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March 21, 2023

Champions League: Milan keep Barcelona at bay

AC Milan and FC Barcelona will go to the Camp Nou next Tuesday with a place in the UEFA Champions League semi-finals in the balance after an absorbing goalless draw on Wednesday night, according to uefa.com.

Josep Guardiola’s visitors dominated for long spells and Xavi Hernández and Lionel Messi impressed throughout with their mesmerising footwork, yet the hosts’ rearguard, marshalled superbly by Alessandro Nesta, defended resolutely. But for errant finishing, the Rossoneri might have sneaked a win.

“We deserve a lot of recognition for coming here and trying to play football. I give my players credit for managing 17 shots on goal. The return match will be very difficult as Milan have a lot of quality but we know that to make it to the semi-finals we only have to win one game and we will need a full stadium and the backing of our supporters to achieve that. A draw will be no use to us at the Camp Nou”, Josep Guardiola, Barcelona coach told uefa.com.

Massimiliano Allegri, Milan coach said: “I wish to congratulate my side on their performance. We suffered more in the first half than the second, and Luca Antonini was brilliant marking Lionel Messi. Tonight we showed great commitment despite some difficult moments, and now we can think about the return – a draw or a win will see us through”.

In the other game of the night, Arjen Robben scored one and made another to put FC Bayern Munchen in a dominant position after the first leg of their quarter-final against Olympique de Marseille, final score 0-2.

The Dutchman had been an injury doubt after limping out of training on the eve of the game, yet there was no questioning his fitness once the contest began. After setting up Mario Gomez for his 11th UEFA Champions League goal of the season in the final minute of the first half, the electric Robben doubled his team’s advantage with a masterfully-taken strike 21 minutes from time.


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