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Gattuso and Jordan 'speak Scottish'
by Paul Kennedy, February 16th, 2011 12:18AM

TAGS:  uefa champions league


[UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE] This was supposed to be the season AC Milan returned to the top of European soccer, but it crashed to a frustrating 1-0 loss at home to Tottenham in Tuesday's first leg of their Champions League round-of-16 series. Veteran Gennaro Gattuso cracked afterward, head-butting Tottenham assistant manager Joe Jordan after the final whistle.

"I lost my head and I'm taking responsibility because I did something I shouldn't have done," said Gattuso. "Jordan was breaking my balls throughout the second half but that doesn't justify my reaction. I was annoyed about the words I'd exchanged with Jordan. We were both speaking Scottish, given that I played in his country in Glasgow [with Rangers as a teenager] but I'm not going to say what was said. I made a mistake doing what I did to an older person, and that's it."

The incident overshadowed a tense affair won by Spurs on a clinical counterattack in the 80th minute.

Winger Aaron Lennon led the break and left Mario Yepes on the ground before leaving Alessandro Nesta in his tracks and passing the ball off to Peter Crouch for an easy strike inside the near post.

Spurs manager Harry Redknapp said Milan lost its cool.

"They lost their heads at the end there," he said. "They were rattled for sure, and I guess that's a good sign."

Redknapp added that Gattuso wouldn't stand a chance in a fight with Jordan, the former Scottish international who played two seasons with AC Milan.

"I know who I'd pick between Joe Jordan and Gennaro Gattuso anyway," he said. "Joe all night long. All night long."

In Tuesday's other game, Raul marked his return to Spain with the tying goal for Schalke 04 in its 1-1 tie at Valencia.

Raul, who starred for many years at Real Madrid, holds the European club competition record with 69 goals.

Roberto Soldado, another former Real Madrid player, had scored in the first half for Valencia.

  1. Tom Symonds
    commented on: February 16, 2011 at 7:44 a.m.
    Not only do the two share a connection with Scotland, don't forget that Jordan was also a striker for AC Milan for two seasons; he knows Milan football.

  1. Kerry Ogden
    commented on: February 16, 2011 at 8:05 a.m.
    Gattuso was out of control in this game, I hope FIFA gives him a 10 game suspension for his action with no fine. This is another case of the ref being to lenient towards a very good player, It's sad to see Milan lose but the Spurs were by far the better team, Go Spurs.

  1. Brent Crossland
    commented on: February 16, 2011 at 8:19 a.m.
    The referee was too focused on finishing this match with 11 v 11. Milan should have ended the game with 9 players as both Flamini and Gattuso did more than enough to warrant sending off. Flamini's tackle was clearly excessive -- meeting every criteria of "endangering the opponent". As stated before -- Gattuso was clearly out of control for much of the match. He committed a variety of offenses warranting cautions & send offs. Crouch did a good job of keeping his head. The ultimate irony would have been Crouch sent off for retaliation after having been 'assaulted' by Gattuso for the entire 2nd half.

  1. T michael Flinn
    commented on: February 16, 2011 at 8:20 a.m.
    I think Spurs got away with some early fouls such as the elbow to the back of the head and that was where the game went bad. Call those fouls and keep the game under control.

  1. Brent Crossland
    commented on: February 16, 2011 at 9:49 a.m.
    T Michael - I don't disagree that the referee let a lot of things go early on that he probably should have called. Regardless, nothing justifies the actions of Flamini or Gattuso.

  1. Helen Lloyd
    commented on: February 16, 2011 at 11:17 a.m.
    I am English and married to an Italian living in the US. This game was a great one for our family. I am embarrassed by the English conduct and comment by coaches and players. The game was heated and English football is hit hard and then play. It is why I love English football. But the Italians play and play beautifully. I cannot stand Gattuso as a player and could care less about his personality, but to be harassed by a coach from the sidelines is inexcusable. Why is no one addressing this? Yes, Gattuso is wrong and will pay for it. He was provoked and was fouled continually by Crouch. I am sorry, but it is not just good ole football. The Spanish can play without hanging on players. Additionally, everyone loves to scream about retribution and Redknapp even speaks of it! Why is this okay, but Gattuso's behavior is horrific? Why is it okay for a coach to harass a player? The NY Jets assistant coach was fined $25k and suspended for interfering. The English should take responsibility for his actions. I am embarrassed. AC MIlan outplayed my team. I can say it. We won, but it is not a good win.

  1. Bryan Kempf
    commented on: February 16, 2011 at 5:29 p.m.
    I can't believe that you are comparing this to the jets strength and conditioning coach... Who knee checked an unsuspecting and innocent opponent during game play and injuring him. Gatusso was the one who physically sought out Jordan. Jordan does need some attention, but come on... this is part of the game, whether you like it or not. Tactically, it proved to be affective to seek out someone who is as "classy" as Gatusso. Also Flamini should have seen red, and Nesta got away with out a PK and a booking. So in no way was the referee doing Tottenham any favors.

  1. Helen Lloyd
    commented on: February 17, 2011 at 7:10 a.m.
    I agree, Flamini should have seen red, but this is not an issue of refereeing. You want to go there? Couch should have seen red. He draped all over everyone! Last time I checked, two yellows equals red. Please, you are excusing Jordan's behavior? I remember when the great Zinedine Zidane headbutted Matarazzi and everyone screamed "He was provoked!!!! Matarazzi is a bully! He called his sister a name!!" Remember that? I think Allegri should have pulled Gattusso off when he was arguing earlier. You clearing saw him arguing with Jordan (he is culpable Bryan, whether you like it or not and people should address it) and Gattusso made the motion with his hands that Jordan was harassing him well before the incident. Since, Gattusso has taken responsibility and all I hear are the English talking about how Jordan can take Gattusso in a fight and how Jordan was a "class act." You're argument about the severity is weak concerning the Jets. I am talking about interference by a coach and you argue refereeing. Weak. I am Tottenham's side and can see the inequity in the reaction by the English press. I am English. Ric responded with common sense. I have no idea whose side he is on.

  1. Bryan Kempf
    commented on: February 17, 2011 at 5:47 p.m.
    Helen... I live in Texas, believe the EPL is the best league in the world, enjoy watching Tottenham, hate AC Milan, and dislike the Italian serie A. And while my opinion is biased, it carries as much weight as a an Englishman or Italian. I've never understood why people always throw in that they are from wherever they are, like their opinions are more meaningful. Anyway, the fact of the matter is that you cannot push, and headbutt an opposing coach. Regardless of how bad your getting beat, on your home ground by a team that is new to the champions league. Bs has no argument. As for Jordan... He's not blameless. But heckling a player doesn't warrant the attention that physical assault does.

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