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AC Milan 0-2 Inter Milan : “Pire que les rêves les plus fous de l’AC Milan”, mais l’Inter aura-t-il de gros regrets ?

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Fans de l'AC Milan
L’AC Milan a créé une atmosphère intimidante alors qu’ils cherchaient à prendre l’avantage sur leurs rivaux, l’Inter Milan

Pour une équipe, ce fut un départ cauchemardesque.

Après des semaines de battage médiatique autour du premier derby milanais en Ligue des champions depuis 2005, l’AC Milan était mené 2-0 en 11 minutes.

Cela n’avait pas été prévu. Avant le coup d’envoi, les supporters “locaux” – les deux manches se joueront à San Siro – ont déployé une gigantesque tête de diable accompagnée des mots : “L’enfer est vide, tous les démons sont là !”

Mais c’était rapidement le paradis pour les fans de l’Inter, grâce aux buts d’Edin Dezko et Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

“Tout ce qui aurait pu mal tourner pour Milan a été fait”, a déclaré l’ancien gardien de l’AC Milan Asmir Begovic à la mi-temps.

“C’est un désastre absolu et un dans leurs rêves les plus fous qu’ils n’auraient pas pu imaginer.”

Mais après une foule d’occasions manquées à l’Inter Milan et une décision controversée de l’arbitre assistant vidéo, l’AC Milan a-t-il reçu une bouée de sauvetage qu’il ne méritait pas ?

“L’AC Milan avait le trac”

Un derby milanais est toujours un événement mémorable, mais celui d’une compétition européenne est quelque chose à savourer.

Seulement deux fois avant la demi-finale aller de la Ligue des champions de mercredi, l’AC Milan avait affronté son féroce rival de la ville, l’Inter, sur la scène continentale et les deux groupes de supporters étaient déterminés à en tirer le meilleur parti.

L’AC Milan, l’équipe à domicile désignée au stade San Siro que les deux équipes partagent, avait de loin le plus grand nombre de supporters à l’intérieur. Un mur de bruit, des fumigènes rouges et de grandes banderoles créent une atmosphère intimidante.

Mais c’est l’équipe adverse qui est ressortie en force. Après avoir pris une avance de deux buts, ils ont également frappé les boiseries à travers Hakan Calhanoglu alors que l’AC Milan était exposé à maintes reprises.

L’Inter s’est même vu infliger un penalty en première mi-temps pour une faute sur Lautaro Martinez avant que la décision ne soit annulée de manière controversée à la suite d’un examen VAR.

Le patron de l’Inter Milan, Simone Inzaghi, a déclaré : “Nous avons joué une première mi-temps brillante, mais c’est un score serré pour ce que nous avons fait là-bas.

“C’est une nuit extrêmement positive qui nous donne beaucoup de satisfaction mais il nous manque une pièce de plus pour réaliser un rêve auquel nous croyions depuis le mois d’août.”

L’ancien attaquant de Liverpool, Peter Crouch, a déclaré sur BT Sport : “J’ai trouvé bizarre que l’AC Milan soit si passif. L’Inter aurait pu être hors de vue.”

L’ancien défenseur de Manchester United, Rio Ferdinand, a ajouté : “L’Inter est sorti comme un groupe de sprinteurs aux Jeux olympiques et l’AC Milan a eu le trac.”

Lautaro Martinez tombe dans la surface sous un défi de Simon Kjaer
L’AC Milan a initialement reçu un penalty lorsque Lautaro Martinez a été défié par Simon Kjaer, mais il a été annulé après un examen VAR

“Il s’est jeté à terre”

La grande décision est venue à la 31e minute. L’Inter a reçu un penalty alors que Martinez est tombé à l’intérieur de la surface suite à un défi de Simon Kjaer.

Mais lorsque l’arbitre Jesus Gil Manzano a été invité à vérifier le moniteur au bord du terrain par VAR, la décision a été annulée.

Manzano a estimé qu’il n’y avait pas assez de contact avec Kjaer, qui avait attrapé le maillot de Martinez avant de tomber.

