AC Milan falls to Spurs in Champions League

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AC Milan falls to Spurs in Champions League


Tottenham Hotspur’s Rafael van der Vaart, center, goes for the ball with AC Milan’s goalkeeper Christian Abbiati, left, during their Champions League round of 16 second-leg soccer match at White Hart Lane in London, Wednesday. [AP/YONHAP]

LONDON - AC Milan failed to reach the Champions League quarterfinals for the fourth successive season on Wednesday as they were held to a 0-0 draw by Tottenham, who advanced in place of the seven-time winners. The London team successfully preserved their 1-0 first-leg advantage.

While Milan was sharper and more dangerous than at home, the Serie A leaders couldn’t find a way past Tottenham, which is playing in Europe’s premier cup competition for the first time since 1962.

“It’s a huge night for us,” said Tottenham striker Peter Crouch, who scored the only goal at the San Siro. “We defended magnificently - we had to dig in and defend from the front and I think we deserved it over the two legs.”

Milan has now been eliminated in the last-16 by a Premier League team in three of the last four seasons since lifting the trophy in 2007.

The loss leaves Inter Milan, which Tottenham beat in the group stage, as Italy’s last hope of reaching the final at London’s Wembley Stadium in May.

The first leg ended in a touchline fracas sparked by the hosts - particularly Gennaro Gattuso, who was suspended for the return leg.

Tempers were a lot calmer at White Hart Lane, but there was far more intensity from Milan, which was more dynamic and attack-minded in the first half.

While Tottenham goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes pushed a free kick from Zlatan Ibrahimovic wide, the Brazilian goalkeeper didn’t look so assured in the 25th minute.

After racing off his line and mistiming his dive, Gomes was rounded by Pato, who crossed to Robinho. The resulting shot span off Benoit Assou-Ekotto and was only hooked off the line by William Gallas.

“It was hard work,” Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp said. “You could see that tonight, they played [Clarence] Seedorf and people like that.

“It was difficult to get near Pato .?.?. we got outnumbered in the middle of the park. They had extra men in there.”

Tottenham struggled to find the space to provide any threat.

Rafael van der Vaart shot wide after two minutes, sent a free kick over on the half-hour and fired a low shot at Christian Abbiati - the first on target from the home side.

“We found it difficult to get the ball for long spells because they narrowed up the field with a diamond and we want to play with width,” Redknapp said.

“Sandro, I thought, was immense tonight for us in midfield .?.?. he is strong, aggressive and he’s got the ability to work for 90 minutes,” Redknapp added.

But the speedy play that has been the hallmark of Tottenham’s debut campaign was more evident at the start of the second half.

From the restart, however, Spurs squandered a chance when Aaron Lennon crossed into the penalty area and Crouch headed across the face of the goal rather than directing it at the net.

There was another letup for Spurs in the 67th when Gomes blocked Robinho’s close-range effort and the loose ball was eventually scrambled clear.

Progressing in the competition is vital for Spurs because they are fifth in the Premier League and three points behind Chelsea in the last Champions League spot.

Chelsea and Manchester United will play their last-16 second-legs next week, while Tottenham’s north London rival Arsenal was beaten by Barcelona on Tuesday.

“They’re the team you don’t want to play at the moment,” Redknapp said about the Spanish champions.


Related Korean Article[OSEN]

토튼햄, 사상 첫 UCL 8강행…AC 밀란과 0-0

토튼햄 핫스퍼가 창단 후 처음으로 유럽챔피언스리그(UCL) 8강에 진출했다.

토튼햄은 10일(이하 한국시간) 런던 새벽 화이트레인 스타디움서 열린 대회 16강 2차전서 AC 밀란과 0-0으로 비겼다. 1차전 원정경기서 1-0으로 승리했던 토튼햄은 1,2차전 합계 점수서 앞서며 챔피언스리그 8강에 진출했다.

토튼햄은 피터 크라우치가 전방서 헤딩 경합에서 앞서며 경기 초반 상대를 거세게 몰아붙였다. AC 밀란은 공점유율을 높여가며 전반 중반부터 기선을 제압했다.

AC 밀란은 전반 16분 즐라탄 이브라히모비치 왼쪽 측면서 강력한 무회전 프리킥을 날렸지만 골키퍼 고메스가 몸을 날려 쳐냈다.

AC 밀란은 전반 26분 알렉산드레 파투가 왼쪽 측면서 골키퍼까지 제친 후 가운데 있던 호비뉴에게 연결했지만 호비뉴의 슛을 윌리엄 갈라스가 막아내며 결정적인 득점 기회를 놓쳤다.

토튼햄은 전반 31분 반 더 바르트가 페널티 에어리어 정면서 찬 왼발 프리킥이 골문 왼쪽 상단을 벗어나며 득점을 올리지 못했다.

AC 밀란은 전반전서 스피드가 좋은 애런 레넌을 협력 수비를 통해 효과적으로 막아냈다. AC 밀란은 전반전 공점유율서 6 대 4로 앞섰다.

토튼햄은 후반 초반 레넌의 측면 돌파가 살아나며 경기 주도권을 잡았다. 상대에게 경기 흐름을 빼앗긴 AC 밀란은 후반 초반 공격을 이어가지 못했다.

토튼햄은 후반 21분 반 더 바르트를 빼고 개러스 베일을 투입해 팀의 스피드를 더욱 끌어 올렸다.

비기면 탈락하는 AC 밀란은 후반 막판 공세에 나섰다. AC 밀란은 후반 32분 파투가 호비뉴의 패스를 받아 페널티 박스 중간서 강력한 슛을 날렸지만 상대 골문 왼쪽을 벗어나고 말았다.

AC 밀란은 후반 추가 시간에 이브라히모비치와 2대1 패스를 주고 받은 호비뉴가 페널티 아크 정면 부근서 회심의 슛을 날렸지만 골문 위를 벗어나며 챔피언스리그 무대서 내려왔다.

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