Inter Milan and AC Milan will meet in their
second Champions League derby in three years although neither of the
Italian clubs are happy with the outcome of Friday's draw for the
Milan beat Inter thanks, somewhat ironically considering they both share
the same San Siro stadium, to the "away goals" rule after a tense
two-legged semi-final in 2003.
AC Milan's "home" match ended in a 0-0 draw and, six days later back in
the San Siro as the away team, they drew 1-1 with Inter to advance to
the final where they met more Italian opposition in the shape of
"We all wanted to avoid a derby, however I think the atmosphere will be
diferent from that of the semi-finals two years ago," said Milan coach
At their previous meeting Ancelotti and then Inter coach Hector Cuper
went into the match with their entire seasons depending on the outcome.
Neither coach had won a trophy at their club and both were under intense
"The essential thing now is to create a calm and relaxed atmosphere and
just focus on doing well in both games," said Ancelotti whose team went
on to beat Juventus in the 2003 final on penalties and then claim the
Italian title last season.
Milan midfielder Andrea Pirlo, a former Inter player, was also unhappy
with the draw.
"It would have been preferable to have avoided another Italian side at
this stage in the competition but we have got Inter so there you go," he
"There will be tension but that happens against other teams as well, the
quarter-finals were always going to be difficult anyway," he added.
Inter coach Roberto Mancini said he was unfazed by the draw.
"I had no particular reaction. To win the Champions League you have to
face this kind of opponent sooner or later," he said.
But Mancini also said he would have preferred to have not been drawn
against Inter's city rivals.
"Just because of the pressure of derbies. It should be obvious that I
would have also wanted to avoid Juventus because you always hope to meet
a foreign team in the Champions League," he added.
The only player to break ranks on the general disappointment was Inter
keeper Francesco Toldo who fired the first shots in what is sure to be
an intense build-up to the April 6 first leg.
"It was them who wanted to avoid us in the draw. For what reason? They
know," said the former Italy international.
Whoever eventually comes through the tie could yet face more Italian
opposition if they make it through to the final in Istanbul on May 25.
The winner of the tie will face either Olympique Lyon or PSV Eindhoven
in the semi-finals. If they come through that they could face Juventus
in the final if Juventus beats Liverpool in their quarter-final and then
sees off the winner of the Chelsea-Bayern Munich quarter-final in their