Mexes: We've won nothing yet
AC Milan defender Philippe Mexes has warned his team-mates not to get carried away as they bask in the euphoria of their stunning 2-0 victory over Barcelona on Wednesday.
Goals from Kevin-Prince Boateng and Sulley Muntari gave Milan a healthy advantage to take to the Camp Nou for the second leg of their last-16 tie on March 12.
Despite having put themselves in an excellent position to eliminate the runaway La Liga leaders, Mexes 30, told L'Equipe the Milan squad still have plenty of work to do before they are assured of a quarter-final berth.
"We put into action what the coach told us to do, and it came off for us, but there's no need to get carried away as nothing has been achieved yet," he said. "There are still around 100 minutes to play in a less advantageous environment, because the pitch tonight wasn't so good for a team that likes to pass it around. It's a great performance, but we have to stay calm and humble. We've not won the Champions League."
Mexes played a central role in the hosts' success as Massimiliano Allegri's men limited Barca to just a single shot on target, and inflicted a second Champions League defeat of the season on the Blaugrana - something that had not happened to the Spanish giants since the 2009-10 campaign.
Milan forward Mbaye Niang, who came off the bench to play a role in Milan's second goal, told beIN Sport: "We missed some chances, but winning 2-0 at home against the best team in the world augurs well. We really wanted to put on a big display in front of a full house. The scoreline is deserved.
"It's a good advantage, though you never know with Barcelona. At their place, we'll have to do even more than we did here."
Left-back Kevin Constant, who was playing in France's second division only two-and-a-half years ago, added in L'Equipe that the display had restored some of the lustre lost by Milan's recent lack of success.
"We weren't surprised because we knew we could do it," he said. "We remained united and showed that we're a real team. We also showed that Milan is still a big club. In the second leg, we know that it'll be much more difficult against a team who'll be looking for revenge in front of their own fans. We'll have to apply ourselves, defend well and not get carried away, just as we did tonight."
Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani, meanwhile, dedicated the victory to club owner Silvio Berlusconi.
Speaking shortly after the final whistle, Galliani told Sky Italia: "All the fans should know who they have to thank. We have to dedicate this win to president Berlusconi as it's the 27th anniversary of his acquisition of the club.
"President Berlusconi brought this club to the top of the world. The fans shouldn't forget this, even when we lose to Sampdoria at home and not only when we win against Barcelona! Football is beautiful as you never know what can happen, but not even the most optimistic fan would have imagined this.
"Tonight's game was extraordinary and will stay in our memories for a long time. I have to say that, in my opinion, our coach was very, very good."
Meanwhile, former Rossoneri player Marcel Desailly drew comparisons with the 4-0 triumph over Barcelona in the 1994 final.
Desailly, who scored for Milan in that victory over Johan Cruyff's 'Dream Team', told Milan Channel that the team were tactically perfect: "I have to thank boss Massimiliano Allegri for doing an incredible job, for having that kind of discipline. The players showed the Milan character tonight. It reminded me of the 4-0 against Barcelona in 1994.
"Tactically and in terms of discipline, the team was perfect with the defence playing high. They pressed players off the ball and they were attentive."