Málaga vs. Milan  1 - 0


Allegri: Milan deserved a draw

25 October 2012 02:39

Massimiliano Allegri claimed AC Milan deserved a point after losing 1-0 to Malaga in the Champions League on Wednesday.

Manuel Pellegrini's Malaga side won their third Champions League game in succession to take charge of Group C during their debut campaign in the competition, with Allegri's charges left five points further back in second spot.

Allegri suggested wasteful possession had undermined his side's chances of getting a point he felt they otherwise deserved.

"We threw the ball away a little bit too much when we were attacking," Allegri said.

"We should have kept it more (but) a draw would have been the right result."

"Malaga did not surprise me. They have good players, with good technique."

The defeat leaves Milan's chances of progression in the balance and Allegri fighting for his future at the San Siro following a poor start to the domestic season.

"There is little to talk about, we just have to keep looking for a win," the former Cagliari coach said when asked if he still had the support of vice-president Adriano Galliani.

Malaga coach Manuel Pelegrini disagreed with his opposite number, and felt his team could have won by a bigger margin after dominating.

"The score did not reflect the match," Pellegrini said.

"Milan played with eight defensive players, big players against our small players."

"The way we played is the way I prefer to win."


Allegri focused on the future

24 October 2012 14:35

AC Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri feels he has been unfairly criticised after the Rossoneri's disappointing start to the 2012-13 campaign.

The 45-year-old has highlighted that his side are nothing like the team they were last year after the departure of several key players, and believes they have lacked luck so far this Serie A season.

"It makes no sense to talk about the Milan of the past - we've changed 14 players so this is a different team," Allegri said.

"Success in football is also a question of luck. The most important thing is to keep looking forward. A while back, people said I was the best coach in the world and now they say I am the worst.

"We have to keep working and resolve the current situation. I am calm."

Milan are currently preparing for the Champions League Group C match against Malaga, and Allegri is confident they can get a good result.

"I think we can win Wednesday's game against Malaga, but we have to play good football," he said.


Allegri remains defiant over job speculation

23 October 2012 18:29

AC Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri has vowed that Wednesday's Champions League match against Malaga will not be his last.

The 45-year-old has been coming under increasing pressure after his side's poor start to the season, with recent defeats to city rivals Inter and Lazio seeing them drop to 15th on the Serie A table.

But Allegri remains convinced his position at San Siro is still secure.

"Will this be my final match with Milan? I do not think so," he told reporters at a press conference.

"All I know is that we lack the points we deserved. We must acknowledge the league position is bad, but I'm very sure that the team will get out of this situation."

Despite backing himself to turn things around, the former Cagliari coach admitted his team must not dwell on the situation and try to move back towards the top of the table.

"We have to remain calm. Thinking about it too much makes us crazy. We need to think less and act more. It is years since Milan were so low in the table and it's a bad thing," he said.

The San Siro outfit go into their Group C match in Spain in second place, two points behind their opponents, and Allegri admitted some key players will be missing while he still has some decisions to make regarding who will make the starting XI.

"(Christian) Abbiati has still a respiratory infection, (Ignazio) Abate is still not fit and has remained in Milan for special training. (Nigel) de Jong, instead, has a problem with his hip," Allegri said.

"I still have to choose who to put behind the striker. (Kevin-Prince) Boateng is not in great form. For him it's a moment when things don't come easily.

"We should not think at what happened in the past two years, when we had players with certain characteristics."


Pellegrini wary of Milan test

23 October 2012 18:16

Malaga manager Manuel Pellegrini says it would be wrong for his side to underestimate AC Milan when they face each other on Wednesday.

Milan have endured a forgettable start to the season, having secured only two wins from their opening eight Serie A matches and the pressure is mounting on coach Massimiliano Allegri to arrest his side's poor form.

By contrast, Malaga have made a strong start in La Liga to occupy third position and top Champions League Group C ahead of their Italian opponents with two wins from two.

And while Pellegrini is wary of Milan, the Chilean manager knows his side must focus on their own performance.

"It's true they are not performing very well in Serie A but in the UEFA Champions League it is different and we need to respect them," he told reporters.