“Il a absolument essayé d’escroquer l’arbitre. Il a senti une main sur sa taille et s’est jeté à terre”, a déclaré Pat Nevin, expert de BBC Radio 5 Live et ancien ailier de Chelsea.

“Je suis ravi que l’arbitre ait changé d’avis.”

Mais d’autres n’en étaient pas si sûrs.

“Je pense qu’il y a un contact, donc je suis surpris qu’ils l’aient annulé”, a déclaré l’ancien milieu de terrain de Manchester United et du Bayern Munich Owen Hargreaves à BT Sport.

“C’est un penalty. Il se fait couper et avait un bras autour de lui. S’il ressent quelque chose, il va tomber.

“L’Inter Milan a été brillant mais avec le penalty et les occasions manquées, il y aura aussi de gros regrets.”

L’ancien capitaine de Liverpool, Steven Gerrard, a ajouté: “Je pense qu’il se tue par la réaction. Je pense que techniquement, le penalty aurait dû être maintenu. L’arbitre regarde et pense que le contact n’est pas suffisant pour la réaction. Il va à l’écran et voit que c’est contacts minimes.”

Edin Dzeko célèbre son but
Edin Dzeko a marqué quatre buts en Ligue des champions cette saison

“Un attaquant de classe mondiale”

Inzaghi a fait confiance à l’expérience et cela a porté ses fruits puisque Dzeko, 37 ans, a ouvert le score après huit minutes avant que Mkhitaryan, 34 ans, n’obtienne le deuxième.

C’était la première fois que deux joueurs âgés de 34 ans ou plus marquaient pour une équipe lors d’un match à élimination directe en Ligue des champions.

“Dzeko est un joueur de classe mondiale”, a déclaré Begovic, qui a joué aux côtés de Dzeko pour la Bosnie-Herzégovine. “Ce n’est pas une surprise pour moi qu’il fasse cela, le connaissant depuis 15 ans. Il a un jeu de retard, de la technique, il manque peut-être un peu de rythme.

“Il est dévoué au jeu, discipliné, prend soin de lui de manière impeccable. Il mène parfaitement la ligne de front.”

Une seule équipe dans l’histoire des demi-finales de la Ligue des champions a remporté le match aller par deux buts ou plus et n’a pas atteint la finale – Barcelone, qui a perdu une avance de 3-0 contre Liverpool en 2018-19.

Mais, malgré l’avantage de deux buts, l’Inter sait que sa place dans une première finale de Ligue des champions depuis 2010 n’est pas encore réservée.

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Euro 2024 permutations: What do England and Scotland need to qualify?

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If Scotland lose their final group match to Hungary, they will finish fourth and be eliminated.

If the match is drawn, Scotland will finish the group in third and could yet qualify – but that would depend on results in other groups.

If Scotland win the game, they will finish either second or third – depending on the result in Switzerland’s match with Germany.

As Scotland drew with Switzerland, their positions will be decided on overall goal difference, then overall goals scored, then disciplinary points, then their ranking in European qualifiers.

As it stands, Scotland’s goal difference is six worse than Switzerland’s, so it would need a significant swing in the final round of games.

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Sir Jim Ratcliffe: Man Utd co-owner says football regulator ‘won’t be good’

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Manchester United co-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe is opposed to the introduction of a football regulator and says he can understand why Manchester City are challenging the Premier League’s rules.

Ratcliffe has taken a 27.7% stake in United but has effectively been allowed to control day-to-day operations by the Glazer family.

He has appointed a new technical director in Jason Wilcox, with Omar Berrada set to take over as chief executive next month. United will install Dan Ashworth as sporting director once a compensation deal is agreed with Newcastle.

Ratcliffe also oversaw the decision to stick with manager Erik ten Hag, even though United spoke to a number of potential replacements.

In addition, he has signed off on a £50m upgrade of the club’s Carrington training complex, with work under way that will force the first-team out of the main building for large parts of next season.

