Final score - abandoned - 73'
0 a 1
UEFA Champions League
18:45 +00:00, April 12, 2005
Stadio Giuseppe Meazza
Referee: Markus Merk
2nd Leg: 0 - 3 (Agg)
Stay with Soccernet for all the fall-out to tonight's ugly events. Remember, don't have nightmares; please, sleep well.
So, the game has been called off. There has been no word as to whether the final 19 minutes of the tie will be played sometime in the future, though one can only presume they will. Hopefully, behind closed doors.
The second incident, when the flares began again only seconds after the restart, will surely mean a heavier fine for the club. All the Inter fans have achieved with this quite amazing display of stupidity is the inevitable punishment of their club.
A shameful night. Really breathtaking behaviour from a group of mindless imbeciles.
The firemen are back on the pitch, dealing with the flares. The stadium is emptying very quickly now that the Inter thugs have got their wish and forced the abadonment.
Referee Merk has now officially abandoned the match. The Milan players congratulate each other as the flares hit the pitch. I'm not sure how the players are going to get to the tunnel, which is located in the corner where the trouble is started.
Unbelieveable: The game is restarted, but within 20 seconds of play kicking off, flares and bottles reign down on to the pitch once more.
Obviously, I'll keep you up to date with the latest news from the San Siro. The latest is that the pitch is being cleared in view to resuming the match.
Latest news: Officials are 'hoping' to resume the match in ten minutes or so. But how can they guarantee that Dida isn't going to get pelted by more flares and missiles? It seems ludicrous to continue in such an environment.
The whole incident seems to have been sparked by the referee's decision to disallow Cambiasso's headed goal, at the end right in front of the Inter fans.
I'm not sure how UEFA are going to deal with this; apparently the pitch is being cleared ahead of a possible resumption, although how the players' safety can be guaranteed under these circumstances is beyond me.
It has been a clear attempt from the Inter fans to force the abandonment of this match. Certainly, I doubt whether the game will resume this evening.
Still the flares and water bottles are thrown on to the pitch, though most of the fans from the area have left the stadium. The Inter players are now leaving the pitch also, though even they are not being spared the abuse and missiles.
It has been a truly disgraceful showing by the Inter fans. For the last ten minutes they have hijaced this match. Inter are going to face a massive punishment from UEFA for this.
The tunnel has now been extended out on to the field and the Milan players have sprinted, under a hail of missiles, to the safety of the dressing room.
Dida is being treated with ice, though he seems to be okay. He was lucky to have been hit on the shoulder and not on the top of the head. He was almost too brave; he should have left the penalty area as soon as the bottles started reigning down.
The air is thick with red clouds, and still the flares are coming down in to the penalty area. Firemen are now needed to clear the grass of the lighted fireworks.
Many Inter fans, obviously disgraced by the actions of the thugs around them, have left the area behind the goal and seem to have left the stadium.
Dida is still receiving treatment as Javier Zanetti attempts to clear the penalty area of water bottles. There must be 40 officials on the pitch also.
The Inter fans are obviously unhappy with their team going out of the tournament, but their actions are likely to see their club heavily censured.
Dida receives some treatment on the area where he was hit by the lit flare, but this game isn't going to restart for quite some time.
Very quickly, Dida is shielded by stewards and moved away from the area. The area is clouded by red flares and the players are gathered on the half-way line.
Dida attempts to clear the area of water bottles before taking his goal-kick. He is then hit by a flare on the head, and he falls to the turf.
Cambiasso is booked for taking his protests to referee too far. The Inter fans really aren't happy with the decision, and begin pelting the penalty area with flares and water bottles.
Oooh! Inter have a goal disallowed when Cambiasso heads in Mihajlovic's corner, but the referee blows for a foul on Dida.
Ooooh! Another great save from Dida as he turns away a deflected drive from Van Der Meyde. Full-stretch, he managed to tip the ball wide of the post.
SUB: Crespo off, Rui Costa on. The Portuguese playmaker comes on as Milan attempt to close out the tie by keeping hold of the ball, something they've not done terribly well in this second period.
A lovely spell of possession from Inter, led by Veron. He collects Cambiasson's flick and breaks towards goal, but then passes to Martins when a shot might have been the better option.
A nice one-two between Van Der Mayde and Cruz almost opens up the Milan defence but Nesta reads the play and cuts out the final ball.
Inter have looked a lot more dangerous with two strikers on the field. I wonder whether Mancini might be regretting starting with only Adriano?
Inter are still managing to summon some belief and energy from somewhere as they press Milan in their own half.
