Barcelona blames San Siro pitch for defeat to AC Milan
The famous Stadio Giuseppe Meazza at the San Siro has seen many historic chapters written inside its walls. It is well known for its passionate and electric home and away crowd, but the reason it’s been often marked for criticism is its abysmal pitch.
Wednesday night was another historic for Stadio Giuseppe Meazza as AC Milan recorded a memorable 2-0 win over Spanish football giants Barcelona. The Rossoneri outplayed the Catalans tactically and performed brilliantly on the field, yet it was the pitch that was named the villain of the night by the Barcelona side.
Jordi Roura, the assistant coach of Barcelona, lead the Spanish club in the absence of manager Tito Vilanova, who is in New York undergoing treatment for throat cancer. Roura struck out at the state of the pitch after game and claimed he was shocked to see his get affected by it.
The Ghanaian midfielders of AC Milan, Kevin Prince Boateng and Sulley Muntari, took it upon themselves to ensure AC Milan travels to Camp Nou with an advantage. Second half goals from Boateng and Muntari and overall impressive defensive performance means AC Milan will travel to Spain with an advantage.
Roura criticized the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza pitch as one of the reasons behind Barcelona’s defeat, but he also accepted the fact that Barcelona had simply not done enough to deserve a victory.
Interestingly, Jordi Roura’s playing career came spiraled downwards after a serious knee injury at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, San Siro in 1989. The Spaniard, who was playing for Barcelona at that time, reckons the San Siro stadium just isn’t fit for Champions League action.
“It's bad to lose 2-0 but we're convinced that when we'll be playing at home in front of our own fans on a pitch that is fit for this competition, we will overcome this setback,” said Roura.
On the other hand, an exuberant AC Milan manager Massimiliano Allegri had no idea what Jordi Roura was talking about. All the Allegri knew was that AC Milan had beaten Barcelona and done so for the first time in the Champions League since the year 2000.
“It's a great and deserved win for us," said Allegri. “We worked hard as a club to prepare for this match and the lads did a great job.
“We could have perhaps done better with the chances we had in the first half, and finished the game with a third goal, but we never believed we would be going to the Nou Camp with a 2-0 advantage.”
AC Milan are scheduled to meet Barcelona at Camp Nou on March 6 for the second leg of their Champions League battle.