed the ball in off Dida to equalise. Rooney turned Nesta in the box before sending a cross towards goal, Bonera's weak header landed invitingly for Fletcher but he was denied by a great save. Milan rode out the storm - until the last minute. Giggs caught Brocchi in possession and ran half the length of the field before playing in Rooney with a fantastic reverse pass and with Nesta preparing to make a challenge he struck an instant right foot shoot beating Dida at his near post.
Great match provided you could stomach seeing Man United win. As long as Gattuso is fit for the return leg Milan have every chance of making the final although by then we will know their opponents and if it's Liverpool, Man United are welcome to them.
Attendance : 73,820
Assists : n/a, Seedorf, Dida (gk), Scholes, Giggs