Wednesday March 13 2013
‘Milan can’t blame Niang’

Mathieu Flamini reflected that he and his Milan teammates cannot blame their Champions League elimination on striker M’Baye Niang.

The 18-year-old hit the post in the first half of his team’s eventual 4-0 defeat to Barcelona, after Javier Mascherano’s mistake left him through one-on-one against Victor Valdes.

That chance was when the score was 1-0 to the home side and just a minute later Lionel Messi scored at the other end to level things in the tie on aggregate.

“We can’t put all the blame on Niang. If he had scored, it would’ve been a different game, but this is football and you only get one chance,” Flamini commented afterwards.

“Barcelona had a great performance, showed all their quality and are among the best teams in the world.

“We tried to play, but it was so difficult for us today. Perhaps we were a little nervous at the start, as we gave the ball away many times and didn’t play the way we usually do.

“Barcelona pressed high up the field and it was tough for us to emerge. They played very quick passing too and deserve to be complimented.

“There is bound to be a psychological blow-back after a game like this, which is difficult to forget. Now we have to put it behind us and stay concentrated on Serie A.”

Football Italia website