MILAN have secured an away point at the Nou Camp following a draw with Barcelona. Pato scored early to give Milan the lead, and the Rossoneri were the better side until 10 minutes before Barcelona scored (thanks to a slight abate error) from then on it was all Barcelona and a stunning David Villa goal gave them a deserved lead, but right at the death the Rossoneri rallied for a corner and took a point home from the Camp Nou!
The Rossoneri lined up in an attacking 4-3-1-2 despite speculation Allegri would play more defensive, Christian Abbiati started in goal, behind Ignazio Abate, Alessandro Nesta, Thiago Silva and coming back at left back was Gianluca Zambrotta. In midfield, Mark van Bommel was part of a trio with Nocerino and Seedorf, with a front 3 of Boateng behind Pato and Cassano.
Milan started with a bang! Just 23 seconds into the game and Pato scored to give Milan the lead! Straight from the kick off Milan were up and at it, after passing it back to abbiati and a kick out, nocerino passed the ball to Pato, who – with an immense turn of pace – who went 1 on 1 with Valdes and calmly tucked it under the spanish goalkeeper in a clinical fashion!
After the 5th fastest goal in champions league history, the match was a bit of a cagey affair. Allegri’s intelligent tactics to play deep but with some pressure, and then counter attack were working fairly well, Barca were struggling to create solid chances and the likes of Pato and Cassano were tracking back and winning the ball in their own half, meanwhile the team did look threatening on the break, though Barca still dominated possession in the opening 10 minutes.
Clarence Seedorf was rolling back the years, if you didn’t know he was 35 you’d never have guessed it, Milan were growing in confidence as the game passed the 15 minute mark, the Rossoneri were the better side and almost had a chance to double the lead, following a great run from Thiago Silva, unfortunately Pato’s first touch was just a tiny bit off, and Keita tracked back well, but Milan were playing very well.
Near the 20 minute mark, Barca had their best chance early on, a free kick from outside the box. Lionel Messi stepped up and very nearly levelled the scorelines, but the sound of the post clattering was a relief to Abbiati, and every single Rossoneri fan worldwide.
10 minutes passed and Milan were still in the lead, Barcelona had upped the tempo slightly, and had a decent chance around the half an hour mark as Messi shot from close range only to be denied by a very good Christian Abbiati save, but Milan were defending well, and still posed a significant threat on the break.
Moments later and Boateng picked up a knock and was replaced by Massimo Ambrosini.
With 35 minutes on the clock, Barca took the lead. As Lionel Messi drove into the box, he touched it past Abate and Nesta, but despite tracking the run, Abate let the ball roll through for Messi to latch back onto it. The argentine managed to get the ball back across goal, and Pedro was there to tap it in for the Catalan club to pull level.
The last 10 minutes saw Barca continue to press and seize the game, however, Milan held out until half time, and Allegri had a difficult team talk to give with the score at 1-1, Milan had done well, but 1 mistake came at the cost of a goal, and Barca had upped the pressure near the end of the half.
Just 5 minutes into the second half, and Cassano, who started well but fizzled out and became a bit of a liability near the end of the half, gave away a foul around 25 yards out, and David Villa stepped up scored with an excellent free kick to give Barca the lead.
Lionel Messi should have extended Barcelona’s lead within minutes, as he ran inside the box, but Alessandro Nesta dove in with an inch perfect slide tackle, a brilliant defensive move to keep Messi out, and he outjumped Messi to clear the ball away once more a minute later.
Massimiliano Allegri saw the game slipping away from Milan, and with Cassano virtually ineffective, Urby Emmanuelson was brought on to replace him with just over 25 minutes to go.
Inexplicably, with 20 minutes to go, Daniel Alves put in a terrible tackle on Urby Emmanuelson, who had done well since coming on, but the refereee gave him only a yellow, when at first glance and on the replay it looked a straight red, frustratingly, Milan weren’t able to muster up a chance, though there was still only 1 goal in it.
As the clock ticked and Milan still didn’t look like scoring, Massimiliano Allegri decided to gamble, and brought on Alberto Aquilani for Mark van Bommel with a shade over 10 minutes to go.
Just as all hope seemed lost, and the game seemed all but done, some terrific work from Nocerino won Milan a corner, in stoppage time. With 92 minutes on the clock, Clarence Seedorf played a fantastic cross into the box, and Thiago Silva outjumped everyone, including his marker Sergi Busquets, to plough the ball into the back of the net! A terrific header, and a great last gasp goal!
Milan played out the last minute and sealed the point at the Nou Camp, a terrific point!
Best Moment: Silva’s header, no two ways about it!
Man of the Match: Clarence Seedorf or Pato