Milan frustrates Barcelona in Champions League

STUART CONDIE AP Sports Writer Published:

AC Milan frustrated Barcelona in its attempt to grab a valuable away goal in the Champions League on Wednesday night, holding the defending champions to a 0-0 draw while Bayern Munich won 2-0 at Marseille to stay on course for the semifinals.

Barcelona had 62 percent of possession but failed to score in a Champions League match for the first time in 2½ years. When Barcelona did create chances at San Siro, it was thwarted by Milan's experienced defense, goalkeeper Christian Abbiati and some lenient refereeing from Jonas Eriksson.

"There's a first time for everything," Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola said. "Milan is happy with the result and that's a real compliment for us. Not scoring away from home does penalize us a bit, as I think we will have to score twice to go through."

Barcelona will host the second leg of the total-goals series on Tuesday, when Bayern is home against Marseille. The following day, Chelsea takes a 1-0 lead into its match with visiting Benfica, and Real Madrid is home with a 3-0 lead against APOEL Nicosia.

"I'm happy," Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri. "The lads put on a good performance. They interpreted the game as they should have done, attacked strongly and defended well when they had to. It's a good result to go to Barcelona with. It will be a difficult game but two out of three results will favor us."

Lionel Messi's eight-goal scoring streak ended. The closest he came to scoring was when he had a first-half goal ruled out for a clear offside. It was the first time Barcelona had failed to score in the Champions League since a 0-0 draw against Rubin Kazan in November 2009.

"We had a lot of chances tonight but unfortunately weren't able to take advantage of them," Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes said. "We tried to play our short passing game while having possession for long periods. The tie is very much open."

In France, Mario Gomez scored in the 44th minute and Arjen Robben in the 69th for Bayern. With 11 Champions League goals this season, Gomez is one behind Messi.

"We have a return leg yet to play, so I don't want to talk about the semifinal and who we will be playing," Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes said. "I don't really have any doubts, but I have respect for Marseille."