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First goal was no fluke: Inzaghi
May 24, 2007 10:40 IST
The first of Filippo Inzaghi's two Champions League-winning goals for AC Milan on Wednesday was a fluke according to Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez.
"It was luck but that is football," the Spaniard said of the goal that deflected off Inzaghi from Andrea Pirlo's freekick.
Most of the Olympic Stadium crowd would no doubt have agreed with him but the scorer had an alternative viewpoint.
"It was something that we rehearsed in training," said Inzaghi with a grin. "I scored with it against Empoli. Sometimes it just comes off."
Whether it was deliberate or not, there is little doubt it was the turning point of the match, which Milan won 2-1, and it was fitting that Inzaghi was involved.
The 33-year-old has suffered from a number of injuries over the last couple of years and missed Milan's defeat on penalties by Liverpool in Istanbul two years ago.
This season, his scoring form has been mixed with four goals from 11 games in the Champions League before Wednesday, including two in the qualifiers, and just two goals in 20 Serie A outings.
Before the final, there was much debate about whether Carlo Ancelotti, the Milan coach, would play Inzaghi or Alberto Gilardino up front.
Inzaghi double strike repaid his coach's confidence.
"I have a very special relationship with Milan," he said. "A couple of years ago I missed a lot of games through injury but the club kept faith in me and when I was fit again they welcomed me back with open arms. They showed real trust in me."
If Inzaghi's first goal had a touch of good fortune, there was no doubting the quality of his second eight minutes from time, when he latched on to a through ball from Kaka, rounded keeper Pepe Reina and coolly stroked the ball into the net.
"The first goal opened up the game but the second was certainly better," he said. Summing up his emotions, Inzaghi added: "It's a feeling of great joy. There aren't words to describe it...I feel like it's all a dream."
UEFA Champions League 2006-07: The Complete Coverage