Leonardo takes blame for Dida blunder

ROME - AC Milan coach Leonardo hailed Dida after he was one of the heroes of their 2-1 victory at Chievo Verona and took some of the blame for the goalkeeper's dreadful blunder in the midweek Champions League win at Real Madrid.

The Brazilian was excellent in Sunday's comeback win that lifted Milan to joint fourth in Serie A, producing a stunning save in the closing stages with the score at 1-1 before defender Alessandro Nesta grabbed his second goal to clinch victory.

Dida had come in for intense criticism after letting the ball slip to gift Real the opening goal in Wedensday's Champions League clash that Milan went on to win 3-2 at the Bernabeu.

"Dida made an extraordinary save (against Chievo) and showed he has a great ability to put such a big mistake behind him and move on," Leonardo told Sky television.

"I was partly to blame for the Madrid mistake as I told him to look to restart our attacks as soon as he got the ball. So he rushed and the ball hit his knee."