Allegri not taking Milan qualification for granted
MADRID (AFP) –
AC Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri insisted on Monday that his team would need to be even better than in the first leg to go through to the Champions League quarter-finals at Barcelona’s expense.
Milan come into the last 16 second leg at the Camp Nou in a strong position, leading 2-0 from last month’s first leg in Italy.
If Milan manage to score in Catalonia, Barcelona will be left needing four goals on the night to turn the tie around, but Allegri knows that such an exploit is not necessarily beyond a team that contains the likes of Lionel Messi.
“I think it is easy to imagine how Barca will approach the game,” said Allegri when asked how the visitors would set themselves up.
“They will press us and not allow us to have much of the ball. From our point of view, we know that we will need to score once, even twice, to be able to relax.
“Whatever happens, it will be a difficult match, where we will have to be even better than we were in the first leg.
“We need to defend well, make the most of the chances we do get, and use the ball intelligently.”
The tie is Milan’s to throw away, but Allegri played down suggestions that it would go down as a failure if they faile to progress now.
“If you had told us before the first leg that we would be in this position, nobody would have believed it,” he admitted.
“Even if we score, Barca are capable of getting four goals. But they are also a team that give away a lot of chances.
“If the players remain focused, and we get a little bit of luck, Tuesday can be a historic night for us,” he added.