AC Milan reaches semifinals for third time in four years
AC Milan advanced to the semifinals of the European Champions League on Tuesday night, beating Lyon 3-1 on late goals by Filippo Inzaghi and Andriy Shevchenko.
The score in the two-game series was tied 1-1 -- which would have meant elimination for AC Milan -- before Inzaghi scored in the 88th minute. Shevchenko's initial shot was tipped off a post by goalkeeper Gregory Coupet, ricocheted across the goal mouth and bounced off the other post into the penalty area before Inzaghi knocked it in.
"The key was our heart, determination," Inzaghi said. "At one moment we thought we were out. Then I had some good luck on that rebound from the post."
Shevchenko added a goal in injury time at San Siro, giving the Shevchenko-Inzaghi duo 108 goals in European competition, the most by a pair of teammates. AC Milan reached the semifinals for the third time in four years.
"With the talent we have in attack, we always believe we have a chance," AC Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti said. "I agree we didn't play a great game, but we had a small advantage playing at home, and I think that helped."
Villarreal also advanced, beating visiting Internazionale of Milan 1-0. The Spanish team won the two-game series on away goals after finishing tied 2-2 overall.
In the semifinals, AC Milan will face either Barcelona or Benfica, tied 0-0 going into Wednesday's game in Spain. Villarreal plays the winner of Wednesday's game between Juventus and Arsenal, which won the first leg 2-0.
At Milan, Inzaghi scored the first goal in the 25th minute, heading in a cross from Clarence Seedorf. Mahamadou Diarra tied the score for Lyon in the 31st with another header.
Villarreal got its winning goal from Rodolfo Arruabarrena in the 58th minute.
"This isn't a miracle or a dream. It's based on hard work and belief," Villarreal coach Manuel Pellegrini said.