Barcelona, AC Milan draw after Thiago late strike

Updated: 14 September 2011 10:26 IST

A last ditch Thiago Silva header rescued a point for AC Milan who drew 2-2 against reigning Champions League winners Barcelona in their opening Group H encounter at the Camp Nou on Tuesday.

Barcelona, AC Milan draw after Thiago late strike

Barcelona:

A last ditch Thiago Silva header rescued a point for AC Milan who drew 2-2 against reigning Champions League winners Barcelona in their opening Group H encounter at the Camp Nou on Tuesday.

With just 24 seconds on the clock Alexandre Pato exposed Barca's defensive frailties to score the fifth fastest Champions League goal ever in front of a stunned Nou Camp crowd. (Also Read: Arsenal draw in Dortmund | Chelsea ease past Leverkusen)


Barca were on the back foot but bounced back with Lionel Messi more often than not at their heart of their best moves.

It was he who jigged through the Milan defence to set up Pedro Rodriguez for the equaliser and then after 50 minutes David Villa appeared to have given them the win with a fine 30-yard free-kick.

However in stoppage time Thiago powered home a header to give Milan a share of the spoils leaving Barca coach Pep Guardiola vowing that this would spur his team on.

"This result will give us the incentive and the wish to respond and repeat what we have achieved before by beating the best teams in Europe," he said.

"This team has won an incredible lot but when you start off again there are things that need adjusting,

"This will serve as something for the team to learn from as Milan only had two-and-a-half chances but scored twice. I am happy but there are things I need to consider.

"We played well although we needed a third goal to kill the match off but it is not easy when the rival sits so far back."

Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri admitted that his team were fortunate.

"We did not hide after going 2-1 down and in the end we got a reward from winning that corner," he said.

"We started well but then Barca took over the match and while my players did well in closing down the spaces we created few chances in the second half.

"Of course we have been lucky but one of the attractions of football is that sometimes you lose when you don't deserve to and sometimes you win when you don't deserve it."

It took less than a minute for Milan to crack Guardiola's tactical plan as Pato ruthlessly exposed the centre-halves lack of pace.

The Brazilian burst past both Javier Mascherano and Sergio Busquets before slipping the ball under keeper Victor Valdes.

Milan may have been without the injured forwards Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Robinho but they continued to pose a threat with Pato's acceleration the key.

Daniel Alves moved across from full back and was able to block him in front of goal and then in another raid right through the centre of the defence Pato laid the ball to Kevin-Prince Boateng who blasted over.

Barca hung on and as they gradually gained more possession, Milan struggled to cope with the incisive runs of their forwards.

David Villa hit the side netting from an acute angle but it was really Messi who was making the difference.

Messi had had a couple of shots well saved by keeper Christian Abbiati and then the woodwork saved the Italians midway through the half.

Milan's ageing team were finding it hard to keep up their early pace and movement and this was made worse with the loss of Boateng to injury just after the half hour mark.

Barca finally found the back of the net minutes later when Messi dribbled passed a couple of defenders on the left of the box and crossed for Pedro to knock the ball into an open goal.

The main concern for Barca going into the break was an injury to Andres Iniesta with the midfielder replaced by Cesc Fabregas.

The home side maintained their pressure with Abbiati saving from Xavi Hernandez but then the keeper could do nothing about a Villa free-kick from distance which found the top corner.

The Milan forwards had become little more than spectators in what was almost a recital in maintaining possession from the Catalans.

That was until the 91st minute when in a rare foray forward saw Milan win a corner, from which Thiago pounced to equalise.



Topics : Football Arsenal AC Milan Barcelona Zlatan Ibrahimovic
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