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Tuesday, February 21, 2006
Magath incredulous as Milan take upper hand

MUNICH, Feb 21 (Reuters) - Bayern Munich coach Felix Magath was aghast at the penalty decision that gave AC Milan the equaliser in Tuesday's 1-1 draw in the Champions League.

Belgian referee Frank De Bleeckere adjudged Valerien Ismael to have deliberately handled the ball in his attempt to clear a cross-shot from Serginho in the round of 16 match.

Andriy Shevchenko stroked the spot-kick past Michael Rensing, standing in for the injured Oliver Kahn, and Bayern, who had been leading thanks to a fantastic Michael Ballack goal, had to settle for a draw at the Allianz Arena.

'I've never seen anything like that in the Champions League,' Magath told Premiere TV after the opening leg of the first knockout round tie.

'I can't understand how a match can be decided by a penalty like that. It threw us out of our rhythm and we were too passive in the second half. The penalty hurt the players' psyche.'

Magath could at least take heart for the second leg on March 8 at the San Siro, after seeing the way his Bayern team overran Milan in the first half. 'We've shown that we can control them,' Magath said. 'It's up to the players to get a better result in Milan.'

Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti said he understood Magath's frustration.

'Of course, I understand it,' the Italian told reporters. 'There was definitely a hand, but whether it was deliberate or not I don't know. He did have time to remove his hand.'

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