Tottenham stars Michael Dawson and Peter Crouch acknowledge Milan “forced us to sit back” in a tense second leg.
Spurs are notorious for their attacking approach and had won all their Champions League home games, but were fortunate to escape with a goalless draw at White Hart Lane, beating the Rossoneri 1-0 on aggregate.
“Winning ugly? Definitely. The first half performance was back to walls, but we worked our socks off. Same in the second half. Look at it now, it's rocking,” Dawson told ITV.
“Milan forced us to sit back. If you look at the players in our team, we're very attacking, but we showed a different side to us tonight.
“We'll enjoy tonight and see who we get in the quarter-final.”
Crouch got the goal in the first leg and insisted Tottenham deserved to reach the next phase.
“It's huge. The club has never been in the Champions League before, then going to San Siro and winning, the lads defended magnificently tonight, great credit to them,” said the striker. “I'm really pleased and looking forward to the next round. That's what it was all about.
“Sometimes in the Champions League you need to get results and that means defending from the front. We did that and I think over the two legs deserved to go through.”