MILAN: Barcelona, wanting to become the only club to have won the Champions League two years in a row, moved a step closer when they drew 0-0 away to AC Milan in their quarter-final first leg. The winners will probably face Chelsea in the semis.
None of the four quarter-finals this week had brought a goal for the home team after APOEL lost 3-0 to Real Madrid and Benfica went down 1-0 to Chelsea on Tuesday.
Milan survived a prolonged Barcelona onslaught though Robinho missed their best chance early on when he skied a close-range volley high over the bar. Zlatan Ibrahimovic also wasted a first-half opportunity when briefly clean through on goal.
Barcelona, whose David Villa was denied a penalty claim, went closest thrugh veteran skipper Carles Puyol who glanced a header inches wide form a corner. Lionel Messi, one goal short of 50 in the competition, scored from close range only to see the offside flag correctly raised.
This was the first time in 30 Champions League games in which Barcelona have failed to score – the last time being against Rubin Kazan in November 2009.
The night’s other tie saw Bayern Munich taking a decisive step forward as they claimed a 2-0 victory against Marseille whose decision to field third-choice goalkeeper Elinton Andrade backfired as his mistake gifted the visitors the opening goal.
The 32-year-old, preferred to number two Gennaro Bracigliano with first choice Steve Mandanda suspended, allowed Mario Gomez’s shot to squirm under his body in the 44th minute. It was Gomez’s 11th Champions League goal this season, behind only Lionel Messi, and 37th in all competitions and kept them on course to reach the final at their own Allianz Arena stadium.
Arjen Robben added a classy second midway through the second half to put the Germans on the brink of a place in the last four.
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