Alexa

Champions League: Milan reaches final after beating Manchester United 3-0

Champions League: Milan reaches final after beating Manchester United 3-0

AC Milan reached its 11th European Cup final Wednesday by beating Manchester United 3-0 in the second leg of the Champions League semifinals and advancing 5-3 on aggregate.
Kaka, who scored both goals in the 3-2 loss last week at Old Trafford, gave Milan the lead in the 11th minute. The Brazil playmaker beat United goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar after Clarence Seedorf headed the ball into his path.
Seedorf made it 2-0 in the 30th, controlling a cross from the right with his chest and shooting past Van der Sar, and substitute Alberto Gilardino scored the third in the 78th after running into the area alone and looping the ball over the United goalkeeper.
"The way we played the first half I think is the dream of every coach. We played perfectly," Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti said.
Milan, which has won the European Cup six times and will be playing in the final for the third time in the last five years, will face Liverpool on May 23 in Athens, Greece.
The game will be a rematch of the 2005 final, when Liverpool overturned a 3-0 halftime deficit and won the title 3-2 on penalties.
"It's certainly special. The Reds have less quality than Manchester United, but they're more physical," Ancelotti said.
In 2003, Milan beat Juventus 3-2 on penalties after a 0-0 draw.
Liverpool, a five-time European champion, beat Chelsea 4-1 on penalties Tuesday after a 1-0 win put the teams level at 1-1 on aggregate.
"When Liverpool won, a few players were already thinking about revenge for the 2005 final," Milan vice president Adriano Galliani said. "The Istanbul wound is still fresh in our hearts."
Milan, which has never lost to United over two legs, also knocked the English team out of the competition in the semifinals in 1958 and 1969.
"I think they were better prepared physically ... that can make a difference," United manager Alex Ferguson said. "They were certainly sharper and quicker to the ball and pressed really well."
The result ended United's hopes of repeating its 1999 treble of the Champions League, Premier League and FA Cup titles.
Milan dominated from the first minute, when Kaka sprinted past Nemanja Vidic and cut the ball across the face of United's goal. Fortunately for United, Seedorf and Filippo Inzaghi could not reach Kaka's pass.
Two minutes later, the ball fell to Seedorf on the edge of the area but Van der Sar managed to tip the midfielder's drive over the crossbar.
Inzaghi could have added another but he missed the target from close range in the 41st.
United's best chance of the game came from captain Ryan Giggs, who shot straight at Milan goalkeeper Dida in the 20th.
"If you're going to lose a game and they're going to play some fantastic football and open you up really well to do that, you put your hands up and say, "We played a good side tonight,'" Ferguson said. "But we gave the goals away cheaply."
The Red Devils also failed to score on its last visit to the San Siro in 2005, losing 1-0 in the first knockout round.
Vidic returned from a collarbone injury to partner with Wes Brown in the center of United's defense. However, teammates Gary Neville (injured) and Patrice Evra (suspended) both missed the game.
Rio Ferdinand, who was carrying a groin injury, was on the bench.
Milan was without Milan captain Paolo Maldini, who withdrew late Tuesday after failing to recover from a knee injury he picked up in the first leg.


Updated : 2020-12-06 06:39 GMT+08:00