Time moves quickly on the south coast. 9 years ago Portsmouth (now in League One) very nearly knocked an AC Milan team containing; Seedorf, Kaka and Ronaldinho in the UEFA Cup.
Portsmouth (managed by Tony Adams) qualified for the UEFA cup after winning the 2008 FA Cup win, were drawn in the group of death against Wolfsburg, Braga and an AC Milan team filled with legends.
In goal was Dida. Zambrotta was at the back with Gattuso, Seedorf and Kaka in midfield. Up front was Inzaghi and Shevchenko with Ronaldinho and Pato on the bench. A team fit for Pro Evo.
Things started well for Portsmouth when Younes Kaboul and Kanu scored to put Tony Adams’ men into a 2 goal lead and going through.
But the turning point came in the 74th minute when Ronaldinho entered the pitch, coming on for Shevchenko. 6 minutes from the end AC Milan were awarded a free kick about 10 yards outside of the box. Emerson and Pato stood over the ball but there was only going to be one man to take it. Ronaldinho. He ushered his fellow Brazilians away, lined the ball up and curled it into the top corner beyond David James. Watch the goal below.
It sparked a comeback and career poacher Pippo Inzaghi popped up in the last minute with a goal to make it 2-2 and put AC Milan through.
AC Milan manager Carlo Ancelotti said Ronaldinho changed the game
Ronaldinho’s free-kick changed the face of the game but we almost lost hope. The reaction had to be good and it was, but you don’t often get the opportunity from 2-0 down.
Portsmouth manager Tony Adams thought it was the best his team had played
The boys are feeling flat in there. They thought they had won it. But I’m proud of them tonight. This was the best performance I’ve seen from us in a long time.