Favalli curls a low cross in to the box, where Cambiasso lays a pass back to Martins. The striker cracks a left-foot shot goalwards, but Stam blocks. Inter corner.
Martins almost works a yard of space in the area, but the Milan defenders are so quick to nick the ball from his boot-laces.
Cafu fires a low cross in towards the near post, where Crespo attempts to flick the ball past Toldo. He gets it wrong, however, and his back-heel goes a yard or so wide.
Kaka finds some space down the left channel, but his lofted pass towards Crespo is easily picked out by Toldo.
Martins and Stam chase down a ball over the top. At first, Stam seems to have won the race, but the young Nigerian striker out-muscles Stam and manages to fire a left-foot shot straight at Dida.
Milan will keep their shape and discipline right to the end, with Ambrosini sat just in front of their veteran back-four.
Mihajlovic certainly hasn't been brought on to act as a peacemaker; he's tearing in to challenges like a crazed killer.
Stam gives away a free-kick when he hurls himself in to the back of Cruz. Veron and Mihajlovic debate who should take the set-piece. The gnarly substitute wins the argument before dragging his left-foot shot well wide.
Veron cracks a low shot narrowly wide, though the sprawling Dida seemed to have it covered.
Inter have now made all three substitutions, so won't be wanting any more injuries.
Oooh! Martins works some space in the box, beats Nesta with a shimmy of his hips, and fires in a low shot which Dida turns on to the near post before the ball is cleared.
SUB: Martins on, Adriano off. The Brazilian striker is helped from the field by a man in a suit. I presume he's an official, and not simply a very lost bank manager.
Adriano attempts to chase down a clearance, but at the end of the run throws himself to the ground and stays there.
Veron attempts a very spectacular volley from 20 yards, but mis-hits it terribly and Milan break. Adriano is less-than useless at the moment; he's standing on the touchline with his hands on his broad hips, looking surly.
The least the Inter fans will demand this half is passion from their side. Adriano looks to be suffering from an unidentifiable injury.
Cruz will offer some support to Adriano, with Van Der Meyde moving out to the left wing and Javier Zanetti slotting in to right midfield.
So, the teams are back on the pitch. There has been a couple of substitutions; Mihalovic and Cruz on for Kily and Cristiano Zanetti.
HALF-TIME: Shevchenko's curling strike means Inter need four second-half goals to go through. That aint going to happen. Avoiding defeat will be their next target.
Two minutes of added time will be played at the end of the half. The atmosphere has changed markedly since the first few minutes; the Inter fans have gone very quiet.
Veron crashes a 40-yard free-kick goalwards, but his effort is blocked on the edge of the area.
I believe Nesta was booked for the earlier challenge on Adriano, which means he will miss the first leg of Milan's probable semi-final.
Adriano and Nesta end up writhing together on the San Siro turf when the defender slides in and the striker lands on top of Nesta as he falls. Plenty of furrowed brows, but everyone is up on their feet shortly afterwards.
Shevchenko wins his side a corner when Cordoba tackles out on the left touchline. The corner is played short to Maldini on the edge of the area. Legend he might be, but his right-foot shot on goal is truly awful.
To be fair, Inter certainly haven't given up or allowed their heads to drop. They are throwing more players forward and are still strong in the challenge, but Adriano needs more support.
Adriano decides to have a go from distance, blasting a left-foot shot a few yards wide of Dida's near post. The goalkeeper isn't happy about his defence allowing the striker so much time, and lets them know with a withering look.
Oooh! A clinical break from Milan results in Shevchenko picking out Cafu in the penalty area with a beautifully-flighted cross, but right-back Cafu plants his header just wide of the post, under pressure from Favalli.
Dida has been superb over the course of these two legs. Gonzalez curls in a vicious cross which the Brazilian goalkeeper collects wonderfully under pressure from Adriano.
Replays show Shevchenko's goal was really something special; he got great power in the shot, and yet still had the skill to place it just inside the far post.
Ooooh! Gonzalez cracks a superb 30-yard shot with his left-foot, but Dida again flies across his goal-line to tip the ball out for a corner.
Good persistence from Gonzalez down the right wins Inter a corner. Veron curls the set-piece in towards two un-marked Inter strikers, but Dida punches clear.
Inter now need four goals to go through. If I was rich enough, I'd bet my mortgage on that not happening.
GOAL! Shevchenko curls a fantastic 20-yard shot past the diving Toldo and in to the far corner. Surely Milan are through now.
Inter have enjoyed much more of the ball, but haven't really created a single chance that I can think of. Having said that, my memory is famously poor.
Adriano shows great strength as he beats his marker on the right wing. Cafu appears from nowhere to rob him of possession, however.
