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Throwback Thursday: When Two Draws In The "Derby Della Madonnina" Were Worth The Champions League Final

Back in 2003 Milan-Inter was worth the qualification to the Champions League final and the rossoneri overcame their archrivals thanks to a couple of lucky draws.

Inzaghi and Ambrosini celebrate after qualifying to 2003 Champions League final.
Inzaghi and Ambrosini celebrate after qualifying to 2003 Champions League final.
Clive Mason/Getty Images

There was a time when both AC Milan and Inter Milan were build to win everything they could and the Derby della Madonnina was even worth the qualification to the Champions League final, so let's turn back the clock until May 2003 to relive those moments.

May 7, 2003: Milan "host" Inter in the first leg of the Champions League semifinals managing to keep the clean sheet despite the nerazzurri had multiple chances to score and drawing 0-0.

The fact that Kakhaber Kaladze, who was a good defender but not quite the best offensive left back ever, appears more than once in this highlight video should suggest that that year the rossoneri would have qualified to the final regardless of whatever could have happened in those games. Also, watching Andriy Shevchenko work together with Filippo Inzaghi could cause sudden sadness and nostalgia of the good old times to any milanista.

May 13, 2003: Six days later Milan manage to snatch a 1-1 draw in a tough and physical match against their archrivals and qualify to the Champions League final, that would eventually be played at Old Trafford.

Milan starting XI: Christian Abbiati; Paolo Maldini, Alessandro Costacurta, Alessandro Nesta, Kaladze; Gennaro Gattuso, Andrea Pirlo, Clarence Seedrof; Rui Costa; Shevchenko, Inzaghi.

The reason why that team had so much success that year could be simply explained by reading the names in the starting lineup, but it wasn't the only reason. Carlo Ancelotti had to prove he was one of the best managers in the Serie A after his disastrous adventure at Juventus -- despite collecting 144 points in two seasons -- and he did it by building a solid team based on a rock-solid defense, a skilled midfield that could count on athleticism (Seedorf and Gattuso) and creativity (Pirlo and Rui Costa) and a dynamic offensive duo that could score in any situation.

And we all know what happened next: