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Last Updated: Wednesday, 23 May 2007, 21:39 GMT 22:39 UK
AC Milan 2-1 Liverpool



AC Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti celebrates victory
Ancelotti is hoisted on to the shoulders of his players
AC Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti lauded his side's efforts after they landed the Champions League title in Athens with a 2-1 win against Liverpool.

"It's an extraordinary achievement," said the Italian after Pippo Inzaghi's goals secured a 2-1 final victory.

"This is an important victory because we did not lose sight of what we wanted to achieve.

"This is the greatest victory we've had. Few fans expected us to win the most important trophy. Maybe no-one."

606: DEBATE
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Ancelotti has now won the European title twice as a player, in 1989 and 1990, and twice as a coach after a previous success with Milan in 2003.

He added: "It's a very special relationship to me. I feel I belong to the Milan club. I played in this shirt, won important trophies in the shirt.

"I wasn't bothered about the rumours about someone replacing me in November. We just wanted to forget all the bad games which happened last August.

"It wasn't spectacular, but Liverpool is a team that can stop you playing.

"In the first half it was a difficult game. Liverpool attacked very strongly. There was a lot of pressure on our midfield. We couldn't get balls to Kaka and Clarence Seedorf.

The first goal opened up the game but the second was certainly more beautiful

Pippo Inzaghi

"But we are a tough team. We played with attention and care and getting Massimo Ambrosini and Alessandro Nesta fit was very important.

"It was much like our season. We started slowly but grew in confidence as the game went on."

Midfielder Clarence Seedorf, who was also celebrating a fourth victory in the final after tasting success with Ajax and Real Madrid as well as the Rossoneri in 2003, expressed his pride in the club's achievements after a year which saw them embroiled in the Italian match-fixing scandal.

"I am so proud to be part of this team. We worked hard this year, a very difficult year," said the Dutchman.

"They had a lot of fighting spirit and were more aggressive, but in the second half we had the better of the game.

"It was not the best game, we were very concentrated and we knew we couldn't make any mistakes against them.

"Hard work makes it happen. We had such a great spirit this year.

"It was difficult to play our total game and we knew from the beginning they would close us, Kaka and me. They played well, but had no great chances."

Kaka claimed that victory over Liverpool was all the sweeter coming so soon after their penalty shoot-out defeat to the Reds in the final two seasons ago.

The Brazilian said: "What happened then was strange, just six minutes when we played not so good and we paid for that.

"It's very nice to win because in 2005 we lost. This is a beautiful side."

Midfielder Gennaro Gattuso added: "The defeat two years ago will stay me for a lifetime, but this is a different story. It's our turn to celebrate now."

Striker Pippo Inzaghi , who scored his 37th and 38th Champions League goals, said: "These are the evenings that remain with you for all your life.

I think the fortune we lacked in Istanbul we had with us tonight

Silvio Berlusconi

"I've scored quite a few times in Europe, but scoring in the Champions League final is something special.

"The first goal opened up the game but the second was certainly more beautiful."

And the striker revealed his first goal, with a deflection from Andrea Pirlo's free-kick was a rehearsed move.

"I managed to do it against Empoli in the derby last year," he said. "Every now and again we manage to pull it off. We rehearse it with the manager.

"It's deeply rewarding for me, but most important was to win the cup. The coaches and the players work very closely together and it is great what we have achieved.

"We had to be careful. At 2-0 we felt euphoric but you should never lower your attention. Anything in football can happen, but we were glad it didn't happen tonight."

Club president and owner Silvio Berlusconi admitted his side rode their luck but hailed Inzaghi's influence.

"I spoke to Pippo before the game and he told me his mission was to drive Milan to victory and he carried out that mission," said the former Italian prime minister.

"We suffered a lot and it was complicated from the start.

"Milan's tactics clashed with those of Liverpool but we managed to score two beautiful goals.

"I think the fortune we lacked in Istanbul we had with us tonight."



SEE ALSO
AC Milan 2-1 Liverpool
23 May 07 |  Europe
BBC pundits on Athens final
23 May 07 |  Europe
Champions League photos
23 May 07 |  Football
Liverpool Player Rater
15 Dec 06 |  Live Text


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