Milan crushes Man U 3-0

Having played "perfectly" to beat Manchester United 3-0 on Wednesday, AC Milan will now get a chance to play Liverpool in the Champions League final.

updated: May 05, 2007 14:01 IST
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Having played "perfectly" to beat Manchester United 3-0 on Wednesday, AC Milan will now get a chance to play Liverpool in the Champions League final.

The game will be a repeat of the final two years ago, when the English club had rallied from a three-goal deficit to beat Milan on penalties for the crown.

"It's the dream of any manager to see his team play like we did today. We played perfectly. We're happy to be in the final again and to be playing Liverpool. What happened two years ago has no importance for the next match," Milan manager Carlo Ancelotti said.

Milan, which has won the European Cup six times, will make the trip to Athens on May 23 for its 11th appearance in the final and third in five years.

"It's certainly special. The Reds have less quality than Manchester United, but they're more physical. Liverpool is a well organized team in defense and they do not allow you to play as we did tonight," Ancelotti said.

Kaka in command

Kaka, who scored both goals in the 3-2 loss last week at Old Trafford, gave Milan the lead in the 11th minute. The Brazilian playmaker beat United goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar after Clarence Seedorf headed the ball into his path.

Seedorf made it 2-0 in the 30th, controlling a cross from the right with his chest and shooting past Van der Sar, and substitute Alberto Gilardino scored the third in the 78th after running into the area alone and looping the ball over the United goalkeeper.

Milan, which has never lost to United over two legs, also knocked the English team out of the competition in the semifinals in 1958 and 1969.

"We never came out the blocks. If we had seen through the first 25 minutes without cutting our throats, we would have stood a chance," United manager Alex Ferguson said.

The result ended United's hopes of repeating its 1999 treble of the Champions League, Premier League and FA Cup titles.

"It's the name of the game in Europe. You don't give the ball away," Ferguson said. "Unfortunately we did that and Milan kept possession better than us."

United's best chance of the game came from captain Ryan Giggs, who shot straight at Milan goalkeeper Dida in the 20th.

"If you're going to lose a game, and they're going to play some fantastic football and open you up really well to do that, you put your hands up and say, 'We played a good side tonight,'" Ferguson said. "But we gave the goals away cheaply."

The Red Devils also failed to score on its last visit to the San Siro in 2005, losing 1-0 in the first knockout round.

Vidic returned from a collarbone injury to partner with Wes Brown in the center of United's defense. However, teammates Gary Neville (injured) and Patrice Evra (suspended) both missed the game.

Rio Ferdinand, who was carrying a groin injury, was on the bench.

Milan was without Milan captain Paolo Maldini, who withdrew late on Tuesday after failing to recover from a knee injury he picked up in the first leg.