"It was an incredible game," he told reporters. "We went into it with a very difficult result from the first leg. These players have shown once again that they are very special.
"They put in a great work-rate, they showed real dedication. I am very proud of them. We went for the win from the off but we also had a stroke of luck when Milan hit the post. The criticism [of the team] lately has been too strong.
"For that reason we have to be doubly proud of the players who showed their commitment and intensity here. Their efforts are incomparable. The important thing was how we reacted to [previous] defeats. With everything this team have won in the past their ambition and desire are still intact."
The draw for the quarter-finals will be made on Friday.