MX23RW : Wednesday, September 19 23:01:48
Oct 22, 2013 at 7.45pm UK at ​San Siro
AC Milan
Robinho (8')
Montolivo (41'), Muntari (78')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Messi (24')
Sanchez (33'), Fabregas (81')

Live Commentary: AC Milan 1-1 Barcelona - as it happened

Relive Sports Mole's live commentary of the Champions League Group H clash at the San Siro where AC Milan drew 1-1 with Barcelona.

Barcelona travelled to AC Milan in the Champions League on Tuesday looking to move onto nine points in Group H.

Robinho opened the scoring with 10 minutes on the clock, but Barcelona were level after 23 minutes when Lionel Messi slotted home from inside the box.

Both sides had opportunities in the second period, but neither could make the breakthrough with the match ending 1-1 in Italy.

Read how it all unfolded in Sports Mole's minute-by-minute live commentary of the action below.

6.46pmEvening all! Our Champions League coverage continues this evening as AC Milan welcome Barcelona to the San Siro. As mentioned, Milan have collected four points from their first two group matches, while Barcelona have six. These two sides are the favourites to advance from Group H, which places added importance on the upcoming double-header.

6.49pmThe two sides have clashed in each of the last two Champions League campaigns. Milan secured a 2-0 lead in the first leg of their last-16 clash last season, but Barcelona won 4-0 in the Camp Nou to advance. Milan were also eliminated by Barcelona in the quarter-finals of the 2011-12 campaign. Revenge will be on Milan’s minds this evening there is no question about that.

6.52pmBREAKING TEAM NEWS: Kaka starts for the home side this evening after recovering from injury, while there is also a spot for Valter Birsa, but Mario Balotelli is not deemed fit enough to start. There are also spots for Nigel de Jong and Sulley Muntari in reserve. Barcelona, meanwhile, recall Alexis Sanchez to their XI. Javier Mascherano also comes back into the side. Full teams to follow.


AC MILAN: Amelia; Abate, Zapata, Mexes, Constant; Montolivo, De Jong, Muntari; Birsa; Robinho, Kaka

BARCELONA: Valdes; Alves, Pique, Mascherano, Adriano; Busquets, Xavi, Iniesta; Sanchez, Neymar, Messi

6.58pmIn truth, no real surprises in either lineup this evening. Milan will seemingly line up with three central midfielders, with Birsa providing support to Robinho and Kaka in attack. Barcelona, meanwhile, leave Pedro on the bench, with Alexis Sanchez preferred. Lionel Messi is also fit to return after missing their last Champions League match against Celtic with a thigh injury.

7.01pmOverall, Milan and Barcelona have faced each other 17 times. Barcelona have won seven of those meetings, with Milan winning five. Milan’s home record against Barcelona is quite patchy, meanwhile, with three wins, two draws and three defeats from their eight matches. Barcelona have also scored more goals in the 17 matches – 26 to Milan’s 21.

7.04pmPerhaps the most high-profile encounter between the two sides came in the 1994 Champions League final, when Fabio Capello’s Milan side won 4-0. Milan were also victorious when the pair met in the 1989 UEFA Super Cup, winning 1-0 at home after claiming a 1-1 draw in Barcelona.

7.07pmAs mentioned, Milan were 2-0 winners over Barcelona the last time they welcomed the Spanish outfit to Milan. However, that success in February was their first home win in seven attempts against La Liga opposition. Overall, their record against teams from Spain reads won 11, drawn six and lost six.

7.10pmMilan began their Champions League campaign with a 2-0 home win over Celtic, but they needed two goals in the final eight minutes to overcome the Scottish champions. They left it later last time out against Ajax, when a controversial penalty from Mario Balotelli in stoppage time secured a 1-1 draw in Holland.

7.13pmIt hasn’t been quite the start to the season that Milan would have wanted, however, with the Italian outfit struggling in Serie A. They have won just three of their eight matches, with 11 points leaving them in eighth position in the table. They are already five points off the top four and 13 off leaders Roma, who have won every game thus far.

7.16pmThey do enter this match off the back of three points, however, with their 1-0 win over Udinese at the weekend. They have improved in recent weeks with just one defeat in their last five matches and are in a strong position in Group H as things stand. Three points this evening would indeed move them ahead of Barcelona in the table.

7.19pmBarcelona, meanwhile, enter the match off the back of a disappointing league result at the weekend as their 100% start to the season ended with a 0-0 draw against Osasuna. That said, it is difficult to be critical of the four-time European champions, who currently sit top of La Liga with 25 points, having won eight and drawn one of their nine matches this season.

7.22pmThe Spanish outfit have also won both of their Champions League fixtures this season with a 4-0 win over Ajax followed by a 1-0 win over Celtic last time out. They struggled against the Scottish champions, but a Cesc Fabregas header after 76 minutes made sure of the points. Another victory this evening and they would be in a commanding position after just three matches.

