The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Milan keep home slate clean, history revisits Real
- CHAMPIONS LEAGUE l Basel’s early strike not enough as United win 3-1

London: Reigning European champions Real Madrid were beaten but former titleholders Manchester United and Borussia Dortmund won on the opening night of the second phase of the Champions League on Tuesday.

History repeated itself for Real who lost 0-1 at five-time European champions AC Milan with the Italian side maintaining their 100 per cent home record against the Spaniards in European competition going back to their first meeting in 1956.

Andriy Shevchenko scored the only goal in their outstanding Group C match at the San Siro stadium as Milan beat Real for the fifth successive time at home.

The hard part will come for AC Milan in the return leg where they have never beaten Real in Madrid.

”I think playing defensively, sitting back against Real is always risky. You could see that in the spell before we scored when they were playing in front of our defence,” said Ancelotti.

“We looked to attack and to impose our game on them and we could do that for the greater part of the game.

“We won this match above all because we kept the rhythm of the game in our hand against a team who as you could see are a great side,” added the Milan coach.

Real coach Vicente Del Bosque had few complaints about the result.

“We were beaten by a very strong side. Milan attacked us at the start but we responded in the right way. It was a beautiful game between two great sides,” he said.

“Milan played well but we conceded a goal at just the moment when we had gained the upper hand.”

Meanwhile, Manchester United bounced back to win the first European tie they have ever played in Switzerland with a 3-1 victory in Basel where the home side took the lead after only 31 seconds with the sixth-quickest goal in Champions League history.

But Christian Gimenez’s early strike was not enough against the two-time champions who stormed back to take the lead with two goals in 90 seconds by Ruud Van Nistelrooy just after the hour mark.

His second goal from the acutest of angles was particularly outstanding and deflated Basel so much they fell even further behind five minutes later when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer scored the third to ensure United would go home with all three points.

Juventus fightback

Juventus, the other former European champions in action, fought back superbly to gain a 2-2 draw at Deportivo de La Coruna after the home side had raced into a 2-0 lead after only 11 minutes.

Diego Tristan (9) and Roy Makaay (11) gave the Spaniards a flying start, but Juventus came back with a 38th minute goal from Alessandro Birindelli and a 57th minute equaliser from Pavel Nedved.

Juventus coach Marcello Lippi praised his side’s determination. “The only problem was that we started the game 20 minutes too late and in that time Deportivo took a two-goal lead,” a smiling Lippi said after the match.

“But apart from the opening spell we played very well and scored two good goals and had a third disallowed that looked perfectly legal to me.

“We helped give Deportivo a flying start and that allowed them to play well in the first half, but we showed real strength to fight back and gain the draw against what was a very good team.”

Dortmund rally

Borussia Dortmund, the 1997 European champions, also came from behind to win, outclassing a weary Lokomotiv Moscow 2-1 in Russia.

The home side, who clinched their domestic title for the first time in their 67-year history last week, started the brighter and went ahead after 31 minutes through Sergei Ignashevich.

But Dortmund were level just two minutes later when Torsten Frings equalised, and wrapped up the points two minutes before the break thanks to a well-taken goal by tall Czech striker Jan Koller who was gifted the ball by the home defence.

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