Milan duo double up Shakhtar
Reigning champions get back on track with comfortable home win
Last Updated: 25/10/07 12:13am
Gilardino: Early double
Milan defeated early Group D leaders Shakhtar Donetsk 4-1 thanks to two goals apiece from Alberto Gilardino and Clarence Seedorf.
The reigning champions of Europe bounced back from a shock loss to Empoli at the weekend with a much-needed victory on home soil.
Under-fire coach Carlo Ancelotti will have been delighted to see his side pick up three points, even though the final score flattered them.
Cristiano Lucarelli's second-half strike, which made the score 2-1, was all the visitors had to show for a spirited display that further suggests they can qualify for the knock-out stages this year.
Gilardino had given the home side a comfortable cushion with a pair of headers inside the opening 14 minutes - doubling his UEFA Champions League haul in the process.
The striker diverted in Andrea Pirlo's corner from the right to open the scoring before powerfully nodding home a cross from Seedorf soon after.
The two-goal advantage should have led to an easy evening for the Italians, yet Shakhtar dominated possession for long periods and showed the frailties in the Milan defence that may explain why they have won just once in their last seven outings.
Zelijko Kalac, standing in place of the suspended Dida, was forced to make several saves before he was eventually beaten six minutes after the break.
Massimo Oddo's poor clearance nearly went unpunished as the Australian goalkeeper managed to block Brandao's drive, only for former Livorno man Lucarelli to smash in the rebound.
However, Milan quickly recovered from conceding and sealed the win courtesy of two stunning Seedorf volleys in the space of seven minutes.
After Kaka had hit the post with an audacious effort from a tight angle, the Dutchman scored with his left foot from the resulting corner, getting the benefit of a deflection off the woodwork that had only just denied his team-mate.
The midfielder's second was even better; a dipping effort with his right this time after Andriy Pyatov's weak punch had gone straight to him on the edge of the area.
|Milan||Team Statistics||Shakhtar Donetsk|
|2||1st Half Goals||0|
|9||Shots on Target||10|
|4||Shots off Target||10|
UEFA Champions League
Wed 24th Oct - Group B
Rosenborg2 - 0Valencia
Chelsea2 - 0Schalke
Wed 24th Oct - Group C
R Madrid4 - 2Olympiakos
W Bremen2 - 1Lazio
Wed 24th Oct - Group A
Marseille1 - 1FC Porto
Besiktas2 - 1Liverpool
Wed 24th Oct - Group D
AC Milan4 - 1Shak Donetsk
Benfica1 - 0Celtic
UEFA Champions League Group A
UEFA Champions League Group B
UEFA Champions League Group C
|1||Paris St Germain||6||13|
UEFA Champions League Group D
|3||FC Viktoria Plzen||6||3|
UEFA Champions League Group E
|4||FC Steaua Bucuresti||6||3|
UEFA Champions League Group F
UEFA Champions League Group G
|2||Zenit St. Petersburg||6||6|
UEFA Champions League Group H