MILAN: Bayern Munich took over as new favourites to win the Champions League after Barcelona lost 2-0 away to Milan in the first leg of their second round tie in the Stadio Meazza in San Siro.
The German club were impressive in winning at Arsenal on Tuesday and their status rose after goals from Kevin-Prince Boateng and Sulley Muntari sealed victory for the Rossoneri.
Barcelona eased to 9-2 in the betting while Bayern strengthened from 11-4 to 4-1.
Other contenders include Real Madrid (9-2), Manchester United (6-1), Borussia Dortmund (15-2) and Juventus (10-1).
Barcelona, Spanish league leaders and cup semi-finalists, failed to score for only the second time this season despite having dominated the first half with a line-up which featured 10 players from their youth academy and nine internationals with world and European champions Spain.
They dominated a patched-up, redeveloping Milan side but the first half ended goalless and the second half started with more Barcelona possession before Milan struck the first blow. A short free kick was played by Riccardo Montolivo, his low shot struck Jordi Alba, ricocheted against Zapata and fell to Boateng to sweep into the goal.
Barca protested in vain. Andres Iniesta was close to equalising with a shot which swerved wide while an out-of-sorts Messi thumped a free kick high into the stands.
Milan then added another when Muntari sent the 75,000 crowd into raptures with a stunning finish to an excellent move.
“We did not play with our usual fluidity,” said Barcelona coach Jordi Roura. “We did not create the chances we normally create. I don’t think it’s correct to talk about the referee.”
The night’s other tie saw Didier Drogba impress on his Champions League debut for Galatasaray but the Turkish side were held 1-1 draw by Schalke.
The Ivory Coast striker, last year’s Champions League hero for Chelsea who moved to the Istanbul club last month after a spell in China, linked up well with Burak Yilmaz in attack.
Yilmaz scored his seventh goal in seven Champions League matches in the 12th minute on an assist from Selcuk Inan. Schalke equalised in the closing seconds of the first half when Jefferson Farfan set up Jermaine Jones.
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