UEFA Champions League

March 28, 2012


AC Milan

0 - 0


UEFA Champions League

18:45 +00:00, March 28, 2012

Giuseppe Meazza

Referee: Jonas Eriksson


    That's it for tonight, remember you can follow me on Twitter @dalejohnsonESPN.


    The second leg takes place next Tuesday back in Spain, and Milan may find they have more defensive work to do next time.


    It was an entertaining first-half, not so in the second. Milan had chances, and defended well, but they now have to at least match Barca in Camp Nou. That is a huge ask for anybody.

  • 93'

    And that's the end of the game.

  • 93'

    Shot on the turn from Xavi 25 yards out, always going a couple of yards wide of the left-hand post.

  • 92'

    It's been a, er, sedate injury time period.

  • 91'

    Three minutes to be added on.

  • 90'

    It is two and a half years since Barcelona failed to score in the Champions League. That alone is an achievement for Milan I guess.

  • 89'

    So close to a goal for Barca just when it looked as though we'd have no real excitement this half.

  • 88'

    Messi's shot sent Abbiati full-stretch down to his right. The keeper got a good hand to it and Tello closes in to fire home - great block from Antonini to thwart him.

  • 87'

    Abbiati saves full stretch from Messi!

  • 86'

    Another Ambrosini foul, bumping into Pedro deep in the Barca half.

  • 85'

    High boot by Ambrosini on Busquets, I'm sure the ref went to his pocket before realising the Milan man had already been booked.

  • 84'

    Puyol, on the brink of a suspension, pulls back El Shaarawy and could easily have been booked.

  • 83'

    It would seem Milan are happy with the 0-0 and trying to at least score as many as Barca in Camp Nou.............

  • 82'

    Tello with another break, Abbiati out smartly to smoother.

  • 81'

    Offside flag goes up as Messi attempts a run through the centre.

  • 80'

    Chris Murphy stat: The last time Lionel Messi failed to score in a game was on February 11 against Osasuna.

  • 79'

    It's been pretty desperate stuff in the second half.

  • 78'

    Iniesta takes from the left, Puyol meets it with a diving header at the near post and it sneaks a yard wide of the far.

  • 77'

    Tello finds Messi just inside the box, Ambrosini gets the block in to concede the corner.

  • 76'

    Pedro is on in place of Alexis.

  • 75'

    You may remember Mesbah getting ripped apart by Arsenal at the Emirates.

  • 74'

    Alessandro Nesta is limping, and needs to be replaced by Djamel Mesbah

  • 73'

    A shot! As Tello thrashes a wild one into the sidenetting. It should have gone across the face.

  • 72'

    Nocerino has been awful since he came on, his passing in the final third particularly bad.

  • 71'

    Bayern Munich two goals up at Marseille through Arjen Robben. Game over?

  • 70'

    Ambrosini booked for kicking the ball away.

  • 70'

    Opta stat: There have been five penalties awarded in the eight AC Milan games in the Champions League this season (three conceded, two won).

  • 69'

    Not great from Tello as he tries to outrun Banero, who guides it out for a goal-kick.

  • 68'

    Straight away Emanuelson is sent through, a good touch could open it up for the shot - but the first is too strong and the second not much better.

  • 67'

    Kevin-Prince Boateng for Urby Emanuelson

  • 66'

    Xavi overhits it, Puyol tries to head it on but can only manage a flick.

  • 65'

    Fine run through the box by Messi results in the first corner of the match.

  • 64'

    Andres Iniesta makes way for Cristian Tello - you may remember him scoring against Leverkusen.

  • 63'

    I'll have to put in another Opta Stat soon if no one creates something.

  • 62'

    Keita with the tug on Ambrosini.

  • 61'

    Opta stat: Barcelona failed to score in the first half of a Champions League match for the first time since the 1-1 draw with Real Madrid in May 2011.

  • 60'

    Messi hits it and it's dipping, but dipping just over the right-hand angle of post and bar.

  • 59'

    This free-kick is around 23 yards out, just to the right of goal.

