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Champions League: Milan draw with Barcelona, Bayern blank Marseille

El Salvador,Sports, Thu, 29 Mar 2012 IANS

Milan, March 29 (IANS) AC Milan held Barcelona to a 0-0 draw with their resilient defence in the first leg of the teams' Champions League quarterfinal at San Siro here.

 

AC Milan survived a prolonged Barcelona onslaught to hold their illustrious visitors Wednesday.

 

A series of sublime attacks produced no result for Barca. Milan managed to shut out Lionel Messi in red-hot form to give themselves hope for the second leg at Camp Nou.

 

Barcelona head coach Pep Guardiola criticised the notorious San Siro turf as "not suited to a football match".

 

"We knew Milan's quality and not scoring in the away leg is a bit damaging for us. The pitch was slippery and it was difficult to play," he was quoted as saying by Xinhua.

 

"It is always a pleasure to play at San Siro. It is just a shame that this pitch is not suited to a football match. Inter and Milan both deserve a better playing surface," he added.

 

His Milan counterpart Massimiliano Allegri said his side drew strength from the draw with Barcelona.

 

"We defended in a very organised fashion. We must be happy with the result," he said. "Barcelona have scored in almost all their games, so I must compliment my lads for doing so well. It will be very tough in Spain, but this result gives us strength."

 

Milan should have been ahead just after the kick-off as Robinho found himself in space in the area, but he was unable to keep his close-range volley down.

 

Barca's Alexis Sanchez felt he should have been awarded a penalty as he went down following contact from goalkeeper Christian Abbiati, but the officials did not agree. Messi had the ball in the net soon afterwards, but the flag had already gone up for offside.

 

Barca continued to dominate the match, and Sanchez had a good opportunity as he burst clean through only to be denied by a last-ditch Luca Antonini tackle.

 

Chances in the second half were few and far between, but Abbiati had to make a smart save from Messi in the 88th minute and Antonini superbly blocked Cristian Tello's follow-up effort.

 

At Marseille, Bayern Munich defeated the French club 2-0 through goals from Mario Gomez and Arjen Robben.

 


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