Champions League — 21 February 2013

Milan players celebrate their second goal against AC MilanItalian giants AC Milan defeated Barcelona 2-0 last night at the San Siro in the first leg of their Champions League knockout tie.

The Italian side are currently on a good run in Serie A and did well to subdue their Spanish visitors.

Chances were few and far between in the first half, the only one of note coming when Milan youngster Stephan el Shaarawy failed to control a ball when in on the Barca goal.

Barcelona struggled to get past the resolute Milan defence in the first half and the teams went in at half-time all square.

Milan showed more attacking intent in the second half and got their reward on 57 minutes. Riccardo Montolivo’s shot first took a deflection off a Barcelona player before hitting Cristian Zapata’s hand and landing at the feet of Kevin Prince-Boateng who fired past Victor Valdes.

Barcelona kept prodding and probing to no avail. The closest the visitors came to scoring was when Andres Iniesta put a volley wide of the post. Milan extended their lead with nine minutes left on the clock.

Young substitute M’Baye Niang found Stephan el Shaarawy, who lofted a perfect ball to Sulley Muntari and the former-Portsmouth star fired home with a superb volley. The goal was enough for the San Siro to erupt.

Barcelona had no reply and now face an uphill struggle to recover this tie in the second leg at the Nou Camp.

In the other Champions League game of the night Galatasaray and Schalke drew 1-1 in Istanbul. The home side took the lead on 12 minutes, Burak Yilmaz firing into the roof of the net after a superb touch over defender Benedikt Howedes.

The German side equalised on the stroke of half-time though, USA international Jermaine Jones scoring from a Jefferson Farfan centre. The second half was a lively affair but neither side could find a lead to take into the second leg in Gelsenkirchen.

Can AC Milan hold on to their two goal lead at the Nou Camp?


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David Nugent

David is a 29 year-old football fan and journalist, who is passionate about the beautiful game. He is a lifelong supporter of Premier League Everton and likes nothing better than a healthy discussion about the world's favourite sport.

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