  • 58'

    Cynical foul by Nesta on Messi as he looked ready to jink his way into the box. Easy decision for the ref to show the card.

  • 57'

    Milan work the ball once but Nocerino's attempted cross into the box is blocked.

  • 56'

    Clumsy challenge by Boateng on Alves. Free-kick.

  • 55'

    Nocerino rolls around on the floor from Keita's challenge, clearly wanting a yellow card - he doesn't get it.

  • 54'

    It has to be said, not much has happened in this second half.

  • 53'

    Messi is in the wrong for once for a late tackle on Seedorf. Free-kick.

  • 52'

    I say that, and then Stephan El Shaarawy comes on for Robinho, who was carrying a knock before this game.

  • 51'

    Robinho leaves the field to get the spray, and is miraculously okay to contine.

  • 50'

    Robinho is down needing treatment, he went down under a tame challenge from Mascherano.

  • 49'

    You have to think Milan need a goal tonight, something to take to Camp Nou.

  • 48'

    Iniesta fires a few yards wide from the egde of the box. Abbiati looked to have it covered.

  • 47'

    Alexis goes down in the box under Abbiati's challenge in the first half

  • 46'

    It's AC Milan to kick-off the second 45 minutes.


    Players are back out.


    During half-time you can read my feature on the growth of Spanish football and the demise of the Italian game in Europe and also follow me on Twitter @dalejohnsonESPN.


    Alexis will feel he should have won a penalty for a foul by Abbiati, but it wasn't given and we go into the second half goalless.


    Barcelona have controlled the match but Robinho and Ibrahimovic missed the best two chances of the half.

  • 45'

    And that's half-time, nothing to be added on.

  • 44'

    Goal for Bayern at Marseille. Gomez on 44 minutes.

  • 43'

    Xavi fires over looking for the top corner, not far off.

  • 42'

    Speaking of which, there has not been a single corner in this game yet.

  • 41'

    Robinho lays a ball off for Seedorf, his shot from 20 yards is again deflected and Valdes dives wide of the post to claim and stop the corner.

  • 40'

    Milan very happy to play on the break - you could say it has worked as they should have scored twice.

  • 39'

    More good play by Barca but it's not quite worked as they'd like. Iniesta evetually fires into the sidenetting from the angle.

  • 38'

    Seedorf's volley from the edge of the area is weak and goes through to Valdes.

  • 37'

    Alexis goes down on the edge of the box but referee Eriksson is not impressed.

  • 36'

    Opta Stat: Lionel Messi has scored 30 goals in his last 25 appearances in the Champions League for Barcelona.

  • 35'

    Superb tackle from Antonini just as Alexis pulled the trigger - excellent work and the score stays level. Good work by Bonera too.

  • 34'

    Alexis through on goal!

  • 33'

    Sanchez plays a ball low across the box, Messi gets a toe to it and again it deflects to Abbiati.

  • 32'

    Boateng fouls Xavi in centre-field.

  • 31'

    Alexis was actually played into acres on space on the penalty spot and had time to control on turn. He went for the showboat and Xavi couldn't complete the move.

  • 30'

    Another great move as Alexis' backheel finds Xavi - and the shot is deflected off Nesta into the arms of Abbiati. A good chance.

  • 29'

    Ball into the Barcelona box by Robinho leads to a bit of a scramble. It falls to Boateng on the edge but he slams it wide over.

  • 28'

    Sanchez spreads it out to Alves - Abbiati out well to claim the cross.

  • 27'

    It is still 0-0 in the other game but Marseille have also wasted a golden chance against Bayern.

  • 26'

    Messi is brought down yet again, this time by Ambrosini. Free-kick, taken short.

  • 25'

    Brilliant exchange of passes finds Xavi in space on the penalty spot and Abbiati gets down well to his right to make the save. Fine move.

  • 24'

    Remember you can follow me on Twitter @dalejohnsonESPN.

  • 23'

    Seedorf is shown the yellow for a foul on Messi. Looked soft.

