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Milan hailed "Kings of Europe" by Italian press

sports Updated: Apr 13, 2007 00:49 IST

Italy's sporting press paid tribute to AC Milan after they beat Bayern Munich 2-0 in Germany to reach the semi-finals of the Champions League.

Wednesday's win, which meant Milan became the first team to beat Bayern in a European game at the Allianz Arena, sent the Italian club through to the last four, where it lines up alongside a trio of English sides, Manchester United, Chelsea, and Liverpool.

Turin-based Tuttosport celebrated with a front-page headline in English: "Milan, only you" it read.

Milan were "Kings of Europe", said Corriere dello Sport, which hailed the club's unrivalled recent record in Europe.

Since 2003, Carlo Ancelotti's side have won the Champions League once, finished runners-up once, and twice more reached the semi-finals.

"Fly, Milan, fly," said La Gazzetta dello Sport, as it looked forward to the last-four tie against Manchester United, who thrashed Italy's other representative in the competition, AS Roma, 7-1 on Tuesday.

The paper was warm in its praise for English football, drawing a line under a week of recriminations in the English and Italian media over the violence that broke out between United fans and Italian police at Rome's Olympic Stadium.

English football, said the paper, had "learned how to turn its darkest moments into treasure, picking itself up after a tragedy and setting off towards a glittering future."

"At the moment there isn't a team in the world that plays football as brilliantly as Manchester United," added the paper.

Milan could draw hope, however, from their record of three wins from their previous three meetings with United in Europe's top club competition.

The Italians eliminated United in the semi-final stage of the 1957/58 and 1968/69 European Cups and the quarter-finals of the 2004/05 Champions League.