x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Inzaghi makes Marseille pay for inattention

AC Milan earned a huge boost of confidence from their first group match, chalking up a 2-1 win at Marseille to help them bounce back from a disappointing start to their Serie A season.

Filippo Inzaghi, right, was Milan's form man.
Filippo Inzaghi, right, was Milan's form man.

AC Milan earned a huge boost of confidence from their first group match, chalking up a 2-1 win at Marseille to help them bounce back from a disappointing start to their Serie A season. Having missed last season's tournament the seven-time winners, who last lifted the trophy in 2007, were keen to prove a point, especially after a goalless draw with Livorno at the weekend.

"After the game against Livorno, the players wanted to improve," said the Milan assistant coach Mauro Tassotti. "They did it against a big team. We are finding our confidence again, this is the path to follow. "The Champions League has a different taste, the motivation is not the same." Filippo Inzaghi scored both of Milan's goals in rematch of the 1993 final ? the first in the Champions league era ? which Marseille won 1-0. The veteran Italian striker scored the winner 12 minutes from time, after Gabriel Heinze had cancelled out his opener.

"We were inattentive twice and they scored two goals. We will learn from this for our next matches," said the Marseille defender Souleymane Diawara. "Tonight we saw the difference between a good French league team and a very big team in Europe." Diawara must hope this teammates are fast learners, with their next match away to Real Madrid, who routed FC Zurich 5-2 in the other Group C game. Juventus coach Ciro Ferrara, meanwhile, was left frustrated after side's 1-1 draw with French champions Bordeaux in Group A.

"That is how this competition goes. We played a very difficult team and they caused us quite a few problems, especially in the first half. They were very well organised and [goalkeeper] Gianluigi Buffon had to save us on a few occasions," he said. In a disjointed match, Vincenzo Iaquinta gave the home team the lead in the 63rd minute. But Jaroslav Plasil equalised for Bordeaux 12 minutes later, scoring at the far post from close range after Fernando had flicked on Yoann Gourcuff's free-kick.

"I'm happy with the result. Before the match I would have taken a draw, but what gives me more pleasure is how we played," said the Bordeaux coach Laurent Blanc. "We played well, even if we had a few problems that a team like Juventus will always cause. I wasn't worried. I had faith in my team but often French teams are worried about playing Italians. We showed that we can do as well and that we can compete with Italian teams. We worried Juventus and could have won."

Bordeaux's next group game is, on paper, their easiest of the stage, at home to Maccabi Haifa of Israel, while Juventus face a tough trip to Germany to play Bayern Munich. @Email:sports@thenational.ae