AC Milan qualified for the UEFA Champions League Semi-Final after 16 years. The last time when they qualified for the semis, they also went on to win the title for the record 7th time. In terms of titles, AC Milan are 2nd with 7 titles after Real Madrid who have 14 UCL titles. Milan beat Napoli by 2-1 on aggregate in the UCL Quarter-Finals of 2022/23 and through to the next round. It will either be Benfica or Inter whom they will face in the semis. It will be a comeback to remember in the history of the Champions League if The Rossoneri go on from here and win the title for the record 8th time.
Read Also: Napoli vs AC Milan: The Rossoneri are in UCL semifinals after 16 years after 2-1 aggregate victory
No one thought, Milan will beat Napoli in the Quarter-Finals. The former European Giants came as Underdogs but they showed the European Royalty, The Champions Mentality at the right time. They are not consistent in Serie A after winning it last season. No one thought a 4th position team will get the better of the Table Topper in the Champions League. That’s what the Champions League is all about. A Team’s form in the domestic league doesn’t matter in the UCL. It’s looking like the Rossoneri are slowly progressing toward success once again. Progress toward regaining one of the European Giants’ spots once again.
AC Milan’s 2006/07 Champions League Campaign: Road to the 7th Title
Milan qualified for the competition by finishing third in the 2005–06 Serie A. Milan had originally finished second in Serie A, but were docked 30 points for their part in a match-fixing scandal. Their opponents in the third qualifying round were the Serbian team Red Star Belgrade. Two victories, 1–0 at home and 2–1 away, sealed Milan’s passage to the group stage of the Champions League. They were drawn in Group H alongside AEK Athens of Greece, Anderlecht of Belgium, and French team Lille. Milan won three matches, drew one, and lost two to finish top of the group with 10 points and progress to the knockout stage.
|AEK Athens (Greece)||3-0 (Home)||Won|
|Lille (France)||0-0 (Away)||Drawn|
|Anderlecht (Belgium)||1-0 (Away)||Lost|
|Anderlecht (Belgium)||4-1 (Home)||Won|
|AEK Athens (Greece)||0-1(Away)||Won|
|Lille (France)||0-2 (Home)||Lost|
Group H Table:
They were drawn against the Scottish team Celtic in the Round of 16. The first leg at Celtic Park finished 0–0. The return leg at the San Siro also finished 0–0 after 90 minutes with Celtic restricting to limit the goalscoring opportunities Milan had. The match went to the extra time. However, three minutes into extra time Milan scored when Kaká curled a shot past Celtic goalkeeper Artur Boruc. Celtic were unable to score the away goal they needed to beat Milan. The Rossoneri progressed to the quarter-finals after a 1–0 aggregate victory.
Knockout Stage: Quarter-Final
Milan were drawn against German Giant Bayern Munich in the quarter-finals. The first leg at the San Siro ended in a 2–2 draw after Bayern had scored an equaliser three minutes into stoppage time. Pirlo scored the opener in the first half but Van Buyten equalised in the 78th minute. Kaka gave the lead to Milan once again with a neat finish after getting a penalty. Van Buyten once again equalised for Bayern and the first leg ended 2-2. The second leg at Bayern’s home ground the Allianz Arena was more comfortable for Milan, as they scored two first-half goals to win the match 2–0 and win the tie 4–2 on aggregate. Inzaghi and Seedorf registered their name on the scoresheet.
Knockout Stage: Semi-Final
Milan were drawn against the English Giant Manchester United in the semi-finals. In the first leg at Old Trafford, Kaka scored twice to give Milan a 2–1 lead after Cristiano Ronaldo scored an early goal. However, two goals from Wayne Rooney in the second half sealed United’s victory in the first leg by 3–2. Milan won the second leg at San Siro by 3–0 to progress to the final after a 5–3 aggregate victory. Kaka, Seedorf & Gilardino scored the goals to seal the victory.
Carlo Ancelotti said after the 2nd Leg, “To play the way we did in the first half is a dream for a coach – it was perfect football.”
AC Milan vs Liverpool: The Final
The 2006/07 Final was Milan’s eleventh appearance in the final of the Champions League, and the third since 2003. They were victorious on six occasions (1963, 1969, 1989, 1990, 1994, 2003), and lost four times (1958, 1993, 1995, 2005). Liverpool were appearing in their seventh final. They had previously won the competition five times (1977, 1978, 1981, 1984, 2005). The final was a rematch of 2005 final which Liverpool won 3–2 in a penalty shootout, after recovering from a three-goal deficit at half-time to level the score at 3–3 after full-time and extra time. Ancelotti said, “It was bound to happen. The Revenge is on the cards.”
The Olympic Stadium in Athens was selected as the venue for 2006/07 UEFA Champions League final. Milan chose to wear their all-white away strip for the final as they considered that strip to be their “lucky kit” ( According to Italian: maglia fortunata). They had won the European Cup five times in those colours but also lost two finals wearing all-white. The 2005 final was also played by Milan in an all-white against Liverpool. This decision by Milan meant that Liverpool played the final in their traditional home kit of red shirts, red shorts, and red socks. Each of Liverpool’s five European Cup titles were won in their all-red strip, and two of these came when they were playing against Italian teams who played in all-white. The stage was set for the perfect Revenge.
Milan fielded the oldest starting eleven ever in a Champions League final, with an average age of 31 years, and 34 days. Paolo Maldini was the oldest outfield player ever to play in the final. It was his eighth final, at 38 years and 331 days. Milan manager Carlo Ancelotti decided to start striker Filippo Inzaghi, who had missed the 2005 final ahead of Hernán Crespo. Liverpool manager Rafael Benítez decided to field a five-man midfield with Jermaine Pennant and Boudewijn Zenden on the wings, while Steven Gerrard was deployed behind lone striker Dirk Kuyt. Liverpool fielded five of the players that started the 2005 final: Xabi Alonso, Jamie Carragher, Steve Finnan, Steven Gerrard, and John Arne Riise.
AC Milan vs Liverpool: The Final
Alonso fouled Kaká on the edge of the Liverpool penalty area, giving away a free-kick in the last minute of the first half. The free-kick taken by Andrea Pirlo deflected off the shoulder of Milan striker Filippo Inzaghi and ended in the Liverpool goal. The deflection caused the ball to be diverted past Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina, who had dived the other way in anticipation of the ball’s original trajectory. Replays showed that the ball struck Inzaghi’s upper arm on its way to the goal, but the referee did not judge this to have been a handball. Milan went into half-time leading 1–0.
Inzaghi later said that while the deflection was intended, he did not intend for the ball to hit his arm.
After Mascherano’s substitution, Kaká got the free spaces to drive the ball. He picked out a pass to Inzaghi, who took the ball to the side of the Liverpool goalkeeper Reina and rolled it into the net to make the score 2–0 to Milan. Liverpool managed to pull one goal back in the 88th minute when Kuyt scored with a header after Agger’s flick on Pennant’s corner from the left. However, they were unable to find the second goal and the referee blew for full-time with the score 2–1 to Milan.