Marseille 1 AC Milan 2
Filippo Inzaghi struck twice to fire AC Milan to victory over Marseille in their opening Champions League Group C game.
The AC Milan veteran put his team ahead in the 30th minute before Olympique Marseille’s top summer signing Gabriel Heinze equalised early in the second half.
However, Inzaghi made sure his team claimed all three points with 15 minutes remaining.
The Italians controlled the opening half but were made to work extremely hard after the restart.
AC Milan went into the encounter on the back of a disappointing goalless result against promoted side Livorno.
Rossonero coach Leonardo relegated Ronaldinho to the bench, choosing to start Clarence Seedorf in support of attacking duo Alessandro Pato and Inzaghi.
The Italians controlled the opening minutes of the game and forced Marseille goalkeeper Steve Mandanda to come off his line and clear Mathieu Flamini’s dangerous cross towards the area.
In the 13th minute, Massimo Oddo served Inzaghi inside the area but the striker’s right-footed effort was saved by Mandanda.
Marseille reacted with Mamadou Niang’s powerful strike from the edge of the area going just high over the crossbar.
The Rossoneri should have broken the deadlock in the 18th minute. Pato surged inside the area but his strike towards the near post went wide.
Midway through the first half, Gianluca Zambrotta did well to deflect Niang’s stinging drive over the bar.
Just when Marseille looked more dangerous, Milan took the lead. Inzaghi got behind Seedorf’s cross inside the area and his close-range effort beat Mandanda.
Milan should have extended their lead soon after but Pato failed to get behind Oddo’s dangerous cross inside the area.
The hosts should have levelled the score before half-time but Benoit Cheyrou’s stinging drive was saved by AC Milan goalkeeper Marco Storari.
Marseille showed more determination early in the second half and Lucho Gonzalez came close to levelling, only for his powerful strike from the edge of the area to go wide.
It was not long before the hosts equalised, Heinze latching onto Cheyrou’s cross and beating Storari with a powerful header.
On the hour, Storari did well to parry Cheyrou’s well struck long-range effort.
The hosts continued to surge forward in search of the winner and Gonzalez twice had the chance to put his team in front – but his first effort went wide and his second went high over the bar.
With 15 minutes remaining, Milan regained the lead. Seedorf’s cross found an unmarked Inzaghi inside the area and his right-footed effort towards the far post beat Mandanda.
Marseille did not give up and had the chance to equalise with nine minutes remaining – but Niang’s header from Cheyrou’s indirect free-kick went inches wide of Storari’s near post.