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Allegri satisfied with Milan draw

Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri took heart from his side’s 1-1 draw with PSV in the first-leg of their UEFA Champions League play-off.

Stephan El Shaarawy opened the scoring for the visitors in the 15th minute after Milan had been forced to withstand pressure from their Dutch hosts early on.

The striker met an Ignazio Abate cross to head home close range, but the Italians were unable to extend their lead and Tim Matavz’s strike on the hour ensured the tie remained level going into the second leg.

Milan – and in particular Shaarawy – had further chances to win the game but they were unable to take them, leaving Allegri to rue what might have been.

“It was a difficult game, especially at the beginning, because the difference in physical condition was felt,” he said. “But then we came out and we also played good football.

“(We) could have doubled (our lead). I am disappointed because we could have secured our qualification (to the group stages), but I am satisfied with the performance of the boys.

“Everything is still open ahead of the return game.”

The 46-year-old also had words for Mario Balotelli after the striker linked up well with El Shaarawy but once again let his frustrations show.

And Allegri admitted that 23-year-old needed to control his temper.

“He (Balotelli) has done well and has been very busy,” the Milan coach added. “He has improved a lot, but the referees should be left alone, because in the long run these yellow cards build up, (then) come the suspensions.”

Tue 20 Aug, 2013
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