Abbiati 'ashamed' by defeat

Milan keeper hails United, but Nesta faces injury setback

Abbiati: Milan have no excuses

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Goalkeeper Christian Abbiati has lamented AC Milan's injury woes, but admitted there are "no excuses" for his side's 4-0 UEFA Champions League humiliation at the hands of Manchester United.

Milan went into the game at Old Trafford with several players not fully fit but few could have expected Leonardo's side to be destroyed the way they were by the Premier League champions.

The Rossoneri failed to overturn a 3-2 defeat at home with a heavy loss in England. Having had to settle for a place in the Uefa Cup last season, Milan had high hopes on their return to Europe's elite club competition.

Experienced defender Alessandro Nesta missed the defeat with a knee injury and Daniele Bonera was forced off at half-time, but Abbiati refused to hide behind Milan's casualty list.

"Alessandro Nesta is a great champion and his absence hurt the team as did Daniele Bonera's thigh injury throughout the game," said Abbiati.

"But injuries should not be an excuse for this defeat. To lose 4-0 for a team like Milan is difficult to digest.

"It's not going to be easy to forget this result and I personally, feel ashamed of the outcome.

"But we have to admit that Man United played better than us. Ferguson's side has great champions and they made our lives difficult from the start."

Crisis

Milan coach Leonardo is facing a defensive injury crisis at a crucial point in the season and he reckons Nesta's knock could be worse than first thought.

"I fear it could be something serious," Leonardo revealed.

The Brazilian coach is determined to bounce back from the crushing defeat, even without his defensive lynchpin.

AC trail city rivals Inter Milan by four points going into this weekend's games, but Leonardo is optimistic about his side's chances.

"I believe that one should not judge Milan based on the game at Old Trafford," said Leonardo.

"We are still second in Serie A, four points behind Inter.

"Let's focus on our strengths and not be conditioned by the negative result at

Manchester United.

"This Milan side does not need to be transformed, it just needs to be intelligent and make sure this setback does not have a negative effect on our aims this season."