UEFA Champions League 2006/07: AC Milan 1-0 Celtic
Wednesday, March 7, 2007
|Goalscorers for AC Milan||Kaka (93')|
|Goalscorers for Celtic||None|
|Bookings (AC Milan)||Ambrosini (Yellow (1))|
|Bookings (Celtic)||McManus, Naylor, McGeady, Lennon (Yellow (4))|
A full crowd showed up at the Guiseppe Meazza in Italy today to watch AC Milan take on Scottish side Celtic. The first leg of the matches ended in a goalless draw, as both teams were spirited in defense. Kaka and Inzaghi played as frontmen for AC, while Vennegoor of Hesselink and Jiri Jarosik were the strike pair for Celtic.
Milan had the first chance of the game early when Kaka found room and flashed a shot towards the bottom corner, but keeper Artur Boruc got down well to make the stop. Celtic then had a valid penalty claim after only 6 minutes when Jarosik's volley looked to be blocked by the hand of Maldini, but referee Konrad Plautz waved away the appeals. Celtic's defense continued to play well, and they limited Milan's chances to long ranged shots. Lee Naylor then performed defensive heroics for Celtic as he took the ball away from the open Inzaghi, who was waiting to tap the ball in at the back post. Kaka had two more shots from range at the net, but neither were on target. Naylor again saved Celtic by clearing the ball off the line from a Kaka attempt.
Over an hour had passed when Gord Strachan sent Thomas Graveson on for Celtic in place of Jarosik, and the Dane almost scored right away. He struck a fine shot at the net, but Massimo Oddo did well to block the attempt. Milan counter attacked quickly, and Kaka saw his attempt also blocked by a defender. McManus and Naylor were forced to clear headers off the line from Ambrosini and Inzaghi, both occurring after corners. Maldini then had a header at the Celtic net, but Boruc was again in the right place to make the stop. Celtic had another claim for a penalty when Nakamura was brought down in the area, but the Austrian referee again waved away all appeals. Boruc was again forced into action from a Seedorf free kick, which he was able to deflect out with a hand. Kaka then shot towards the goal, but the crossbar saved Celtic from going a goal down. As 90 minutes approached, Celtic had two well positioned free-kicks, but could take advantage of neither, and the game entered extra time.
It took Milan little time to go ahead in the extra period, and the scorer would be no other than the Brazilian Kaka. The youthful striker put on a burst of speed to beat out the tired Celtic defenders and blasted the ball through Borucs legs to give the homeside the lead. The game continued however, as the Champions League works on full extra time, and Celtic still had 27 minutes to equalize. It was Milan who pushed however, and Andrea Pirlo twice forced Boruc to make saves. Then Kaka, in search of a brace, sent a volley over the net after being left alone during a corner kick. Gravesen's long effort for Celtic was easy pickings for Dida, and Craig Beattie headed a good chance over the bar. Celtic vainly tried to tie the game, bringing on Kenny Miller, but AC finished the game comfortably, and advanced to the next round of the tournament.
- Andrew Scurr. "Kaka Ends Brave Bhoy's Dreams" — , March 7, 2007