John Dahl Tomasson was the hero for Milan after scoring the injury time winner to put his side into the semi finals of the Champion’s League.
With the scores standing at 2-2, Ajax would have gone through on away goals, but a slip by Chivu let Tomasson in to score. Earlier, Filippo Inzaghi had initially put Milan ahead, but then Ajax replied in the second half with a strike from substitute Jari Litmanen.
Shevchenko restored Milan’s lead, but Pienaar equalised with ten minutes to go.Milan then gave it everything but Lobont was equal to it in the Ajax goal before Tomasson’s winner.
The Dane knew just how crucial his goal was.
“It is my tenth goal, a very important one,” he told Milan online.
“To win yesterday was a great joy, we did well and reaped the fruits of our hard work.”
Coach Carlos Ancelotti was quick to praise the efforts of his makeshift side, who struggled with several key players missing.
“I want to congratulate the whole team, especially Maldini who played wearing a protective mask, and Brocchi who has always proved to be ready to step in,” he said.
“I think we deserved this result, as we were really effective going forward. Pressure was high on the eve of the match, but at the endit was wiped off through this victory. To reach the last four is an important result for us.”
Striker Inzaghi said that the whole squad had been determined to reach last four.
“We wanted to reach the semi-finals at all costs,” he commented.
“Now we are among the four best clubs in Europe, we will expect a derby (against Inter), but if we show this determination, we will go far.”
Ajax coach Ronald Koeman however rued his side’s bad luck in the game and believed they deserved to win.
“We were better than Milan for large parts of the game but this is football. Sometimes you are lucky sometimes you are not,” he said afterwards.
“We were a bit unlucky at the third goal because Chivu fell down and that enabled Inzaghi to get into position.”
Koeman did say though that the side had done him proud in Europe and if they stay together, they could do even better in the future.
“We have had a tremendous season in Europe. I am not surprised because I know this is a good team andwe can do even better in the future.”
Veteran defender Alessandro Costacurta, one the surviving squad members of Milan’s last European Cup triumph, felt his side deserved to win.
“It was a hard-fought game, but we all made a very good performance. We created a lot of chances, more than Ajax who, however, did very well too. I think we deserved this prestigious achievement.”
They will now play rivals Inter in the semi finals and will be looking to maintain their recent good form against their neighbours. Milan have beaten Inter twice already this season.