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Thread: AC Milan vs FCBarcelona

  1. #33
    Senior Member Filipez's Avatar
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    Milan to ‘ignore’ Ronaldinho Monday 17 April, 2006

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Milan will not use a man-marker on Barcelona star Ronaldinho in Tuesday’s Champions League showdown, insists boss Carlo Ancelotti.

    The Brazilian is undoubtedly the Spanish outfit’s biggest threat, but the Italian maintains that he won’t ask one player to shadow the South American in the semi-final first leg clash.

    “I won’t put a man on him,” said Ancelotti in Monday’s media conference. “We’ve never used that tactic in a game.

    “We’ll look to control his presence as best we can in the zones of the pitch which he will try to play in.”

    Barca arrive at the San Siro with numerous injury problems, including the loss of their Brazilian-born Portuguese international Deco and Argentine Lionel Messi.

    “I don’t think that Frank Rijkaard will change the entire shape of his side just because Deco is missing,” noted Ancelotti when asked what he expected from the Spaniards.

    Milan go into the game fresh from a 1-0 win over city rivals Inter and Ancelotti is demanding another victory tomorrow night.

    “It will be doubly important for us to win the game by not conceding a goal, but the most important thing is to win,” added the Coach.

    “Milan and Barcelona are two great sides and perhaps are the best expression of football in Europe at this present time.

    “I think our two games will be entertaining and quality affairs. However, I also have to say that Arsenal and Villarreal deserve their place in the last four.”

    Ancelotti went on to publicly back under-fire goalkeeper Nelson Dida and goal shy striker Alberto Gilardino who will both start against the Nou Camp outfit.

    “I hope that Dida isn’t called to make any saves at all, but if he does then we all have faith in his ability,” he added.

    “Gilardino didn’t score in the derby but gave an important contribution. I ask the same from him on Tuesday.

    “This is our third semi-final in four years and we go into the game able to play our best football, unlike in previous years before Inter and PSV Eindhoven
    Forza Milan

    ALLEGRI OUT

  2. #34
    Forum Manager Yasser's Avatar
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    Barca's more than Ronaldinho..

  3. #35
    Senior Member fillipo's Avatar
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    indeed much more and i agree not to man mark that beaver, but i rather hope rino will keep a close eye on him!

    about dida yeah sure i have faith inhim as long as i wear my diper, i'm already ****ting in my pants! but i don't care if he does it on his lately clowns act or with great form as long as he keeps those balls out of the net!! i'm fine

  4. #36
    Senior Member Gurre's Avatar
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    How articulate, <b>Thomas.</b>

    The biggest newspapers in Italy all present the same probable lineups:

    MILAN: Dida; Stam, Nesta, Kaladze, Serginho; Gattuso, Pirlo, Seedorf; Kakà; Gilardino, Shevchenko.

    BARCELLONA: Valdes; Oleguer, Marquez, Puyol, Van Bronckhorst; Van Bommel, Edmilson, Iniesta; Giuly, Eto'o, Ronaldinho.


    I have the feeling that Pirlo and Kaká will get suffocated tonight, a similar performance we saw against Lyon.

  5. #37
    Forum Manager Yasser's Avatar
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    Pirlo is always suffocated.. He's the only liability in the 11 men who will start tonight..

  6. #38
    Registered User Haroon's Avatar
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    UEFA Champions League: 2005-6

    Semi-Final - First Leg


    A.C. Milan vs. FC Barcelona

    Stadio San Siro, Milano - ITALIA

    Capacity: 85,700









    Tuesday [April 18, 2006]

    Kick-off -> 19:45 (UK Time): Sky Sports



    PREVIEW
    =======

    The most glamorous tie of this season's UCL is upon us with only a few hours to go. A mixture of excitement, anticipation, nervousness, adrenaline and a faster heart-beat will surely be present amongst the fans of these two great clubs as I type this. It would've been a grand final between two top teams in this competition but a SF is a fair way to double the spectacle that the aristocrats of Milan and Barcelona bring to a probable new record audience in the history of the UCL SF.

    It is a big game, a massive tie and a gigantic battle that will kick off in the second largest stadium in Europe and culminate in the largest stadium in Europe in just under a week's time. Just under a shade of 85,700 for tonight's game and approximately 98,771 in the second leg makes this tie by far the most jam-packed tie of the season!