7.25pmBarcelona’s away record against teams from Serie A is fairly strong, meanwhile, with the Spanish champions winning six, drawing seven and losing six of their matches in Italy. Barcelona will also have fond memories of facing Italian opposition having beaten Sampdoria 1-0 in 1992 to claim their first European Cup.

7.28pmBarcelona have had injury problems this season, but their squad looks a lot healthier than it did before the international break with Carlos Puyol and Lionel Messi both returning to fitness. Jordi Alba remains on the sidelines, but boss Gerardo Martino has a strong squad to select from as the games continue to arrive thick and fast.

7.31pmMilan will not be too sympathetic, however, with the Italian outfit having injury problems of their own. Manager Massimiliano Allegri told reporters at a press conference on Monday: “We're still waiting to get players back namely Pazzini, Bonera, De Sciglio and Balotelli. It'll be tough against Barcelona but we have the right requirements to do well. There are three points available on Tuesday and they'll be important to get out of the group."

7.34pmMeanwhile, Barcelona boss Martino also commented on the importance of the match: “It's a crucial game for us in terms of qualification from the group. If we win, we will be more or less qualified.” Martino was critical of his side’s finishing in their 0-0 draw with Osasuna at the weekend and will therefore be expecting a response from his players.

7.37pmREFEREE WATCH: The man in the spotlight this evening is German referee Felix Brych, who made the headlines at the weekend for awarding Bayern Leverkusen striker Stefan Kiessling a goal in the Bundesliga, despite the ball entering the back of the net through the side-netting. It was a strange situation, but Brych is experienced enough to deal with the pressure this evening.

7.40pmPREDICTION: Milan have struggled for form in the early part of the season, but they have plenty of big-game players in their XI this evening. The Italian outfit will also be boosted by the return of Mario Balotelli to their squad. That said, I expect Barcelona to have too much for the home side this evening. My score prediction is AC Milan 0-2 Barcelona.

7.43pmHere we go then. Both sets of players join us on the pitch ahead of kickoff. That wonderful Champions League tune erupts around this famous stadium. Let's hope that the game matches the occasion. We have it all covered on Sports Mole this evening.

0 minJust a reminder of the main team news. Kaka returns to the XI for Milan, while there are also spots for Birsa and Robinho. Barcelona, meanwhile, have Messi in their starting side, with the Argentine forming part of a three-man attack with Sanchez and Neymar. Here we go then. A couple of minutes later than expected, the away side get the action underway on this mild evening in Milan.

2 minBarcelona are in their away kit this evening, while Milan wear their normal black and red stripes. No real surprise that the away side have taken control of the possession in the opening couple of moments with the likes of Xavi and Iniesta seeing plenty of the ball in midfield. You just get the feeling that the first goal - if we indeed have one - cold be vital this evening.

4 minFirst sign of Kaka for the home side as the Brazilian collects possession outside the box before driving down the left, but his cross is cleared by Pique. The resulting corner allows Milan to keep the pressure on, but eventually Barcelona manage to clear the danger. Lively opening with both sides prepared to put their foot on the ball. Sensational atmosphere, meanwhile.

6 minThe biggest cheer of the evening arrives as Robinho produces a stunning piece of skill down the right, but Alves manages to clear the danger. A half-chance arrives for Kaka moments later as he finds some space inside the box, but Valdes manages to clear. Barcelona attempt to move down the other end with Neymar, but he fells Montolivo in the process.

8 minThe referee has been more involved than he would like in the last couple of moments with both sides guilty of a couple of late challenges in the middle of the park. Milan continue to force the issue in midfield as Montolivo carries it forward, but he loses possession, allowing Barcelona to enjoy a passing sequence outside the Milan box.

9 minMilan have the ball in the back of the net as Muntari converts from close range, but he had just moved into an offside position. Wonderful work in the build-up from Robinho, who found his teammate with a clever through pass. One-way traffic in the last couple of moments with the home side enjoying the lively atmosphere inside the stadium. Still goalless with nine minutes on the clock.

9 minGOAL! Milan 1-0 Barcelona (Robinho)

10 minThe home side have the lead with nine minutes on the clock as Robinho finds Kaka, who returns the favour inside the box, allowing the Brazilian to slide his low effort into the back of the net. Poor defending from the away side, but wonderful work from the two Brazilians.

12 minSlight problem for Muntari moments later as the Milan midfielder hits the deck following a challenge with Alves, but it does appear that he will be fit to continue. Not too much from Barcelona in the last couple of moments, with Messi struggling for possession in the final third. Milan deserve their lead there is no question about that.

