An encouraging statistic has emerged as AC Milan prepare to return to the Champions League for the first time after a seven-year absence.
MilanLive writes how the Rossoneri have never been defeated in the first game of a Champions League group stage campaign in new millennium, with a record of 10 wins and 3 draws in the 13 games that they have played.
A rousing 4-1 win over Besiktas kicked things off in 2000 (after a 0-0 draw at Chelsea the season prior), while Milan emerged 2-1 victors at RC Lens in 2003 with a brace from Inzaghi, and the tournament ended with the win over Juventus at Old Trafford.
Kakà’s dazzling display against Fenerbahce in the 3-1 at San Siro in the 2005-06 edition sticks in the memory, as does Gourcuff’s debut against AEK Athens in the 2006-07 season.
Below are all the results that Milan have had in the first round of the Champions League from 1999-00 onwards…
1999-00: Chelsea vs. Milan 0-0
2000-01: Milan vs. Besiktas 4-1
2002-03: Milan vs. Lens 2-1
2003-04: Milan vs. Ajax 1-0
2004-05: Shakthar Donetsk vs. Milan 0- 1
2005-06: Milan vs. Fenerbahce 3-1
2006-07: Milan vs. AEK Athens 3-0
2007-08: Milan vs. Benfica 2-1
2009-10: Olympique Marseille vs. Milan 1-2
2010-11: Milan vs. Auxerre 2-1
2011-12: Barcelona vs. Milan 2-2
2012-13: Milan vs. Anderlecht 0-0
2013-14: Milan vs. Celtic 2-0