"Milan is going through a massive change, they have changed eight or nine different players and they are paying for that in Serie A.

"They're doing better in the UEFA Champions League but instead of worrying about them we'll focus on our own game and try to perform at our best."

Midfielder Joaquin echoed his manager's sentiments and highlighted the quality at Milan's disposals, which includes Brazilian striker Robinho.

"We're happy with the challenge of hosting a great team such as Milan," the former Valencia winger said.

"But even though they aren't going through their best moments at this time, we need to be aware of their history in this competition.

"It is true we are performing well at home this year but we need to respect Milan - they are very experienced and have a very good squad.

"Robinho is a great player, he makes the difference and obviously when he doesn't play it is better for us.

"But we shouldn't focus on that and think it will be easy because they have a very good and experienced squad with top players. We know we need to perform at our best level."


Caballero: Malaga must respect AC Milan

23 October 2012 14:45

Malaga goalkeeper Willy Caballero insists his side has plenty of respect for struggling AC Milan ahead of their Champions League clash.

The Serie A side have failed to find their best form in the opening months of the 2012-13 campaign, but the Argentine feels they should not be underestimated as the Andalusians aim to maintain their perfect record in Europe.

"We can't afford to put in a bad performance and have to show a certain degree of respect for an opponent with such a long history like Milan," Caballero said ahead of the Group C match on Wednesday.

"It will be an historic match and we will be extremely motivated to do well. Taking on big teams is a big motivation and we don't fear any one.

"We had the intention to do well in the Champions League when we qualified, and it's now our objective to reach the knock-out stages, either by finishing first or second in the group."

Added Ignacio Camacho: "Although they are having a bad time Milan are still an historic club and we must show them all the respect in the world.

"Italian teams play a more tactical game and they have some great footballers such as Bojan, who is doing very well."


Champions League Group C preview: Malaga meet struggling Milan

23 October 2012 08:40

Malaga are in perfect shape to knock off AC Milan, although head coach Manuel Pellegrini is worried about the standard of his home ground.

Pellegrini's side have won both their matches in Champions League Group C and would strengthen their position as a genuine contender in Europe's premier club competition if they can overcome a stuttering Milan.

Malaga have not conceded in the Champions League this season but Pellegrini is more concerned by how his attackers will fare on their home pitch, the standard of which did not impress him during his team's 2-1 La Liga win over Real Valladolid on Saturday.

"The pitch is in a poor condition and we are concerned about it," Pellegrini told reporters.

"There was no mobility from our players in the middle of the pitch."

Regardless of the state of the pitch, Malaga will be well set up to overcome Milan due to their defence, which is the most miserly in La Liga.

Malaga have conceded just five goals in eight league matches this season to move to third in La Liga with South American duo Martin Demichelis and Weligton providing a solid foundation as the starting central defensive pairing.

The club from Spain's south coast have beaten both Zenit St Petersburg and Anderlecht 3-0 giving them plenty of confidence ahead of the clash with Milan.

Milan have started their Serie A campaign poorly with two wins from eight games and slumped to their fifth defeat of the season away to Lazio on Saturday but Massimiliano Allegri's team are still just two points behind Malaga in Group C, after a draw at home to Anderlecht and a win away against Zenit.

Allegri will be concerned by the form of Malaga's trio of attacking midfielders with Isco, Joaquin and Eliseu having provided 10 of the clubs 18 goals this season across all competitions.

In the other Group C encounter, Zenit will host Anderlecht with both sides desperately in need of points.

Anderlecht have just one point to sit third, while Zenit are on the bottom of the group after a pair of defeats.

Belgian club Anderlecht must find a way to score ahead of their trip to Russia having not hit the back of the net in the opening two group games.

Dieumerci Mbokani is the man most likely to score for Anderlecht as the Congolese striker has already notched 11 goals in 14 games this season.

La Liga table

# Team MP D P
16 29 -19 31
17 29 -18 27
18 29 -37 21
19 29 -34 20
20 29 -29 14

Serie A table

# Team MP D P
4 28 +26 55
5 29 +30 54
6 28 +9 50
7 28 +12 44
8 28 +4 44
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