    Arrigo Sacchi will be sitting down tonight with a feeling of fulfillment that his two students who won big things under him are today themselves in a position to take a step closer to the greatest prize in club football. Ancelotti has already made history by becoming only the 4th man to win the ECC/UCL as both player and coach. The other names are Johan Cruyff with Ajax and Barcelona and Giovanni Trapattoni with Milan and Juventus. I cannot remember the missing name. Frank Rijkaard is bidding to write history and become the 5th man to do it while Ancelotti is vying to become the only one with a 2 + 2 (player and coach) set by doing the historic double!!! Both these men could get a step closer to history and that is always a difficult task to achieve but the great ones achieve it.

    Milan has always gone on to win the ECC / UCL whenever they have defeated / eliminated Bayern while the winner of Benfica / Barcelona has always gone on to lift the beautiful trophy which is a new one this season as Liverpool earned the right to keep the one they won in the most epic final in European history.

    There is so much on the line. People will witness how much pressure the UCL can bring to a team and some poor soul will crack under this pressure as it is inevitable. This is what makes the competition so amazing and so dramatic but it is one hell of a competition. tar:




    ============
    ---> M I L A N <---
    ============


    AC Milan has so far done really well to remain in this competition. I personally didn't think that we would reach the SF this season as we had a better shot at the Scudetto. I was wrong and fellow poster Politician was bang on the money even in pre-season stating that Milan would find it easier in the UCL than the Scudetto. :thumbsup: He's in a bit of a pickle tonight as he supports both sides. That's the worst position to be in tonight. :tongue: Twice the pressure, twice the pain and twice the joy!

    Milan started off with a group of death and has been playing with fire since matchday 5 when an away win against Fenerbahçe was required (not mathematically) to remain afloat. Milan put in the best away performance in this year's UCL putting 4 past the Turkish side. The Arsenal's away win to Real turned out to be better as it was a more difficult game and more difficult result to achieve.

    Milan then had a must win game against Schalke at home and the side pulled off a marvellous performance to top the group with a convincing display.


    The reward for topping a group of death is the Bundesliga Champions and Milan had to deal with Bayern over two legs with a 1-1 draw in Munich and a 4-1 thumping in Milano to eliminate them.

    The prize for doing that was the now 5 times in a row French champions Olimpique Lyonnais who many thought had Milan's number just like in the case of Bayern, Inter and Utd etc. Milan got a very bad 0-0 result away from home as I consider these 0-0 away draws to be similar to a loss. The home game was a pressure cooker affair with Milan edging out Lyon as they wrote their own doom thanks to Houllier in the last 20 minutes while Milan looked serene and calm. They gave a whiff and paid the price. You don't want to give this side the scent of blood.

    And finally, Milan is in the semi-final again with a very good record in the past that worries me as well because most of us were not even close to being born when Milan last lost a semi-final in the ECC. I am worried whenever there is a long undefeated streak because the longer it is, the easier it is to break!

    Milan is vying to become only the second ever side in European history to go on and win this competition after losing the final, the previous year. The only side to have done it was Fabio Capello's Milan side in 1994 which was evidently a World Cup year as well after losing 1-0 to Marseille the previous year. The big question is whether lightning can strike twice and can Ancelotti's Milan emulate the 1993-94 side by becoming only the second ever side to achieve such a feat?



    ==================
    ---> B A R C E L O N A <---
    ==================


    FC Barcelona started as pre-tournament favourites and are rightfully in the semi-final after having a very dominating presence in the group stage and the knock-out rounds. Barcelona went on a rampage in the group stage with 5 thumping wins and 1 draw to make an instant mark in the competition proper. Barcelona was ruthless with their rivals in the group stage and Panathinaikos, Bremen and Udinese all got a truck load of goals. They didn't let up even after guaranteed qualification. They should've lost game 6 on purpose or otherwise they wouldn't be in the position they are right now. More on that to follow.

    Barcelona then took care of the team that took them out last season by eliminating them in the Round of 16. Chelsea lost at Stamford Bridge to under-achieve in Europe as they wanted to reach Paris as a target this season along with Juve who also went out early in a feline performance. Pvssy cats are felines as well.

