Allegri blasts side for lack of concentration
© AFP

AC Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri accused his side of letting their concentration slip as Viktoria Plzen hit back from 2-0 down to snatch a 2-2 draw in the UEFA Champions League.

Milan still took second place in the Group H with Plzen finishing third and booking a spot in the UEFA Europa League. Two goals inside a minute from Brazilians Pato and Robinho right at the start of the second half seemed to have settled the game for Milan.

Pato also hit the post but Plzen smacked the woodwork twice and had a goal ruled out for offside as the Czechs came storming back. With a minute left they were trailing 2-0 but goals from David Bystron and Michal Duris gave them an unlikely but richly deserved point.

Allegri wasn't happy after the final whistle. "We were winning 2-0 we had three or four great chances to close out the game but we didn't manage to do that and then we conceded twice," he said.

"It went badly, we played well but there's anger because this is the Champions League, we led 2-0 right to the end and we had chances to go 3-0 up. The whole defence was new, they did well. In the first half we did really well, especially in attack.

"In the second half we did well, scored goals and had chances for 3-0 but we didn't take them and we paid for that. We let our concentration slip after we missed some chances up front. We conceded a goal from our own attack and then in a ruck at the end. We need to play with grit right to the end."

As for who his side will face in the last 16, with the likes of Chelsea, Arsenal, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid as possible opponents, Allegri was non-committal. "It's normal that you have top level teams in the last 16, we'll wait for the draw," he said.

For Milan goalkeeper Marco Amelia there was relief that more had not been riding on the outcome of the game. "I'm disappointed because we played well but having a finish like this wasn't justified.

Czech satisfaction
For Plzen coach Pavel Vrba it was an ideal way to celebrate his 48th birthday and he praised his side for their fighting spirit, claiming their risky attacking approach had paid off. At one point they even threw goalkeeper Marek Cech forward for a free-kick.

"In the first half we didn't let Milan play, we had at least four chances in which we should have shown more calm," he said. "Unfortunately, we totally failed at the beginning of the second half, we conceded two very cheap goals in three minutes.

"Then I think it was a matter of will and we wanted to show the fans what we've been showing lately, that we're strong up front even though we take risks. It paid off in the end and I'm very happy we got a point against AC Milan and that we finally scored against a superclub.

"Of course we had to run the risk at the end, 2-0 or 2-1 was not an option for us, we wanted points. We played a risky game, you could see that when we sent our goalie up to their box, and the risk paid off in the end.

"I said at the beginning of the competition that I'd be happy with five points. This is what we've earned so I'm happy. It shows our strength, and I'm happy with the Europa League spot."

Although the game was played in Prague, Viktoria are from the city that gave its name to the top-selling Czech Pilsner beer, and Vrba knew exactly how he was going to celebrate this result and his birthday. "I don't think we'll have a cake tonight, we'll have something to drink instead!"