Masculins / OL 0-0 AC Milan

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Published on 29 March 2006 at 11:57 PM
Reactions to the Champions League quarter-final between Olympique Lyonnais and AC Milan.
Gérard Houllier: We were up against a very, very good team, one of the best in Europe. In the opening 20 minutes the players showed far too much respect. Once we were able to accelerate we putt hem in difficulty. In the first half Milan created the majority of chances. In the second half we upped the level of our play and our intensity with much more action and variety on the wings.
It’s a big shame that we weren’t able to score, but the 0-0 score isn’t unfair.
We’ve still got our chance of qualifying. I often sat that a Champions League quarter-final is like two 100m sprints. We’ve passed the first one, the second one will be at the Stadio San Siro. We’ll have to be full speed from kick-off in that match to qualify. We have every right to be confident because we’ve always scored away from home.
I’m disappointed we showed so much respect to Milan. I didn’t recognise my team. During the first 20 minutes it was completely frozen. It’s still very hard to demystify this Milan side after all that’s been said and written about them in the last week.
For the return match we will be without Tiago who is an important piece of this team. I also have to take my hat of to him though because Milan may well have scored. But his suspension is a big blow all the same. When you have a good player that can’t play, it’s always a loss.

Carlo Ancelotti: Our opening 20 minutes were very good. We were able to put a lot of pressure on Lyon. After that, Lyon were able to put the pressure on us, but without creating any real danger. Even if we did have them on the ropes at the start, they still played a very good match. We didn’t come here for a 0-0 draw but Coupe was very good and prevented us from scoring. The qualification will therefore be played out in Milan. We still have to be careful because OL are a very good team, well organised with very good players.

François Clerc: The start was tough. We were badly positioned, we suffered but Greg Coupet kept us in the match. Luckily we didn’t concede a goal and then we started winning challenges and pushed them back. We’ve every chance of qualifying for the return match. 0-0 is still better than 1-1, even if we would have preferred to win. We’re going to miss Tiago, but Benoît (Pedretti) and Jérémy (Clément) who will replace him both played well. With Juni back, we are confident.

Claudio Caçapa: We had to pull out a big game against a big team. The first 20 minutes were very uncomfortable but after that we showed the real face of OL. We fought with them as equals and didn’t let anything go. Overall, both sides played well and created chances. We did the minimum by not conceding a goal. We head to the San Siro with a 50-50 chance. We have to score and not be scared. We want this qualification.

Jean-Michel Aulas: Our aim was not to concede any goals. If it’s 0-0 at San Siro we go to extra-time, if it’s 1-1 we go through.
We have plenty of hope. In the return match we’ll have Juninho back. What’s more, we’ve always had success away from home, especially in Italy. This was still an excellent performance, even if Milan may have just taken the upper hand. We still have to be happy with the way we played. I saw Juninho and he’s not to unhappy with the result.
As for Tiago, he did what he had to do to stop that final attack. He sacrificed himself for the good of the team.
I’m very confident for the return match. We will qualify with a scored draw or a win.

Cris: That was a really tough match. The first 20 minutes were hard but we managed to get it together, better organised and we played better and tried to score. At the start we showed them too much respect.
In the return match Juninho will be back. His presence is important because everyone respects him.
This 0-0 draw isn’t a bad result.

Grégory Coupet: Certainly my saves were important because they came during a period where we were overwhelmed. During that period I didn’t recognise my teammates who were so tentative.
If you’d offered us 0-0 before kick-off we would have taken it immediately. We managed to do the essential: we didn’t concede a goal. Now we’ll go to San Siro looking to play football and score goals. In the return match they won’t be able to commit the fouls they did tonight because Juninho will be back. We could be under the hammer and we may have to ride out the storm before scoring. We’re not dreaming any more, we’re capable of qualifying.

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