A thrilling previous encounter, which was decided late on by a great striker. Let's take a trip down memory lane with a look at the 2005/05 season. A star-studded AC Milan hosted a Lazio side languishing lower down in the table than we'd usually find them. The match looked simple on paper but turned out to be rather more difficult.
6 February 2005, Serie A matchday 23: AC Milan hosted Lazio at San Siro and Carlo Ancelotti's reigning champion Rossoneri were second in the league just behind Juventus. Five points separated the two sides on the eve of the game: 50 for the Bianconeri, 45 for us. Juventus, however, slipped up away at Palermo and were beaten thanks to a Brienza goal. It was, therefore, all in AC Milan's hands to get to within two points of the leaders. Papadopulo's Lazio, meanwhile, were languishing in 15th position with 24 points but were still a side with quality all over the pitch. Certainly not to be underestimated...
GOALLESS FIRST HALF
Ancelotti went with his classic 4-3-1-2 with just one change to the familiar line-up: Tomasson started ahead of Sheva. The 73rd meeting between the two sides in Serie A was proving difficult for us as the Biancocelesti closed down the spaces well and conceded very little at the back. There were two noteworthy chances in the first half: a Seedorf effort from the edge of the box that was too central and pushed wide by Peruzzi and, as the half drew to a close, a header down from Crespo, which Tomasson failed to turn home.
A GOAL DOWN
The second half began in the worst manner possible: in the 55th minute, Liverani found Rocco in the area and Stam brought him down, conceding a penalty. Massimo Oddo stepped up to take it and made no mistake even though Dida got a touch on it. 1-0 down at San Siro, the only way is up. Ancelotti rolled the dice and made all three changes within five minutes: Tomasson off and Shevchenko on (57'), Serginho on for Kaladze (60') and Cafu for Seedorf (62'). The formation changed with the personnel too: 3-4-1-2 with the two tall Brazilians on the flanks, Stam-Nesta-Maldini in defence, Gattuso-Pirlo in midfield and Kaká in behind the two strikers, Crespo and Sheva. The coach's drastic move change the course of the match and the Rossoneri got themselves level. In the 72nd minute, Shevchenko rifled home a stunning free-kick; Peruzzi took a step to his right, but could only stop and stare as the ball flew into the top corner.
... AND THE COMEBACK
San Siro was electric, there were just 18 minutes left to get the win. The team was on the move and the chances were flowing. Both Cafu and Stam came close but it was still level going into added time. Kaká got to a loose ball ahead of Dabo and fired from outside the box. The ball hit the inside of the post and Hernan Crespo was there to turn it home - he scuffed it off his heel but all that matters is where it ends up. Post and in. The comeback was complete in the 94th minute and the 56,000 Rossoneri fans in the ground went wild.
#BackHome, Capsule Collection: check out the new collection to celebrate our return to the Champions League!