Champions League R16 – 1st leg
AC Milan 2-0 Barcelona
ADRIANO GALLIANI (AC MILAN):
“We did very well and I have to say that our coach was very, very good in my opinion. This evening we played a perfect match. We did well to prevent from getting inside the box. We did well againstb them last year as well though. We can play with Barcelona and that’s what I keep saying. Barcelona have a lot of respect for us and when they say they fear us, they’re not lying. In these games, the club history counts as well. If I think of where we were after 8 games played this season. Read more and get odds on AC Milan season.
Football is beautiful as you never know what can happen, but not even the most optimistic fan would have imagined this. We have to dedicate this win top President Berlusconi as it’s the 27th anniversary of his acquisition of the club and all the fans should know who they have to thank. President Berlusconi brought this club to the top of the world. The fans shouldn’t forget this, even when we lose to Sampdoria at home, not only when we win against Barcelona. Winning games like this needs great fans, a great stadium, history, tradition. I remember the final that Milan lost to real Madrid in 1958. We have a certain history and other teams look at us with a certain respect.
When the stadium is full, it instills fear and puts other teams under pressure. Since this summer we’ve been looking at a different typology of player than we usually look for. Tonight’s game was extraordinary and will stay in our memories for a long time. We were a bit timid up front in the first half but the goal helped us. Then there was once again, this characteristics that we’ve shown this season that in the second half we play better.
Muntari came over to celebrate with me after the final whistle. I looked for a moment at the referee’s assistant and then I saw that he was running back to the half way line and that the goal was good. We played a perfect match and I don’t want to single out any particular player as they all did well. Niang showed real personality when he came on. Great game, great determination and character.”
FC Barcelona players:
“We are Fútbol Club Barcelona and we have to fight back.” This was Gerard Piqué’s call to arms ahead of the return leg of the Champions League round of 16 on March 12 against Milan.
“We have to be better competitors. We didn’t play a good game, we didn’t create goalscoring chances and that’s what you have to do to win.”
“It’s not that we played terribly after the first goal. We didn’t play well in general and that’s largely due to how well our rival played. We have to improve.”
“This is a difficult result. We have to fight back, go for the [return] game and work hard.”
“I don’t think this game was lost because of small details, I think we lacked freshness, we didn’t create chances, and they were well organised. This is the Champions League.”
“We have to think about the return leg and make sure it turns out differently, we have to try and score from the first minute.”
“We weren’t on our game physically, they were strong and it hurt us.”
“We’re Barça and we have to play at the highest level, we simply didn’t play a good match.”
“We’re very eager for the return leg so that we can turn this tie around.”
“It’s time to fight back. When you lose you always have to think about what went wrong and we have to prepare for the match as best we can.”
“The worst thing about it all is the result, neither side really created that many chances.”
“It’s time to mount a comeback in front of our fans.”
“They were more aggressive, we have to improve in the return leg. We have to have confidence in this team, we can’t give up. We’re going to play at home in front of our fans, we aren’t going to give up.”