AC Milan hold Barcelona 1-1 at Champions League

Milan, Oct 23 (IANS) AC Milan held Barcelona to a 1-1 draw at home in their Champions League group tie Tuesday.

Lionel Messi scored on his starting return to Barcelona's line-up after Robinho capitalised on a defensive howler by the hosts to open scoring at the San Siro, Xinhua reported.

The head coaches of both sides claimed their respective team created more scoring chances and should have won the tie.

"I would like to say that my players gave a good performance and allowed Barcelona little, and we created more scoring chances," Massimiliano Allegri of AC Milan said. "We made a mistake before our goal and were penalised."

But his Barcelona counterpart Gerardo 'Tata' Martino thought otherwise.

"We dropped two points and should have won this game against Milan," he said. "We created more scoring chances and that is why we should have won the game. We made a mistake giving Milan the chance to score their goal. We paid for that error."

Barcelona central defenders Javier Mascherano and Gerard Pique gifted Milan their 10th-minute lead with a defensive mix-up.

They failed to deal with a long punt forward before Mascherano's attempted clearance cannoned back off his team-mate and to the advancing Robinho.

The Brazilian played a one-two with the overlapping Kaka, whose return pass left him with the time to pick his spot.

Messi replied on 23 minutes after he was afforded too much space, but depsite the visitors dominating thereafter they were unable to find a winner.

Barcelona midfielder Andres Iniesta saw the draw as "a good point" for both clubs.

"Milan put in a great defensive performance, making it difficult for our style of play," he said.

"We had a few chances to make the difference, but at the end of the day this is a good point. We're in a good position in the table and look forward to the second match on home turf," he said.

In their group, Barca lead with seven points, followed by Milan on five and Celtic three. Ajax have one point.


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