Huntelaar denies Milan exit
Two-goal AC Milan saviour Klaas-Jan Huntelaar insisted he wanted to stay at the club after his injury-time heroics saved Milan from a costly draw at Catania.
Milan went second in Serie A after Huntelaar's first goals for the club - three and five minutes into injury time - earned them a 2-0 win in Sicily. Until that moment it had looked as if they would lose more ground on leaders and city rivals Inter Milan in the title race.
And Huntelaar, who has started only five out of 14 league games and made only one substitute appearance in the UEFA Champions League since his move from Real Madrid, insisted rumours he would be moving away from the San Siro during January's transfer window were unfounded. "We worked hard to win the game and thanks to my two goals we won," he said.
"I have worked hard to play and to score so I'm very happy that they finally went in and I hope that things will get better now. At the end you could see that everyone was happy, as a group we celebrated together.
"Everyone is happy for me so that's good, the best thing is to win and we did that. I want to play for Milan and I will fight here. Today (Sunday) was a nice moment, you need a goal because at the beginning we didn't start well so it's good now."
Huntelaar had failed to mark a mark since his €20 million move from Real, failing to hold down a place in the team and without a goal almost into December. Even with Milan coach Leonardo playing three men up front - Ronaldinho and Pato flank Marco Borriello - Huntelaar still found himself as the second choice substitute behind Filippo Inzaghi.
Of Milan's 19 matches this season he has been involved in only nine and four of those as a sub. He was only thrown on with six minutes left and after Inzaghi had already been introduced.
His first finish, in the 93rd minute, had a touch of fortune, although he linked up well with Inzaghi, winning a header and flicking the ball into the area to the veteran who played an instinctive first time ball back to the Dutchman, whose shot from the edge of the box was firm but somehow squirmed under Catania goalkeeper Mariano Andujar, who really should not have been beaten.
That, however, seemed to release Huntelaar's confidence and his second was sublime, a clever chip over Andujar from inside the area when everyone seemed to be expecting him to blast a low shot. Leonardo paid tribute to his forward, but said nothing about Huntelaar's immediate future.
"Huntelaar scored two great goals but he had a great week, I'm happy for him, really delighted," he said. "Klaas came on and won the game and he did it after everything that has happened, coming here, not speaking the language, the start he had."
Milan are on something of a role having not lost in 11 matches in all competitions, including seven wins. But they are still seven points behind Inter and can only hope that third place Juventus, a point behind Milan after their shock 2-0 loss at Cagliari, can do them a favour next week and beat the champions in Turin.