[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.