'Humiliated': Italian media reaction to AC Milan defeat
AC Milan's 4-0 drubbing at Manchester United in the Champions League shows the seven-times European champions are now scrabbling in the rubble of their great past, Italian media said today.
"Once upon a time, there was Milan," read the front page of La Gazzetta dello Sport after Milan went out of the competition 7-2 on aggregate in the last 16 on Wednesday.
"Mission impossible turned into a humbling, and the ruins of the old Milan remain at Old Trafford."
Other Italian newspapers were equally scathing.
"Milan humiliated," said La Repubblica. "A lesson from (two-goal Wayne) Rooney. Milan go out with their heads hanging low - 4-0 isn't a defeat, it's a thrashing."
Even club bosses admitted the side had suffered a huge setback after much optimism had been expressed before the game about Milan's chances of reversing the 3-2 deficit from the home leg.
"Naturally, it's hard to swallow that the club which has won more international titles than anyone else loses 4-0," chief executive Adriano Galliani told reporters. "I'm a little ashamed."
Commentators said Milan's injury problems, with Brazilian forward Alexandre Pato and influential centre back Alessandro Nesta both unfit for the match, were no excuse.
"Losing at Old Trafford is acceptable, but not in such a complete way, without showing any desperate pride," said Gazzetta.
The defeat exposed the inexperience of rookie coach Leonardo, who was out-thought by United's master tactician Alex Ferguson.
Fielding two out-and-out strikers, Marco Borriello and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, while leaving David Beckham, the man whose crosses would have served them, on the bench for much of the match was one of Leonardo's mistakes, commentators said.
They also blamed a failure to significantly boost and rejuvenate the squad after Kaka left for Real Madrid last year, even though Milan remain in the Serie A title race, four points behind Inter Milan in second.
"A number of Milan players do not (still) have European stature," read an editorial in Gazzetta.
Latest in Sport
The Premier League is about earning the right to play on the counter-attack - Danny Higginbotham
Chelsea vs Crystal Palace: Alan Pardew seems to be building something special down at the Palace
John Stones to Chelsea: Next season's bumper TV deal means clubs such as Everton can say 'no'
Kevin De Bruyne: Why do Manchester City put such a high value on a player Chelsea rejected?
Newcastle vs Arsenal: Play Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain or Theo Walcott from the start
- 1 The difference between a migrant and refugee, in one sentence
- 2 Miley Cyrus calls out hypocrisy of women’s nipples being taboo
- 3 iPhone 5c to be discontinued, no iPhone 6c to replace it
- 4 Jozef Wesołowski: Former Catholic archbishop found dead ahead of child sexual abuse trial
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
Labour leadership: Jeremy Corbyn accused of 'deluding' young supporters with 'claptrap'
'Women only' train carriages: Jeremy Corbyn unveils radical move to tackle public harassment
Black holes are a passage to another universe, says Stephen Hawking
Iain Duncan Smith 'should resign over disability benefit death figures', says Jeremy Corbyn
Iain Duncan Smith calls for urgent ESA overhaul as part of drive to cut down welfare costs