Pato on the back: AC Milan’s Real joy
Emerging Brazilian star Alexandre Pato outshone compatriot Kaka scoring twice as AC Milan defeated Real Madrid 3-2 in the Group C Champions League match at a rain-soaked Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday.sports Updated: Oct 22, 2009 23:12 IST
Emerging Brazilian star Alexandre Pato outshone compatriot Kaka scoring twice as AC Milan defeated Real Madrid 3-2 in the Group C Champions League match at a rain-soaked Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday.
Real led through Raul's 19th goal following a terrible howler from Milan goalkeeper Dida, but Milan scored twice in four minutes through Andrea Pirlo (62) and Pato (64) to turn the game on its head.
Dutch midfielder Roysten Drenthe thought he was Real's saviour with a 76th minute equaliser to delight the fans who have often jeered him but Pato struck again in the dying minutes of the game with a clinical finish.
All eyes were on Kaka before kick-off as the Brazilian faced the club where he made his name before Milan's financial problems persuaded him to leave. It was also an emotional night for 33-year-old Dutch midfielder Clarence Seedorf who returned to Real with whom he won the 1998 Champions League.
Milan coach Leonardo's starting line-up was very attack-minded with Brazilians Ronaldinho and Pato providing the supply line for predator Filippo Inzaghi.
Milan goalkeeper Dida had little to do and looked to have everything under control in saving Raul's tame shot after 19 minutes. Dida held the shot but then inexplicably dropped the ball into Raul's path for the disbelieving captain to stroke home.
Real were trying to force the issue for a second goal with Milan looking marginally more threatening and in the 62nd minute Pirlo equalised out of the blue. He caught Casillas off-guard with a fierce dipping shot from 30 yards out.
Two minutes later Casillas mistimed coming out of his goal, missed the ball, and Pato rolled into an empty net. However, substitute Drenthe equalised 12 minutes later with a left-footed drive in a frantic spell.
Juventus get first Champions League win
Juventus laboured to an unspectacular 1-0 win over 10-man Group A minnows Maccabi Haifa in the Champions League here on Wednesday.
Centreback Giorgio Chiellini scored the only goal of a disappointing game. The win did at least propel the Italian giants into second position in a tough group also containing Bayern Munich and Bordeaux as they now have five points from three games.
sJuventus coach Ciro Ferrara took a gamble before the game began by changing his formation and playing bit-part Frenchman David Trezeguet as a lone forward with three midfielders behind him.
The idea was to leave Diego free to roam in the centre and hence cause more problems, but that hardly happened in an insipid first half.
Chances were few and far between with Maccabi goalkeeper Nir Davidovitch beating away a Fabio Grosso free-kick on 9min.
Trezeguet should have done better when Grosso's cross found him seven yards out but the former France forward poked the ball well wide of the far post after Maccabi's defence had gone wandering on 20 minutes.
The game needed a goal and it got one two minutes after the restart as Diego's curling free-kick from the left was headed home by Giorgio Chiellini.