15 minJust a few signs that Barcelona are starting to dictate possession of the ball with Sanchez and Neymar seeing more of the ball in wide positions. The former is involved down the right as he delivers a low cross into the box, but Abate is on hand to clear. Entertaining 15 minutes of football in the San Siro.

17 minNot too much to report in terms of opportunities in the last couple of moments with both sides guilty of a number of poor challenges in the middle of the park. Barcelona are finding it difficult to deal with Kaka at the moment as the Brazilian continues to take up dangerous positions. Another half-chance comes as Abate delivers a low cross into the box, but Pique clears.

20 minNo real surprise that Barcelona are attempting to play their way through this Milan defence at the moment, but there is just no room in the middle of the park. Alves is down the right moments later, but Kaka is on hand to make the block. A free kick arrives for Barcelona outside the box moments later, but Amelia claims Xavi's delivery.

22 minMessi attempts to quicken the pace as he finds Sanchez down the right, but the Chilean cannot collect. Messi is again involved moments later as he drills a low cross into the box, but Amelia is on hand to claim at the vital moment. Neymar then threatens to meet a through pass from Iniesta, but the Milan stopper claims once more.

24 minNot too much from Milan as an attacking threat in the last couple of moments with Barcelona starting to enjoy more of the ball in the middle of the park. However, the Spanish outfit continue to struggle to play their way through this stern Italian defence. Mexes has been criticised at times this season, but he has been solid thus far. Meanwhile, Kaka has been the standout player on the field.

24 minGOAL! Milan 1-1 Barcelona (Messi)

25 minBarcelona level with 24 minutes on the clock as Iniesta finds Messi, who turns inside the box before sliding his effort into the bottom corner. The Argentine just does not miss in those areas. We are all level at the San Siro.

27 minIt is a different game at the moment with Barcelona dominating possession of the ball inside the Milan half. You just get the feeling that the home side need to regain the support of the crowd with a period of attacking pressure. It has been an entertaining 27 minutes of football, with the two sides level at 1-1.

30 minCHANCE! Wonderful chance for the home side to regain the lead as Mexes rises inside the box, but his header is just wide of the post. Poor goalkeeping from Valdes, who had come and got nowhere near a cross from Kaka. Barcelona might be in control of the possession, but you get the feeling that Milan will continue to get chances this evening.

32 minBarcelona again attempt to force the issue down the left as Adriano slips a through pass towards Neymar, but Mexes is across to clear at the vital moment. The away side continue to pass and probe outside the Milan box, but they continue to find it hard to spot a gap. Little over 10 minutes of the first period remaining in the San Siro.

34 minAnother half-chance for Barcelona as Alves whips a dangerous cross into the box, Messi manages to make contact, but his effort is blocked by Constant. The resulting corner is played short before Adriano finds Neymar, but his effort is wide of the post.

37 minSanchez enters the referee's book for a poor challenge on Kaka outside the Barcelona box. The resulting set piece is clipped into the box, but Alves is on hand to clear. The Milan skipper Montolivo manages to drill a low cross towards Zapata, but the referee awards a free kick to the away side. Little under 10 minutes of football remaining in this Champions League clash.

39 minCHANCE! Wonderful chance for Barcelona as Iniesta finds Sanchez inside the Milan box, but the Chilean's effort is straight at Amelia. He had to do better from that position. All one-way traffic at the moment with Barcelona in utter control of the possession. Milan could do with the interval.

42 minMilan boss Allegri is not best pleased with the referee at the moment as his side continue to concede free kicks in their own half. Kaka attempts to lead a counter for Milan, but the danger is cleared by Alves. Allegri can have no complaints, however, as Montilovo is booked for a late challenge on Neymar.

44 minMilan are really struggling to keep hold of the ball at the moment with Barcelona popping it around in the Milan half. If this pattern continues in the second period, then you would have to fancy the away side to take all the points. The volume inside the stadium has also dropped with 44 minutes on the clock.

45 minNot too much to report in the last couple of moments with Barcelona happy to keep possession in the Milan half as the first period draws to a close. Milan started the better, but Barcelona have been in control since the equaliser. The fourth official indicates that we will play an additional one minute.

45+1 minCHANCE! Wonderful chance for Barcelona in the latter stages of the half as the ball bounces for Neymar inside the box, but his beautifully-struck volley is just wide of the post. That is just about that for this half.

8.33pmSo there we have it. The referee brings the first period to an end with the two scores level at 1-1. Milan opened the scoring after 10 minutes through Robinho, but Messi - who else - levelled for Barcelona 13 minutes later. The home side have had their moments, but Barcelona have certainly been the better side.

8.38pmSTATISTICS: Barcelona have had more of the possession with 67%, while they have had five attempts to Milan's three. The referee has also been forced to issue two yellow cards with Montolivo booked for the home side and Sanchez booked for Barcelona.