    Barcelona played a superb match at the Bridge and Lionel Messi announced himself in Europe. When you do well away from home in Europe in a big match, then you are announcing yourself that you are ready to take on the world. It is a real pity that the 18 year old kid is out injured for this tie. I hope he gets well soon for the Coupe De Monde.

    Barcelona dealt with a tricky Benfica side in the QF and were surprisingly held to a tricky 0-0 draw in the Estadio da Luz. That meant nervous moments in the second leg and none is more nervous than Simao's point blank miss! That will weigh on his shoulders tonight when he too is watching the game and thinking of what might have been.

    Barcelona is here in the SF after a few seasons and this side is a superb one. They have to win the big prize in Europe to justify their great team tag. It is a much more knowledgeable and balanced Barcelona side. The team knows how to attack but it now knows "when" and "how" to attack. It's a more patient team rather than the helter skelter attacking Barcelona side and that is dangerous for the opponents because the team has a new dimension to it.

    Rijkaard wants to make history with this side and the first step is to eliminate Milan but the fulfillment is to go on and win the thing in Paris. For a club of Barcelona's stature and status, winning the biggest prize only once is massive under-achievement and they need to set that record straight for their own good.



    Probable Starting Line-Up
    =======================



    ---------------
    ---> Milan <---
    ---------------

    Formation: 4-3-1-2

    ---------------------------- Dida ----------------------------------

    -- Stam ------------ Nesta ------ Kaladze -------------- Serginho --


    -------- Gattuso ----------- Pirlo ------------- Seedorf ------------

    --------------------------- Kaka ----------------------------------

    ----------------- Gilardino ----------- Shevchenko -----------------



    ---------------------------
    --- Ancelotti [M I L A N] ---
    ---------------------------

    1. That should be the line-up against Barcelona tonight. I agree with the line-up as well as that is the best possible team that can go out to play. The only change would be to put in Inzaghi as he is in hot form but he is out with tonsilitis so Gilardino has to come in and make the most of this opportunity.


    2. The back four is also the best back four that Milan can field. Serginho was rested especially for the Milan derby because Ancelotti plans on using him and that left flank to make the most of the crosses from that side. My concern is that Milan doesn't concentrate too much on that flank as I get the distinct feeling that Milan will be playing on that side of the pitch more as our strong players (Seedorf, Serginho, Sheva and even Kaka) will be drifting there) while Barcelona's strong players (Ronnie, Iniesta, Gio and even Eto'o) will be starving for the ball on the other side. It is a bit risky IMO as it makes the team one dimensional in thinking and trying to force the play to one side but can look good if it is pulled off correctly. I think there needs to be balance and not overdo it.


    3. Stam starting at right back instead of Cafu is also an indication of the above as Ancelotti wants to keep his right side rock solid with Gattuso and Stam in case of a quick counter or possession by any one of Barcelona's players. I would've put in Stam in any case as he had a marvellous game versus Bayern and was looking very good there. He also had a superb game against Barcelona last season in the San Siro when he played at centre-back. That is one of only a handful of games where Stam excelled at CB for Milan. He has been better for us at RB so it is better to play him there.


    4. Kaladze has literally changed our season by himself IMHO. Milan looked a right mess in the centre conceding goals frequently but since Kaladze adjusted in the middle, he has been solid, intelligent and pretty good so much so that I don't think Milan needs to purchase a starting centre-back next season! :eekani: We can get a back-up centre-back if need be but I don't feel that we need a starting centre-back. This position has also helped Nesta to be more comfortable and on the same thinking level which is important for a central partnership. Nesta is very solid nowadays. Kaladze who is made of glass and injury prone is also less susceptible to injuries because of this move as well because he is the one tackling to win the ball instead of him being tackled more often to lose the ball. Hence, there are lesser injuries to him. It is a brilliant move by Ancelotti to do this.


    5. Even though, Milan has problems against a 5 man midfield which Barcelona will play tonight, I still prefer the diamond as this is a game where Milan has to go for the jugular. An X-Mass tree formation gives Milan the control but we need a convincing win rather than control. X-Mas tree might be the way to go in the Camp Nou but not right now. Shevchenko can fall back from time to time if help is required but Milan needs to go in with two strikers and really go for the kill even if it comes at the cost of own goals. I know, it's suicide and all to let Barcelona score and what not. Let 'em score but we have to make our home presence felt and at least give it a real good shot rather than wait for things to happen and leave it late for the Camp Nou. It just has to be.



