Go to contents

AC Milan Wins European Club Championship

Posted May. 25, 2007 03:12,   


Italian club AC Milan has ascended to the throne of European football.

In the final match of the 2006-2007 UEFA Champions League, held on May 24 at Olympic Stadium in Athens, Greece, AC Milan defeated Liverpool 2-1 to win the championship. It was a result they earned through concentrated efforts on this specific tournament, after their involvement in the match fixing scandal last year crippled their chances of winning the domestic league.

The two teams had faced-off in the final match of the same tournament two years ago. Back then, AC Milan finished the first half enjoying a 3-0 lead, but lost their three-goal lead in the first six minutes of the second half. The Italian club eventually suffered a bitter loss after a penalty shootout. The game, which took place in Istanbul, Turkey, was a nightmare for one side, and a miracle for the other.

Ahead of the kickoff, AC Milan head coach Carlo Ancelotti said, “I think experience is a major factor in games like this, most importantly on the eve of the game. The loss two years ago, to be honest, affects us. Having players who have already been in this situation and are used to it takes you into the game with just the right level of tension.”

In accordance with his emphasis on experience, he placed veteran forward Filippo Inzaghi (33) at the forefront of his starting lineup. Many football fans had been curious whether the team’s striker would be Inzaghi or Alberto Gilardino (25), the team’s powerful young gun.

Although Silvio Berlusconi, chairman of the club and former Italian prime minister, had pushed the coach saying that he would start with Gilardino as centre-forward if it were up to him, it was Inzaghi who showed up first on the pitch.

In the 45th minute, AC Milan scored their first goal after Andrea Pirlo’s free kick deflected off Inzaghi’s left shoulder and into the goal. Inzaghi then added another goal in the 82nd minute, breaking through the strong defense of the English club.

Liverpool’s Dirk Kuyt managed to reply with an artfully placed header, but it was too little, too late. AC Milan now has seven Champions League wins in their club history, which draws them closer to the record held by nine-time champions, Real Madrid.