Muntari hails Barcelona scalp

Post-match reaction to AC Milan's 2-0 victory over Barcelona.

Last Updated: 20/02/13 at 23:11 Post Comment

Sulley Muntari scored AC Milan's second goal against Barcelona

Sulley Muntari scored AC Milan's second goal against Barcelona

Sulley Muntari hailed AC Milan's performance after they claimed a 2-0 win over Barcelona in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 clash.

The tournament favourites were condemned to a shock defeat at the San Siro with former Portsmouth stars Muntari and Kevin Prince Boateng claiming the goals.

And Muntari was quick to pay tribute to coach Massimiliano Allegri following the victory.

"We played as a team, we listened to our coach and he did a fantastic job by putting us very well on the pitch," he told Sky Sports.

"We were very disciplined and we closed every angle Barca had so they could not penetrate.

"We were very disciplined, Barcelona is a top club in the world - they play fantastic football and have amazing players and if you play without concentration they will harm you and make you suffer but we knew what we were going to face and it went well so we are happy."

Muntari was celebrating his first goal in the Champions League when he volleyed home nine minutes from time.

"I was telling my wife that I had never scored before so it came today and it was a surprise, I'm really, really happy for the goal and for the team," he continued.

The second leg in Barcelona comes in three weeks and Muntari insists they cannot take anything for granted.

"It is a lot, but in the Camp Nou it is not easy - you could win four or five but they can do crazy things as this is Barcelona - we have two goals advantage and we will try our best to do well."

Goalkeeper Christian Abbiati added on Sky Italia: "We made a big performance, we showed a big sacrifice and spirit.

"We won a big match against a big team. We knew the ball possession would be with Barcelona, but with the coach we prepared a good match, and thanks to our forwards, who also helped on defence, we gave a good performance. Congratulations to the team."

Meanwhile Cesc Fabregas remains confident Barcelona can still qualify.

"It is not a shock, we know it can happen," Fabregas told Sky Sports when asked if he was surprised by the defeat.

"But when you look at what this team has done for the past five years then the only thing in your mind is positive. We know we can do it.

"So, we do not need to be down from this."

Fabregas thought Barcelona were struggling for fitness at the San Siro amid a busy schedule while they must now look ahead to a Primera Liga game with Sevilla on Saturday.

After that, the Catalan club face arch-rivals Real Madrid in a Copa del Rey and league double-header.

"We were not at our best at all," said Fabregas of the Milan defeat. "I think we paid a bit physically. We had a few players who were playing at their limit.

"We knew that but, still, we should have done better. I think it will be a very exciting second leg."

Gerard Pique says Barcelona need to show an improvement if they are to progress.

"We will obviously try to win the return game," said Pique.

"We must improve and learn from tonight. We will look to respond on one of those magical nights at the Camp Nou.

"It's a really bad result. We played badly and can't make any excuses.

"When they scored the first we lost control. This is a difficult place to play and Milan are a club with a big history."

Andres Iniesta admitted that Barca were not at their best, saying: "We were lacking a freshness in terms of ideas. They were well positioned on the field.

"There is a return game to play and we have to believe we can come back from this. It will be a different story at our stadium. From the very first minute at the Camp Nou we'll be going for it.

"When you are not on your game this is what happens, it is a poor result. This is AC Milan, it is the UEFA Champions League so you know anything is possible. We're looking at a very negative outcome from tonight's game."


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