Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti compared his side’s win to their last-gasp victory over Ajax in the 2003 quarter-finals – when once again Inzaghi saved the day.
On the verge of being knocked out on the away goals rule with time ticking away, Inzaghi struck from close range after Gregory Coupet had parried Shevchenko’s shot onto the post.
“At this stage in the competition, experience and attitude are more important than quality,” said the Milan coach.
“We went through because we fought until the end. Inzaghi’s goal was similar to the one he scored against Ajax three years ago. He has great experience and is always motivated. He can score right up until the final whistle.
“We’re so good up front that we can always score, even when we play badly. And we didn’t perform well.
“The game was finely balanced and it was all decided in the final few minutes. We had the small advantage of playing at home and fully exploited it. We never stopped believing in our progress.”
Meanwhile, Lyon coach Gerard Houllier was left rueing his side’s lack of concentration in the closing minutes. With the scores level at 1-1 Lyon were on course to reach the last four for the first time, on away goals, before two late strikes from Inzaghi and Shevchenko swung the tie Milan’s way.
I’m extremely disappointed,” admitted Houllier. “We performed really well, probably better than Milan, but I’m proud of our players anyway.
“We created several chances and my only regret is our having failed to take them.
“We have made a lot of progress and matured. We proved we can compete with top clubs like Milan,” he added.
“I’m a bit disappointed we couldn’t fight until the end. Milan were reduced to the counterattack, they had three chances and scored three times. We played badly for just nine minutes and were punished. It’s a shame as we had a great campaign until now, and I’d like to thank the fans.
“There were 10,000 Lyon supporters out there tonight which is unusual, so we must now focus on our two remaining goals (Ligue 1 and the French Cup) for them.
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