Tuesday April 3 2012
Allegri: 'Penalty was gifted'

Massimiliano Allegri said the penalties cost Milan dearly against Barcelona, though “the referee gifted them with the second one.”

The Rossoneri had gone 1-1 at the Nou Camp when the Dutch referee pointed to the spot for Alessandro Nesta’s shirt tug on Sergio Busquets when he was simultaneously being pulled by Carles Puyol.

“It’s a shame, as it was a moment of the match where Barcelona weren’t doing much and it was just before the break. They had two penalties, one gifted by us, the other gifted by the referee,” Allegri told Sky Sport Italia after a 3-1 defeat.

Curiously, Lionel Messi has scored only three goals in his entire career against Italian opposition, all of them penalties past Milan.

“We made a lot of mistakes and misplaced passes where we had the chance to run into space. We opened the game for a while and I think we go out with our heads held high.

“After the 1-1 we felt that we had the chance to qualify, as Barcelona had some pressure on them and it showed. It’s only normal that after going 3-1 up it was all easier for them.

“It was difficult, as going into the locker room at the break with that dubious penalty, then after the restart a lucky deflection gives them a third, it gave Barcelona a psychological boost and they started to move the ball around much better.

“I think we had numerous chances to create scoring opportunities, but we misplaced many passes and got some decisions wrong. We knew Barcelona were the best team in the world right now.

“In the opening 10 minutes we lost the ball too often, which is precisely what you shouldn’t do against Barcelona. We often caught them one-against-one with an open field in front, but chose the wrong pass or got the measurements wrong, much like the first leg.”

Alexandre Pato made his comeback for the first time since February 25, but lasted only 13 minutes on the field before limping off again.

“He felt another twinge on the back of his thigh and the medical staff will evaluate it. If he has hurt himself again, then that will be a problem, as the poor lad has been carrying these problems for two years.”

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