As a diehard Milan fan, I'm not too upset. Milan revolutionized their squad this season... so many new young players. So many players with zero Champions League experience. To have made it that far in the CL... to win 2-0 in the first leg against Barca and to be in 3rd place in Serie A is a great accomplishment. If Milan can continue this trend, I expect great things in the future.
This is what Ignazio Abate has to say:
Ignazio Abate says his Milan side were too raw to deal with the pressure of playing at Barcelona in the Champions League.
The Rossoneri went into last night’s European Cup round of 16 tie with a 2-0 first leg advantage, but they were soundly beaten 4-0 by the Spanish giants.
“We weren’t very proactive, we played a lot of long balls rather than playing the ball on the ground,” the full-back told Sky Sport Italia.
“We gifted the first half to our opponents, even if Lionel Messi invented those two fine goals. We were never in the match and we can’t afford to gift 45 minutes of a game to a team like Barcelona.
“We improved a little in the second half, going close to scoring, but you need experience to play at places like the Camp Nou – and that is not a criticism of my younger teammates.”
I'm intrigued by Milan's new striker M'Baye Niang. He certainly has a lot of talent but is SO young and inexperienced. He tried to do too much both in the derby against inter and last night against Barca. He tried to make solo runs and gave the ball away soooo often. If only he had scored that goal...! It would be interesting to see how the Barca game would have been different had Pazzini not broken his leg in the last league game against Genoa... Still, it's valuable experience for Niang and I feel confident that he will improve over time. You've got to admit, ElShaarawy, Balotelli, and Niang is an exciting group of young strikers! I think any team would like to have them!
Now that Milan are out of the CL, they can concentrate on Serie A. Watch out, Napoli and Juve!