'Not bad for someone who does not know ****': The Italian press reaction to AC Milan's victory over Barcelona

A look at the Italian press following AC Milan's shock victory over Barcelona in the Champions League

“Milan in paradise!” screamed La Gazzetta dello Sport’s front-page at fulltime at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza as the home supporters let out a collective roar.

Strikes from Kevin-Prince Boateng and Sulley Muntari handed the Italian club a historic victory at the hands of fellow European heavyweights Barcelona in their last-16 Champions League tie. On an unforgettable night for the Rossoneri, they “dominated” a thoroughly lacklustre Spanish side according to the pink paper.  

Milan’s Curva Sud held up a banner declaring, “we are history” in the pre-match build-up, and the team duly delivered a performance worthy of the club’s greatest teams down the years. In spite of their struggles since losing prized assets such as Zlatan Ibrahimović, Antonio Cassano and Thiago Silva during the summer, the current batch grouped together to display remarkable character and strength. “They are living the dream,” ran Mediaset as the players celebrated the win.     

Barcelona were consistently referred to as aliens by the Italian press leading into Wednesday night’s showdown. “Milan are the Martians now,” asserted Corriere dello Sport’s headline. “Demonstrating complete concentration they taught them a lesson.” The Rossoneri ran out with unsubstantial 27 per cent possession, but they limited their opponents to a single shot on target throughout the 90 minutes by executing manager Massimiliano Allegri’s game plan to perfection.  

Allegri has completely turned his situation around at Milan since the beginning of the campaign. President Silvio Berlusconi was quoted as saying the tactician “did not know shit” in local dialect last week - which he later defended as a slip of the tongue. However, the transformation the former Catania boss has orchestrated since early November has been nothing short of remarkable.

“You should be proud,” proclaimed Sky Sports Italia in the aftermath of the win when interviewing Allegri. “Not bad for someone who does not know shit,” joked Gazzetta the next day. Juventus manager Antonio Conte claimed his bitter rivals are back in the title race during the week. In fact, if the Serie A season had started on October 27 the Rossoneri would be top of the table with a one-point lead over the Bianconeri.

Several players such as Giampaolo Pazzini, Riccardo Montolivo and Kévin Constant put in relentless amounts of effort for Milan. Pazzini in particular has been shunted aside since the arrival of Mario Balotelli in January, but given the former Manchester City man was cup-tied he was given his chance on the biggest stage. His clash with Carles Puyol signified the collective wiliness to win, also shown by Stephan El Shaarawy and Boatengs’ tireless tracking-back.

Not everybody was tested, however, as Gazzetta did not even give goalkeeper Cristian Abbiati a rating out of 10 in the  “report cards” section as he was judged to have had an easy time of it on the night.  

Lionel Messi was kept quiet by imperious performances from the generally unreliable Milan central defensive partnership of Philippe Mexès and Cristian Zapata. Gazzetta cartoonist Valerio Marini depicted a frustrated version of the Argentine forward with his shirt name reading “missing” in place of Messi. Rossoneri Vice-President Adriano Galliani claimed the Barcelona man was the best player in the world ahead of the match, but in the end he was reduced to a single touch in the home side’s box.

“It is only half-time,” warned Milan captain Massimo Ambrosini. The Italian side will be confident they can stall Barcelona at the Camp Nou, but they are already expecting another barrage of attacks. It remains to be seen if they can pull of yet another historic victory.

Life and Style
Steve Shaw shows Kate how to get wet behind the ears and how to align her neck
healthSteven Shaw - the 'Buddha of Breaststroke' - applies Alexander Technique to the watery sport
Arts and Entertainment
The sight of a bucking bronco in the shape of a pink penis was too much for Hollywood actor and gay rights supporter Martin Sheen, prompting him to boycott a scene in the TV series Grace and Frankie
footballShirt then goes on sale on Gumtree
Terry Sue-Patt as Benny in the BBC children’s soap ‘Grange Hill’
voicesGrace Dent on Grange Hill and Terry Sue-Patt
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010
Arts and Entertainment
Twin Peaks stars Joan Chen, Michael Ontkean, Kyle Maclachlan and Piper Laurie
tvName confirmed for third series
Cameron Jerome
footballCanaries beat Boro to gain promotion to the Premier League
Arts and Entertainment
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine