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Barceona held to 2-2 by AC Milan

09-14-2011 14:34 BJT

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It was an opening thriller to the group stage of the UEFA Champions League with defending champions Barcelona up against AC Milan at the Nou Camp overnight.

With captain Carlos Puyol only declared fit this week after knee surgery and his partner in central defence Gerard Pique sidelined, Barca coach Pep Guardiola deployed midfielders Sergio Busquets and Javier Mascherano at the back. The decision immediately appeared to have backfired when pacy Brazil striker Alexandre Pato left the home defence for dead and beat goalkeeper Victor Valdes with a low shot after only 24 seconds (replay). With no back up, the keeper has no chance.

Barca press forward later. World Player of the Year Lionel Messi strikes a curling freekick, which only managed to rattle the post. The Argentina forward, top scorer in the competition for the past three seasons, then danced through the Milan defence and squared for Pedro to rifle one home. Christian Abbiati left stranded in goal as Messi, once again, comes to Barcelona's rescue. Every time he gets near the ball, expect a little magic.

Lionel Messi (L) of FC Barcelona duels for the ball with Alberto
Aquilani of AC Milan of AC Milan during the UEFA Champions League group
H match between FC Barcelona and AC Milan at the Camp Nou stadium on
September 13, 2011 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty
Images)

Five minutes after the restart, Barca had recovered their customary poise when David Villa cracks the ball into the top corner from 30 metres out. 2-1 Barca.

Deep in stoppage time Dutch midfielder Clarence Seedorf swings a corner over for Diego Silva to head home as Milan claim an unlikely point despite Barcelona looking in total control. Barca's disappointment was compounded by the news that midfielder Andres Iniesta will be out for around four weeks after tearing a leg muscle

Pep Guardiola, Barcelona coach said, "I think we played very well even though we missed a few small details. Like scoring the third goal so we could be calmer now. But we dominated Milan. We were able to play in their area and when these teams play so defensively things always get more difficult."

Massimiliano Allegri, AC Milan coach said, "I think the team had 25 good minutes. We had the advantage and then we missed the ball for the second goal. We know that nowadays Barcelona is the strongest team in the world. Our team has proven its maturity and after trailing 2-1 the team remained united and played as a well balanced side. "

Barcelona's coach Pep Guardiola reacts after AC Milan scored a last minute goal to
equalise during their Group H Champions League soccer match at the Nou Camp stadium
in Barcelona September 13, 2011. REUTERS/Gustau Nacarino

 

AC Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri (L) speaks to Clarence Seedorf during their Group
H Champions League soccer match against Barcelona at the Nou Camp stadium in Barcelona
September 13, 2011. REUTERS/Albert Gea

Editor:Zou Xian |Source: CNTV.CN

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