    ----------------------
    ---> Barcelona <---
    ----------------------

    Formation: 4-3-3

    ---------------------------- Valdes ------------------------------

    -- Oleguer ----------- Puyol --------- Marquez ------------- Gio --

    --------------------------- Edmilson -----------------------------
    ------- Van Bommel -------------------------------- Iniesta ------

    ------------- Giuly ------------------------ Ronaldinho -----------
    ---------------------------- Eto'o -------------------------------


    ----------------------------------
    --- Rijkaard [B A R C E L O N A] ---
    ----------------------------------


    1. Rijkaard will be glad to have his preferred back four for this match as it will be important for Barcelona to try to keep Milan at bay in this match. Marquez is seemingly fully fit but doesn't have minutes under him but he would've had an extended practice session and different fitness regime to come on par with his teammates so that may not be a problem after all. This also enables Oleguer to shift out to RB and relegate Omletti Belletti as Ze calls him to the bench. Belletti had a strong game against Milan last time out but things have changed for the worse for him in the last year it seems.


    2. Deco is suspended for this match while Van Bommel is on a yellow just like Gattuso. There are good chances that both might be suspended for the second leg. Deco would fill in for MvB while Ambrosini or Vogel might come in for Gattuso in the second leg IF both these players receive a caution tonight. It is smooth on both ends apart from this but one gets the feeling that a few players might be nervous in the second leg as they might pick up bookings tonight although Milan and Barcelona don't get booked very often due to their style. Iniesta slots in as well as Xavi is out injured till the end of the second leg which is another shame as he is a good player to watch. MvB can be used by Frank as Milan will concentrate on neutralizing Eto'o and Ronnie leaving room for Iniesta and MvB with his surging runs to make damage.


    3. Messi is also out injured as mentioned before and this does hurt Barcelona's plans as their three sure-shot starters in Messi, Xavi and Deco are out either due to injury or suspensions. Ludovic Giuly will start as Larsson is also out with a thigh injury. Giuly might be spending his last season in Barcelona so he would like to make the most of it before he returns to France or England. He has a decent shot and will not shy away from it when the time comes to Seedorf needs to take care of him.


    4. I have not been able to judge as yet whether Barcelona are coming for the win or want to wait it out and see how the match is progressing. I feel that they may start out as they did against Chelsea with not much adventure but trying to dictate the game their way and then slowly start making in roads and hurting Milan as the home side gets frustrated at the lack of ball. Barcelona will definitely not want to go all out attack as they did last season vs. Chelsea and got ripped apart in the process on the counter. That is a tactic that will surely hurt them. They know that the second leg is at home and they would want to leave with minimal damage as priority and if the opportunity is there, go home with a historic win after playing a "smart" match.


    5. There will be lessons for Barcelona as they know they could've done better in the two legs with Milan last season but instead they got the shorter straw as Milan got the better aggregate result while Barcelona played better over two legs. Milan has the experience while Barcelona is gaining the experience with time and games. Last season Ronaldinho came into the tie with not so much good form but he turned out to be a handful and this time he is not going through a rough patch so it will be harder to control him. Players like him can suck for 91 mins and then change a game with one move. It reminds me of Shevchenko who was quiet versus Lyon all night but when it mattered most, he was somehow in the middle of things. Hence, there is no need to be under the illusion that Class Player X is sucking when the next thing you know is that Class Player X did one little thing over 10 seconds that has changed the complexion of the match.


    KEY BATTLES
    ==========

    1. Shevchenko Vs. Puyol

    2. Kaka Vs. Edmilson

    3. Seedorf Vs. Van Bommel

    4. Gattuso Vs. Ronaldinho

    5. Nesta Vs. Eto'o


    KEY MEN
    =======

    Shevchenko

    The Stealth Bomber is the competition's top scorer and since Inzaghi is not playing, a lot will depend on him for the goals as Gilardino has struggled to find the back of the net in Europe this season even though he has been decent in games. Barcelona is a team against who The Stealth Bomber has scored 5 times. He also scored in both legs against them last season. Finishing will be important and trying to keep your calm under pressure even moreso. Shevchenko has a decent record against attack minded teams as he relishes the space provided to him unlike the Serie A where he has to create it for himself. I hope that the Bomber makes it a memorable and joyous night for Milan with a show to remember. He will be captaining Milan tonight in a big match.


