Champions League: Massimiliano Allegri rues missed chances after AC Milan crash out against Barcelona
The Italian side lost a two goal advantage at the Nou Camp
It was hard not to feel sorry for AC Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri and his players after they were on the wrong end of a Barcelona backlash in the Champions League on Tuesday.
Milan gave themselves a great opportunity to oust the pre-competition favourites after surprising them 2-0 in last month's last 16, first leg at the San Siro.
However, Lionel Messi and his inspired team mates crushed the Italians 4-0 in the return game to progress to the last eight 4-2 on aggregate and keep alive their dream of a third European crown in five years.
Milan could have progressed with an away goal at a tense Nou Camp until the 92nd minute when Jordi Alba struck to kill them off and they had almost levelled at 1-1 on the night when M'Baye Niang struck a post moments before Messi's second.
"For a matter of a few centimetres, maybe if Niang had scored, we would be here talking about a different game," Allegri told a news conference.
"After we went 3-0 down we still tried to pressure them and we managed to create chances," he added.
"But when you are playing Barcelona and you have around five or seven opportunities to score you have to take them.
"Milan tonight played a worse match than the first leg and in the first half an hour they did not let us play."
After their failed bid for an eighth European crown, Milan, who are third in Serie A, must now focus on getting back into Europe's elite club competition again next season.
There are many positives for Allegri and his young side, not least their fine first-leg performance when Barca were unable to penetrate a well-organised defences and Messi was well shackled.
It was a different story in Tuesday's second leg when Messi's fifth-minute opener set the tone for the night and Barcelona were back to their dominant best.
"When you see (Andres) Iniesta dribbling the ball effortlessly in the 90th minute you can understand a lot of things," Allegri said.
"We were very good in the first leg but Barca's potential did not change," he added.
"They are the strongest team in the world and they have three extraordinary players in Messi, Xavi and Iniesta."
Latest in Sport
Three weeks ago as I drove off the Eurostar, I remember thinking what a very long time it was until ...
by Martin Ayres
23 May 2013 05:29 PM
McDowell did brilliantly to land the World Match Play title in Bulgaria last week, but it’s a format...
by Gareth Purnell
23 May 2013 09:13 AM
Wow - what a weekend for British Motorcycle racing!
by Luke Wilkins
22 May 2013 05:00 AM
Roy Hodgson shuts the England door on Manchester City midfielder Gareth Barry
On-loan goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois still believes in Chelsea youth policy
After racist remark, Sergio Garcia fights for reputation as Tiger Woods slams 'hurtful' fried chicken joke
Manuel Pellegrini must decide on futures of Carlos Tevez, Gareth Barry and Joleon Lescott as Manchester City name starting date for new manager
Liverpool striker Andy Carroll delays over West Ham move
- 1 Breaking: Soldier killed in Woolwich machete attack named as Drummer Lee Rigby
- 2 'Sickening, deluded and unforgivable': Horrific attack brings terror to London’s streets
- 3 Grace Dent: I’m not sure how these people can avoid being called ‘bigots’. And the more ‘civilised’, the worse they are
- 4 Ingrid Loyau-Kennett, the mother-of-two hailed as a hero for confronting Woolwich attackers, thought: 'better me than a child'
- 5 Woolwich attack: The EDL will seek to exploit this evil crime for their own evil ends
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Nook is donating eReaders to volunteers at high-need schools and participating in exclusive events throughout the campaign.
Get the latest on The Evening Standard's campaign to get London's children reading.
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.