Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti described his team’s defence as “perfect” after a 1-0 win over Manchester United at the San Siro on Tuesday took them into the Champions League quarter-finals with a 2-0 aggregate victory.

Hernan Crespo scored the only goal of the game – just as he had done at Old Trafford a fortnight ago. But it was Milan’s defence which most impressed Ancelotti.

“Our defensive work was perfect,” said Ancelotti,

“Apart from when (Ryan) Giggs hit the post we didn’t risk anything at all at the back. It was really a great performance.

“We handled two very difficult games very well and there was very little between the two teams,” he said.

“You expect that, though, when you have a game between two of the best teams in Europe. What really pleases me is that in both games we were able to play the way we wanted to. That shows we know our strengths and can play to them,” he added.

But the Milan coach acknowledged that the result could have been different had United’s finishing been sharper.

“United attacked us and left themselves quite open. They were strong, aggressive, though their finishing could have been better. They could definitely have done more with the chances they had.

“The way they played put a big strain on our midfield, but I think we deserved the win. We did it in the first leg and now we’ve done it in the second.”