    Ronaldinho

    The Freak Show is coming to town and he will bring a smile to my face. He is one of those players who you just can't curse in a bad way as you have to admire what he just did or what he just tried to do. Milan was triple-teaming on him the last time around and he was not supposed to be in good fom. I wonder what will happen tonight. I've already discussed what I feel will happen with Milan trying to keep the ball away from him playing to their strengths on the left side. Even then you just know that he will get the ball and when he does, he has the potential to make something or everything out of nothing! He could qualify Pakistan for the World Cup if he played for Pakistan. :tongue: He was the person who hurt us the most last time out and Milan must be wary of him. Gattuso has an important role tonight and I hope that Dida and Gattuso don't combine to do something. Because when they do it, it is a very bad night for us.



    Hero Watch
    ==============

    From the QF onwards, I keep a watch on the heroes for teams as these players start to pick up their game and slowly start to shift gears to peak for a probable final. The list is updated as the games go by so it is not stagnant.

    Milan ==>> Shevchenko, Nesta & Inzaghi

    Barcelona ==>> Ronaldinho, Eto'o & Puyol



    PREDICTION

    I personally think that both Milan and Barcelona are improved teams from last season in this competition. Both have scored almost the same amount of goals and gained almost the same amount of points and have been ruthless with their opponents so far. It is a very evenly balanced tie with the bookies going for Barcelona but I think that Milan has the slightest of edges as this ties begins in the San Siro. I know that the second leg has its advantages but that advantage can be futile if there was a mess in the first leg. I wouldn't have wanted Milan to go to the Camp Nou in the first leg for this semi as the pressure becomes too much for the home match if the result isn't favourable or balanced in the first leg.

    It is for that very reason that I say that Milan must let all hell break loose on Barcelona to make the match go their way. It is imperative for Milan to make use of an utterly packed vociferous and intimidating stadium fully behind them and a Barcelona side not willing to risk too much (unlike the Chelsea matches last season).

    Barcelona's long undefeated streak of 10 matches in addition to them being undefeated for a while compared to us losing against Lecce very recently is an opportunity to pull a fast one against them. Milan can hurt Barcelona really badly and really change the outlook of this tie as the longer this undefeated streak goes, the riskier it gets for Barcelona. They are at 10 which is big enough as it is. That's the scent of blood in my book. evil:" class="inlineimg" />

    Barcelona on the other hand can go all out on Milan knowing that there is an insurance game at home where they can rectify things. They will definitely go for it and go for 1 away goal at least and 2 is possible as a start. Then they will see how is it going from there.

    IMO, Milan just cannot let go and pound Barcelona from start to finish because it is a pretty ideal scenario for that. It's difficult but doable! At least Milan has to give it a go rather than thinking of what could've been!

    I think that Milan is in a position to go for the kill and they will go for the win without doubt. Ancelotti prefers to not concede in the first leg and that might be his thinking tonight as well. However, it is upto the team to tackle the situation that presents itself in a positive way. If Milan guns for the win and puts Barcelona under pressure, then that momentum will be there in the first half of the second leg as well so it is important to at least dent Barcelona's confidence.

    --->>> It's either a scoring draw tonight (which won't be that bad as Barcelona is undefeated for one more game) or Milan will have a decent lead going into the second leg. There's no middle ground in this one.
    ___________________


    M I L A N

    Riferimento d'Europa
    ___________________

  7. #39
    Senior Member fillipo's Avatar
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    that must be the best preview ever! great job haroon!

    thanks for killing time at my work!! can't focus can only think about tonight!

  8. #40
    Moderator drew's Avatar
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    Lets get behind Gila tonight, he will be nervous, we know hes the business, i hope the fans get right behind him, he will need 75,000 odd people chanting his name, i think 2-0 tonight, Gila and Sheva

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