Seedorf is robbed by Veron in the centre-circle. He plays a quick pass in to the feet of Adriano, but Nesta robs the ball when the Brazilian striker's touch lets him down.
Kaka and Pirlo have been very quiet so far; Milan's most influential player has certainly beed Seedorf, though Crespo has been making some intelligent runs to stretch the Inter defence.
Seedorf finds Crespo with a wonderful pass. The on-loan Chelsea striker had made a clever run behind the back line of the Inter defence, though Cordoba did manage to get back and rob the ball in the penalty area.
Inter are certainly having the better of the opening stages. But then again, that was the pattern of the first game...
Van Der Meyde does well to beat Maldini on the right wing. He floats over a deep cross which Gonzalez heads back in to the middle, but Nesta clears as Veron attempted to get on the end of the knock-down.
Veron is trying to get as far forward as he can, and he's getting plenty of the ball. He could be the key for Inter, if he can keep picking out Van Der Meyde, Gonzalez and Adriano.
The flag goes up against Crespo as Seedorf finds him with a nice lofted ball out to the left channel.
Zanetti and Van Der Meyde try and combine down the right, but Maldini and Nesta stay on their feet and win back the ball.
Veron is very frustrated at the moment. Every decision seems to be going against him, and he's not happy with it. He looks even moodier than usual, if you can believe that.
A lofted ball over the top needs to be headed out of play by Stam, who had fellow Dutchman Van Der Meyde sprinting in behind him.
Referee Merk isn't allowing the game to flow in the early stages; his whistle seems to be peeping every 30 seconds or so. Milan will be the happier about the situation; every stoppage wastes yet more time.
Oooh! Veron collects a short free-kick and cracks a 30-yard strike towards the near post. Dida is alert to the danger and flies across his goal to palm the shot around the post.
Van Der Meyde breaks down the right flank for the first time and whips in a dangerous cross. Nesta stays calm, however, and clears out for a throw. Adriano is looking lively and sharp.
After some debate, Pirlo finally takes the set-piece, but curls his low right-foot shot narrowly wide of Toldo's post.
Kaka brilliantly gets away from Materazzi and breaks through the middle. Cordoba recognises the danger and cynically brings the Brazilian down, thirty yards from goal. He's booked.
Seedorf is fouled by Gonzalez. Maldini is playing in his 50th Milan derby - an incredible stat.
Mancini remains calm on the touchline, but he'll know that scoring the first goal is absolutely crucial to his side's chances of winning this tie.
Kaka shoots from 30 yards, trying to take advantage of the skiddy pitch. His effort is deflected wide for a corner, but Inter manage to hustle possession back.
It's a very scrappy game at the moment; the midfielder's are so quick to hustle their opponents that there are a lot of mistakes being made on the ball.
Ambrosini is booked for sliding in on Kily Gonzalez. Veron's free-kick is lofted in to the area but easily cleared by Stam.
Seedorf floats a nice ball in to the area looking for Crespo, but his cross is over-hit and Inter win the goal-kick.
Gonzalez is booked after a challenge on Ambrosini. It's a little harsh, to be honest, but the referee might have felt he needed to do something to calm the players down. It hasn't worked; they're still flying around the field like schoolboys on a sugar-rush.
Materazzi and Shevchenko clash off the ball, with the Italian defender left holding his head on the ground. Replays show the Milan striker butted his opponent clearly, but he gets away with it.
Favalli does very well to tackle a flying Shevchenko and then flick the ball back to a team-mate when a corner looked likely.
Stam's bald head glistens as he clears an early cross. Veron wins a free-kick out on the right, but Cordoba clips his volley well wide of Dida's post.
We're off. Inter kick off, hoping and praying they are on the brink of one of the great Champions League comebacks. They begin with real purpose.
For Milan, Ambrosini has come in for the suspended Gattuso. A little fact to warm you up: Milan are chasing a record-breaking sixth successive Champions League clean sheet.
The Champions League anthem belts out, and everyone looks a little nervous. Apart from Maldini and Shevchenko, who share what seems to be a very funny joke.
The Inter fans have been in the stadiun for three hours, I'm told, taunting their city rivals as they warm up on the pitch. There really is a tremendous atmosphere.
Team News: Big boost for Inter Milan, with the return of their 25-goal striker Adriano. Inter make four changes overall.
Inter lost the first leg of this all-Milan Champions League quarter 2-0, which will make a victory for them incredible, unlikely, but incredible. AC Milan are at home from 19.45 UK time.
Andy Van der Meyde
Juan Sebastián Verón
Jose Zé Maria
Manuel Rui Costa
Manuel Rui Costa
Jon Dahl Tomasson