AC Milan boss Allegri hails Barcelona after 4-0 romp
AC Milan manager Massimiliano Allegri hailed the “strongest side in the world” Barcelona after his team got knocked out of the Champions League with a 4-0 defeat by the Spanish side at Camp Nou on Tuesday night. The Italian powerhouse had a two-goal advantage from the first-leg, but only five minutes into the game AC Milan’s lead was sliced into half.
The San Siro boss opted for a defensive formation against AC Milan, something that was brilliantly undone by Lionel Messi in the first-half of the game. A magical brace from Lionel Messi brought Barcelona and AC Milan level on terms by half-time. The second-half of the game saw David Villa and Jordi Alba score two more goals to help the Catalan giants earn a well-deserved spot on the quarterfinals.
“Luck was with us in the first leg with that deflection into Boateng's path, this time it went against us with Niang hitting the upright,” said Massimiliano Allegri, while suggesting his side was out of luck. “It's only normal that this will now be painted as a disaster, but when you face a Barcelona side like this it's very difficult. They knew they had to score at least three, so poured pressure on from the start.
“After 30 minutes we played better and they got a little tired, as they couldn't keep that tempo up. Unfortunately, we came so close and did everything we could. Barcelona are the strongest side in the world. Messi and Iniesta kept dribbling with such cool heads in stoppages, Xavi was so sharp. I have to praise my lads for not giving up to the very end, as they could've let their heads drop.”
In spite of being out-played and outshined by Barcelona, Massimiliano Allegri believes his side was able to put a good fight. Massimiliano Allegri explained that his team had improved by a huge margin with respect to their dismissive start to the season.
“Tonight Barcelona were extraordinary, especially in the first 30 minutes,” Massimiliano Allegri continued. “Despite all that pressure, they had few real chances. In the first half we had a lot of problems emerging from our half, as they were pressing us and forcing errors.
“Of course qualification was always going to be a matter of centimentres. We hit the upright with Niang, then conceded with Messi.
“This defeat is disappointing for the club, the fans and the lads, as they gave their all and hoped to achieve something remarkable. Tonight it was tough against this Barcelona, yet we kept it open to the end and when 3-0 down had some chances that could've gone better.
“This team needs to grow and had five players who were in their first Champions league campaign. It will be useful experience. On Sunday we have Palermo and our objective right now is to get back into the tournament next season. This game must help everyone to grow, we knew there were difficulties and it's a shame.”