Allegri AC Milan’s coach:
The players really put in a great performance. We created a few important situations on the pitch and we conceded very little. We suffered a little bit in the last 20 minutes of the first half, but I think it’s an important result against a really great team and now qualification for the semi final is still wide open.
The players were very good. I think the second half was better than the last 20/25 minutes of the first half when they started to get the upper hand and we couldn’t seem to get going, but we were good and we knew how to suffer and not concede too much, we had some clear chances ourselves as well, Robinho, Ibrahimovic, Nocerino, Emanuelson and against Barcelona as well. I think they’ve almost always managed to score in their games so the face that they didn’t here is a good sign.
I’ve always said that I’m lucky enough to train a great group of professionals and even the players who aren’t on the pitch, even the ones who watch from the stands they’re always ready when they’re called upon and obviously that’s all thanks to them.
Of course it’s obvious that playing as they do, the longer you can keep them from scoring the better it is, the more time they go without scoring, the more pressure you can put them under. The players did well in that.
This game should give us a lot of satisfaction and also awareness ahead of Saturday which is a big game as we only have 9 matches left in the season. We have a four point lead and it’ll be an almost decisive match in the league. It’ll be a tough away game as they’re playing very well. Tomorrow we’ll rest, and the day after as well then we play on Saturday. Abate has been playing with the Primavera youth side so I think he’ll be available for selection.
Guardiola: “Our fans cannot let us down on Tuesday”
Josep Guardiola urged FC Barcelona fans and members to attend next week’s Champions League showdown with AC Milan: “Our fans cannot let us down on Tuesday. They need to come to the stadium and carry us to the semi-finals. These players have done too much to be abandoned. This Tuesday we have a final in our stadium with our people. We need the Camp Nou to be full. We have a chance to go through and between us all I believe it’s possible.”
The Barça manager considers that Milan’s satisfaction with a goalless draw at the Giuseppe Meazza is “the biggest of compliments,” although he warned that the return match at the Camp Nou “will be terrible” and that “there’s no room to speculate.” Guardiola continued: “A tie is never finished off in the away leg. However, keeping the condition of the pitch in mind, shooting 17 times is meritorious. Milan have seven European Cups, and we went toe to toe with them.”
“It will be a terrible match”
Referring to the last match between the two sides in the Group Stage, which ended in a two-all draw, Guardiola is clear that “in the world of football, whatever happened before doesn’t matter.” He added: “We know that it will be a terrible match. Milan have very talented players and they they defend well. This is why our fans need to cheer us on more than ever. We only have one option, and that’s to win – between all of us we won’t fail.”
On the condition of the pitch at the Giuseppe Meazza, Guardiola said that his players deserve a lot of credit “playing football or, at the very least, trying.” The manager said “something needs to be done. In the end we adapt to everything, we come and we play. But it’s clearly a problem for the show. It’s also true that to be champions you have to overcome every challenge. We’ve done it in the past and we’ll keep on doing it.”
Guardiola, who refused to talk about the referee, said that “everything is difficult. We’ve won a lot of things, we’ve drawn and we’ve lost. In the latter two we’ve never talked about the referees. To be Champions of Europe again we must do an even better job.”