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Real escape with hope of progress

What the papers say
By ESPN Staff

Ancelotti happy despite Milan's goal drought

LENS, France, Sept 26 (Reuters) - Coach Carlo Ancelotti was satisfied with AC Milan's performance despite a goalless draw away to Lille in Champions League Group H on Tuesday.

'It was an excellent performance from AC Milan, we had very good chances,' he told reporters.

Milan, who started their European campaign brightly with a 3-0 win over AEK Athens two weeks ago, have failed to score in their last two matches.

They have only netted five goals in their four first Serie A matches and seem to be sorely missing Ukraine striker Andriy Shevchenko, who has scored 57 goals in the European Cup but now plies his trade with English champions Chelsea.

His replacement, Brazilian Ricardo Oliveira, is much less prolific while Alberto Gilardino has yet to score after 13 Champions League appearances for the six-times European champions. Only Filippo Inzaghi, 33, is a proven match-winner.

However, Ancelotti was unfazed, adding: 'It was not an easy match. I am satisfied with our display tonight. It is true we have not scored but we have had opportunities.'

Their clearest chance came after 52 minutes when midfielder Clarence Seedorf had a goal harshly disallowed for offside.

Ancelotti's counterpart, Claude Puel, praised his players for their watertight performance after Lille had conceded seven goals in their last two Ligue 1 games.

'We played a great match and we still have chances to qualify (for the knockout stages),' he said.

'Tonight, the players have learnt a lot and it is very interesting for the future of this squad.'

Fullback Mathieu Chalme added: 'We did what we had to do. It's a good 0-0 draw. If we grab three points against AEK Athens we will be in a good position.'

Lille host the Greek side in their next Champions League match on Oct. 17.