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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

AC Milan Restores Italian Pride

In a venue where Bayern Munich had never lost a Champions League game, AC Milan eliminated the Germans, 0 x 2, to advance to the semi-final round. Where they will meet Manchester United in two weeks time.

Clarence Seedorf figured prominently in both goals. He scored the first in the 27th minute on a brilliant individual move. He evaded three defenders, and then took a swift right-footed shot that beat Oliver Kahn to the left-hand corner of the Bayern goal. Five minutes later, a quick back heel pass to a wide-open Pippo Inzaghi provided the assist on the second goal. Inzaghi has been a thorn in the side of Bayern Munich for many years. Tonight was his sixth goal against the Germans in Champions League play.

Going into this game, Milan were the underdogs after two away goals in last week's match. Given the venue and the opponent, I thought that the Milanese would be hard pressed to proceed. But after the result last night in Manchester, Italian pride was on the line. Gennaro "Rino" Gattuso, the heart and soul of Italian calcio, had this to say after the match:

“After yesterday’s 7-1 people were making fun of us. We are sorry for Roma, but I think Italian football has real value and we are World Champions...
Ottmar Hitzfeld’s pre-match talk really fired us up too, as he said he’d see us cry tonight. As for saying Pippo Inzaghi was not to be feared, he has proved himself so many times at this level." (1)

Reference

(1) Gattuso Waves Italian Flag. Football Italia, 11 April 2007.

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