However, while he is concentrating on issues at United, Ratcliffe is also aware of wider problems facing the game, with a new government-backed football regulator top of the list.

“If you’ve got a government regulator, at the end of the day they will regulate and that won’t be good,” Ratcliffe said in an extensive interview with Bloomberg, external.

The plans were part of the Football Governance Bill, which was halted when the General Election was called but both Conservative and Labour parties have committed to it if they form the next government.

Premier League chief executive Richard Masters has previously warned of the potential for ‘unintended consequences’ resulting from the introduction of a regulator, which he has said could threaten the league’s status as the most lucrative in the world.

It is one of a number of regulatory issues facing Premier League clubs, who must comply with current profit and sustainability rules for at least another season.

City are currently challenging the legality of the league’s associated party transaction (APT) rules, which determine whether sponsorship deals are financially ‘fair’.

The Premier League champions City are not on their own in believing those rules should be scrapped.

“I can understand why they are challenging it,” said Ratcliffe. “You can understand why they would say that they want an open market, a free market.”

The Premier League has put talks with the Football League over a ‘New Deal’ for funding on hold until it had sorted its own revised financial regulation. Many top-flight clubs are against the concept of handing out additional funds to what in some instances could be viewed as rivals.

At its annual meeting earlier this month, clubs agreed to trial an ‘anchoring’ plan, which would link spending to the revenues of the club that finishes at the bottom of the table.

Ratcliffe is not a fan, and feels there is too much regulation generally.

“What would anchoring do?” he said. “The last thing you want in the Premier League is for the top clubs not to be able to compete with the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, and PSG.

“We’ve got more accountants than we’ve got sporting people at Manchester United. If you’re not careful, the Premier League is going to finish up spending more time in court than it is thinking about what’s good for the league.”

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England v Denmark: Thomas Frank on Euro 2024 group stage tie

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Brentford boss Thomas Frank tells Alex Scott his native Denmark face a ‘tricky tie’ against England – and that he’s backing Gareth’s Southgates men to win Euro 2024.

MORE: Choose your England team to face Denmark

Watch Denmark v England from 16:00 BST on BBC One, BBC iPlayer, the BBC Sport website and app, or listen with Radio 5 live on BBC Sounds

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Mbappe trains with bandaging on broken nose

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France’s Kylian Mbappe trained with a bandage on his nose after breaking it in their game with Austria at Euro 2024.

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Euro 2024: James McFadden says Scotland deserve shot at grandstand finish

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We were at the last Euros at a largely empty Hampden, and we see Scotland play there all the time. This is different.

The amount of Scotland fans in Germany is remarkable, the noise they’re generating in the stadiums is off the scale. Both renditions of Flower of Scotland have been unbelievable.

From a football point of view, there have been echoes of three years ago, in terms of results.

We lost the first game then, before getting a bit of a heroic draw at Wembley. Then we know what happened against Croatia.

You’re supposed to learn your lessons from past mistakes.

I don’t think we underestimated Croatia three years ago, but they were very good.

I don’t think this Hungary team are as good as that Croatian side, but we need to prepare believing they’re just as good as Switzerland.

We’ve given ourselves a chance of four points and getting out of a group for the first time. It’s not guaranteed, but if we got the win and still couldn’t go through, it’s just typical Scotland isn’t it?

Hungary played well against Germany, but if we turn up we can win this game. All we want is to go and have some belief, and now there’s plenty of it.

James McFadden was speaking to BBC Sport Scotland’s Scott Mullen.

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Euro 2024: Why England should fear Rasmus Hojlund and Denmark

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Denmark are about more than just Hojlund though.

Christian Eriksen, referred to as “the father” by club team-mate Hojlund, stole headlines on Sunday as he marked his return to the Euros, three years after suffering a cardiac arrest during a game against Finland, with Denmark’s opening goal of the tournament.

He put in a man-of-the-match performance, pulling the strings in midfield during a dominant first half, before Slovenia were able to claw their way back into the game.

