Sunday, 18 May 2008

Reaction: No celebration for centurion Inzaghi

AC Milan's Filippo Inzaghi scored his 100th goal for the Rossoneri in their 4-1 victory over Udinese but the veteran striker was in no mood to celebrate as his team missed out on a place in next season's UEFA Champions League.

Milan finished the season in fifth place in the standings, two points behind Fiorentina who won 1-0 at Torino to secure fourth spot.

Inzaghi admitted it was far from the perfect match in which to achieve the personal milestone.

"I would have preferred to have scored my 100th goal in a different situation, as we are out of the Champions League and we finished the campaign 20 points behind Italian champions Inter," he said. "In any case, compliments to Inter."

The Rossoneri's failure to qualify for Europe's elite club competition is a big blow for the club, but 34-year-old Inzaghi has backed Milan to bounce back next season.

"It is a pity, but this is the way it has gone and we must look ahead with optimism," he said.

"We will aim for the Scudetto next season. I think when we have all the team available, we have proved that we are able to compete against anyone."

Coach Carlo Ancelotti said the club must accept a "year in purgatory".

"We have to look at the table and accept that it leaves us out of the Champions League," he said.

"We must analyse our mistakes. It was a season of peaks and troughs, though we paid a particularly heavy price for our poor home record in the first half of the campaign. We didn’t do enough."

The seven-time European champions will now enter the UEFA Cup, which Ancelotti views as one step away from Hell.

"We’ll have a year in purgatory, but will face it with the same enthusiasm as always, concentrating our energy on Serie A to become more competitive."

Source: AP and C4 Football Italia

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