Milan, Italy – It is rare to see Barcelona held scoreless in Champions League play, but that's what happened Wednesday at the San Siro as AC Milan played to a 0-0 draw with the reigning European champions.
While it was the first time in 30 Champions League contests that Barcelona has failed to record a goal, Wednesday's clash of two European giants was not devoid of scoring opportunities.
AC Milan came close early on when a blocked shot from Kevin-Prince Boateng in the third minute found its way to Robinho. The Brazilian was through one-on- one with Victor Valdes but sent a wayward effort over the bar.
Barcelona had a penalty shout in the 16th minute following a well-worked free kick. A quick one-two released Alexis Sanchez in the box, and the Chilean went to ground after contact with Milan goalkeeper Christian Abbiati. Despite vehement protests from the Catalans, the referee did not issue a penalty as the ball was well out of reach due to a heavy touch from Sanchez.
Milan came close shortly after as Zlatan Ibrahimovic was through on goal, but the Swedish international's poor attempt at goal was easily collected by Valdes.
Perhaps the closest scoring chance of the tie fell to the visitors in the dying minutes. Lionel Messi forced a sprawling save from Abbiati who was able to parry the effort away. The rebound fell to second-half substitute Cristian Tello at the back post, but the youngster failed to convert the chance as Luca Antonini rescued Milan with game-saving block.
The result leaves the two-legged tie up for grabs as Milan can advance with a win or a scoring draw in the second leg at Camp Nou. Barcelona will advance with a win, but can also go through on penalties should it finish scoreless after extra time.
The return leg in Spain is set for April 3.
Bayern Munich 2, Marseille 0
Marseille, France - Bayern Munich scored on opposite sides of halftime to edge Marseille, 2-0, in the first leg of its Champions League quarterfinal at the Stade Velodrome on Wednesday.
Mario Gomez gave the visitors the lead in the 44th minute before Arjen Robben doubled it midway through the second half.
The result sees the German side take a two-goal advantage back to the Allianz Arena, making the Reds a strong bet to advance to their first semifinal appearance in the Champions League since they finished runners-up in 2010. The return leg in Germany will be played Tuesday, April 3.
Bayern Munich nabbed an away goal in somewhat controversial fashion just before halftime. Defender Philipp Lahm appeared to handle the ball in his own end before the Bavarian side opened the scoring on the counter.
Robben split the Marseille defense with a through ball to find Gomez and the German striker hammered a one-time effort past Elinton Andrade at the near post.
Bayern doubled its lead in the 70th minute and it was Robben who turned scorer as the Dutchman capped a give-and-go with Thomas Muller by slipping a shot past Andrade from close range.