And despite the match ending in a draw, Frank believes Denmark showed they have enough quality to trouble England.

“It’s clear we should have won that game but with a point we can still decide [progression] ourselves,” said Frank.

“I’m convinced that Denmark will fancy their chances against England despite them being one of the massive favourites to win the tournament.

“This is football and anything can happen.”

Hojlund and Eriksen are the star names, while Sporting midfielder Morten Hjulmand has been linked with numerous clubs.

But who is not spoken about enough for Denmark?

There is one man who Frank thinks could be key in stopping “the best offensive players in the tournament” from England.

“[Barcelona defender] Andreas Christensen. On his day, he is one of the best centre-backs in the world,” added Frank.

“His way of anticipating situations, his technique, his composure, he is quite unique.”

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Euro 2024: Should England start Phil Foden against Denmark?

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Gareth Southgate’s England squad selection for Euro 2024 received widespread approval for being bold and courageous – and yet he is still revisiting a debate stretching back two decades.

It is a conversation that returns to the era when England’s then-manager Sven-Goran Eriksson failed to cash in what looked like a golden ticket stamped with the names of Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and Paul Scholes.

Eriksson’s star-struck approach led him to pack his team with England’s best individuals rather than shape a fully-functioning balanced side, a forced and flawed strategy that left the so-called ‘Golden Generation’ unfulfilled at international level while sweeping up major prizes regularly with their clubs.

It ended with a disillusioned Scholes, wasted on the left flank at Euro 2004 in Portugal, calling time early on his international career, a world-class operator with Manchester United marginalised by England.

And now there are hints of old arguments being raked over once more as England continue their Euro 2024 campaign against Denmark in Frankfurt on Thursday.

Southgate is not at the Eriksson stage yet – indeed he may never reach it – but he will be aware of the growing volume of the discussion around Manchester City’s Phil Foden, England’s young superstar Jude Bellingham and the make-up of his midfield elsewhere.

All the indications backstage in Frankfurt suggested Southgate will keep faith with Foden in the mainly left flank role he filled against Serbia, with Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold alongside Declan Rice in the centre.

It has not silenced the argument and the noise increased after Foden – the Footballer of the Year with 27 league goals as Manchester City secured a fourth successive title – cut a peripheral figure in England’s opening Euro 2024 win against Serbia in Gelsenkirchen, while Bellingham was the dominant personality in all aspects, scoring the decisive goal.

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Copa America 2024: Messi, Vinicius Jr, Bielsa, Brazil, Argentina, USA

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South America’s continental championship will be played in the United States.

And six of the 16 teams are from the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (Concacaf).

It was also the same for the special edition 2016 Copa America Centenario – but this is the first regular staging of the tournament to be played outside of the continent.

Many of the host cities are in southern states such as California, Texas and Florida – but there are stadia further north too including in New Jersey.

The tournament is being seen as preparation for the 2026 World Cup, which will be hosted by the United States – along with Canada and Mexico.

The US, Mexico, Jamaica, Canada, Costa Rica and Panama will be the six North and Central American countries joining all 10 South American nations to compete.

US boss Gregg Berhalter is under big pressure, with some fans calling for him to go following a 5-1 warm-up defeat by Colombia.

“I don’t think I’m the right person to answer that question,” he said when asked about his future.

“But what I would say is that we do see this as a building block. We see this group as a talented group that’s able to do good things, and we want to use Copa America to show that we’re focused on going as far as we can.”

Most Copas since 1993 have had 12 countries, including two guests – with Japan and Qatar having played in past editions – but the last one in 2021 just had the 10 South American nations.

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‘That was a lot more like us’ – Robertson reacts to Switzerland draw

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Scotland captain Andy Robertson says his side “gave it everything” in their 1-1 draw with Switzerland, a result which gives them a chance of qualifying from Group A.

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‘Greater fight, more commitment’ – how Scotland improved against Switzerland

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BBC pundits discuss Scotland’s improved performance and Billy Gilmour’s positive effect on the squad.

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