Crewe book place at Wembley
Wed, 20 Feb 2013 22:35:00
AC Milan manager Massimiliano Allegri thinks his club's UEFA Champions League last 16 tie with Barcelona is far from over despite a shock 2-0 win in the first leg.
In a meeting between two of Europe's heavyweight clubs, the Italians won at the San Siro through second-half goals from Kevin Prince Boateng and Sulley Muntari.
But Allegri does not think Barcelona are dead and buried ahead of the second leg in Spain on 12th March and believes his team will have to do even better.
Asked how his side will have to perform at Camp Nou, Allegri told Sky Italia: "We must score, because Barcelona at home have always scored a lot.
"It will be necessary to have a good match there, probably better than this evening's."
But Allegri was understandably delighted to defeat Barcelona and was pleased with his players' defending.
He said: "I think the team produced a big performance. My guys were really good defensively.
"Not allowing Barcelona to score is not easy. In the first half, we had a few chances and we could have done better. But I think my players deserved the win.
"At the end, we could have increased our lead."
The Southern Section final seemed to be heading to penalties with the O's leading 2-1 on the night with 90 minutes on the clock.
However, Ben Reeves had other ideas and, after being teed-up by a low, left-wing cross from Kevan Hurst, the on-loan Southampton midfielder guided the ball into the back of the net from six yards.
The Shrimpers had taken a 1-0 lead into the second leg after grinding out a hard-fought win at Brisbane Road.
But Orient wiped that narrow advantage out after just eight minutes when Dean Cox's low right-wing cross picked out Shaun Batt who nipped in ahead of the returning Mark Phillips and steered home a low volley from eight yards.
Substitute Barry Corr volleyed the Shrimpers level in the 61st minute but Orient hit back with David Mooney heading home before Reeves' late shot handed Southend their first Wembley appearance in 83 years.
Crewe led 3-0 going into the second leg of the Northern Section final and looked to be cruising through until a Mark Ellis own goal and Leon Clarke strike in injury-time set up a tense finish.
The Sky Blues could have reduced the arrears as early as the fifth minute when Clarke connected with Carl Baker's cross but the striker's header went inches wide.
Former Alex favourite James Bailey drilled wide from the edge of the box while Crewe goalkeeper Steve Phillips had to fist away a swerving effort from Baker.
Gary McSheffrey flashed a dangerous ball across the face of goal but City striker Stephen Elliott could not make the vital connection to steer it into the net.
At the other end, Cyrus Christie made a last-ditch block to deny Gregor Robertson while Luke Murphy dragged a free-kick wide of the upright.
After the break, Ellis headed Murphy's free-kick over the crossbar before Bradden Inman's surging run set up Ajay Leitch-Smith but his shot was kept out by Joe Murphy.
Baker was guilty of blowing a golden chance for the visitors when he scuffed McSheffrey's centre with the goal at his mercy, while Jordan Clarke went much closer with a fierce 30-yard effort that whistled wide.
Clarke summed up City's night in front of goal when he shot straight at Phillips after good work from Baker and Bailey.
But, as the game entered injury-time, Ellis looped a long punt over his own goalkeeper before Clarke headed in Baker's cross to set nerves jangling, but Crewe held on.