  • 22'

    Barcelona have controlled much of this game so far.

  • 21'

    Kevin Prince Boateng battles Xavi

  • 20'

    He was played in through the centre, evaded Pique but his shot was weak and easy for Valdes to claim down to his left. Poor.

  • 19'

    Ibrahimovic wastes another great chance for Milan!

  • 18'

    Straight away Barca think they've scored as Alves drills a shot across the face and Messi taps in, but he's well offside.

  • 17'

    Not given! The Barcelona players are livid! The ref decides, with the help of that man behind the goal, there was no foul! Replays suggest otherwise. Milan escape.

  • 16'

    Wonderful free-kick by Barcelona, played in short to the edge of the box with a first time reverse to Alexis - but he has a heavy touch and goes down looking for a penalty from Abbiati's challenge.

  • 15'

    This is around 25 yards out in a central position. Could be dangerous.

  • 14'

    Clumsy challenge by Ambrosini on Messi. Free-kick.

  • 13'

    Whistles go around the San Siro as Barcelona play the possession game, and Milan stand off.

  • 12'

  • 11'

    Barcelona enjoying plenty of possession.

  • 10'

    Opta stat: 2185 - Days since there was an evening of Champions League quarter-final action without an English side playing (last was 04/04/2006).

  • 9'

    Messi shots after a good move, it's badly spilled by Abbiati and Alves just fails to turn home the loose ball. Barca growing.

  • 8'

    What an entertaining start to the match.

  • 7'

    Messi's standing foot gives way as he hits the ball and takes all the power away, it falls for Keita five yards out with the header - he misses but the flag was up anyway.

  • 6'

    The Milan wall is edging forward much to the annoyance of referee Jonas Eriksson.

  • 6'

    Nesta brings Messi down on the egde of the box. Chance here for the visitors.

  • 5'

    Now Messi breaks into the box and fires a ball across the six-yard box, but there's no one there to tap it home.

  • 5'

    That was a huge, huge miss by Robinho. They cannot afford to waste chances like that against Barca.

  • 4'

    Boateng had another chance which was blocked by a defender. It came back in to an unmarked Robinho, six yards out, with the simple task of firing home - he sliced it 30 yards over the bar. Woeful connection.

  • 3'

    Oooooooooh! Robinho misses a sitter!

  • 3'

    Good work from Boateng, but a hopeful shot is deflected into the arms of Valdes.

  • 2'

    Seedorf is brought down by Mascherano on the half-way line.

  • 1'

    It's Barcelona to kick off.


    Out come the teams with the Milan fans creating a superb atmosphere.


    Barcelona: Valdes, Dani Alves, Pique, Mascherano, Puyol, Iniesta, Busquets, Xavi, Keita, Messi, Sanchez. Subs: Pinto, Fabregas, Thiago, Pedro, Muniesa, Montoya, Tello.


    AC Milan: Abbiati, Bonera, Nesta, Mexes, Antonini, Nocerino, Ambrosini, Seedorf, Boateng, Robinho, Ibrahimovic. Subs: Amelia, Mesbah, Aquilani, Maxi Lopez, Emanuelson, Yepes, El Shaarawi.


    Alessandro Nesta is also back after injury, and Kevin-Prince Boateng starts his first game after a lay-off.


    Thiago Silva and Ignazio Abate are both ruled out at the back for Milan, while Alexandre Pato, Alexander Merkel, Gennaro Gattuso, Antonio Cassano and Pippo Inzaghi are injured too. Mark van Bommel is a crucial suspension in the centre of the park.


    Former Barcelona striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic will lead Milan's attack, with Robinho passing a fitness test to take his place in the attack.


    Barcelona are almost at full strength, with Carles Puyol at left-back and Javier Mascherano in the centre. This makes it tough for Milan.


    Pep Guardiola will look for a positive result to take back to Camp Nou.


    Join Dale Johnson (@dalejohnsonESPN) for live commentary of tonight's big Champions League showdown at the San Siro.