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We respect, don't fear Milan: Gerrard
May 17, 2007 16:06 IST
Last Updated: May 17, 2007 16:38 IST
Steven Gerrard does not expect Liverpool's Champions League final against AC Milan in Athens next week to finish in the same spectacular way as their 2005 showdown.
Milan took a 3-0 halftime lead in Istanbul two years ago before Liverpool fought back to level the scores and win a penalty shootout.
"I have watched AC Milan a lot this season. They are different from 2005," Gerrard told reporters on Wednesday.
"I don't think it will be a similar game to 2005. I think it will be a lot more cautious. The defences will be a lot tighter this time round.
"We have learned a lot from 2005. In that first half we were cut open and we were at no time compact in defence. We have learned our lessons from that poor start," the Liverpool captain said.
"The intention in Athens will be to keep things tight early on. We will want to shut Milan out and try to score the first goal. That may be all that will separate the teams this time."
Gerrard said he was impressed with AC Milan this season, notably when they beat Premier League Manchester United in the semi-final.
"They showed against Manchester United they are a fantastic team who deserve a lot of respect," he said.
"We will give them that but we don't fear them. We are a good team ourselves and we are confident we can do the job."
Gerrard also played down his row with AC Milan midfielder Gennaro Gattuso.
In his autobiography last year Gerrard was critical of Gattuso's over confident attitude and the Italian has since hit back.
"I am not preparing to play against Gattuso, I am preparing to play against AC Milan," Gerrard said on Wednesday.
"He is a fantastic player with a lot of experience. He has won the World Cup and he has proved he is a top player at the top level for many years.
"I am not going into this game worried about Gattuso. I am worried about AC Milan and I am worried about myself. My main focus is to get myself right.
"If I can do that, we will see if Gattuso can stop me," Gerrard added.
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