8.43pmBENCH WATCH: The home side have a certain Mario Balotelli on the bench, while they also have options in the shape of Poli, Nocerino and Emanuelson. Barcelona, meanwhile, are not short of attacking personnel on the bench with Cesc Fabregas, Cristian Tello and Pedro all in reserve.

46 minHere we go then. Both sets of players join us on the pitch for the second period. No changes for either side at the interval, which is not much of a surprise at this stage of proceedings. In Group H's other match, Celtic are beating Ajax 1-0. Right, the home side get the second half underway at the San Siro.

48 minMario Balotelli was being put through a fairly heavy warm-up at the interval, but there is no sign of the Italian in the second period. However, I suspect we will see him sooner rather than later. Bright start to the half from Milan as Abate delivers a deep cross into the box, but Pique manages to clear at the vital moment.

50 minOpportunity for Barcelona to threaten the Milan box as Xavi stands over a free kick outside the area, but his cross is cleared by Montolivo. Barcelona regain possession moments later, however, and begin another passing sequence. The interval has done nothing to change the flow of this match.

53 minIt's really bright work from Messi as the Argentine bursts past two challenges before attempting to find Sanchez inside the box, but Abate is across to clear at the vital moment. Another attack follows moments later as Iniesta weaves into the box, but Constant is across to make the challenge. Milan are really struggling to get out of their own half at the moment.

55 minCHANCE! Wonderful chance for the home side as Muntari delivers a sensational ball into the box, but somehow Robinho allows it to move through his legs. What on earth was the Brazilian doing?! Again, Barcelona's defence were all at sea. The noise levels have been increased following that opportunity.

57 minCHANCE! Opportunity for Iniesta this time as Messi finds the Spaniard inside the box, but he cannot poke his effort past Amelia, who had come a long way off his line. Neymar has a strike from outside the box moments later, but once more the Milan stopper makes the save.

59 minBetter from Milan in the last couple of moments with the likes of Muntari and Birsa seeing more of the ball, but they are struggling to find space in the final third. Neymar is down the left for Barcelona moments later, but he is forced into traffic. We are getting to the stage of the match where both managers will be thinking about possible changes.

62 minStrange defending from Barcelona as Pique decides to play it back to his goalkeeper, who takes an extra touch before finding his centre-back, who was under all sorts of pressure from Robinho. The away side are down the other end with Sanchez moments later, but the Chilean runs into the sizeable frame of Zapata. Not too much happening in terms of chances at the moment.

64 minIt's good work from Neymar as the Brazilian finds some space down the left before delivering a wicked cross into the box, but once more Zapata is on hand to make the clearance. Still Barcelona force the issue outside the box as Xavi and Iniesta exchange passes, but Muntari is on hand to clear. Little over 25 minutes of football remaining at the San Siro.

66 minMilan make their first change of the evening and it is a positive one as Balotelli enters the frame in place of Robinho. In truth, the Brazilian has tired in the second period. Now over to Mario to produce something special. Still no movement on the Barcelona bench, but Pedro for Sanchez would be the obvious change.

68 minZapata continues to impress in the heart of the Milan defence as once more challenges Messi inside the box. Milan are down the other end with Balotelli moments later, but the move breaks down inside the box. End-to-end football, but neither goalkeeper has been tested for some time.

70 minA half-chance arrives for Milan as Constant finds some space outside the box, but his low effort moves wide of the post. Kaka has a strike from distance moments later, but Valdes was always comfortable in gathering the danger. Still 1-1 with little over 20 minutes of normal time remaining this evening.

73 minCHANCE! Wonderful chance for Adriano as the Barcelona full-back is found by Xavi inside the box, but somehow he fires wide of the post from close range. That is the best chance of the second period there is no question about that. Still no movement on the Barcelona bench, but I expect changes to be made.

75 minMilan make their second change of the match as Emanuelson replaces Kaka, who has tired after a wonderful first period. He leaves the field to applause. Better from the home side in the last couple of moments with Barcelona struggling to dominate possession inside the Milan half. Little over 15 minutes of football remaining in Italy.

77 minBarcelona make their first change of the match with Cesc Fabregas replacing Sanchez. That is an indication that the away side are settling for a point here. Balotelli is involved for Milan moments later as he combines with Montolivo outside the box, but Pique comes across to clear the danger. Will we have a winner in the latter stages here?

80 minBarcelona continue to dominate possession of the ball, but they are finding it difficult to break through this Milan defence, as has been the case for much of the evening. In truth, a draw would not be the worst result for either of these sides. Fabregas has a header on target moments later, but Amelia collects with ease.

82 minMilan make their third and final change of the match as Poli replaces Birsa. Extremely quiet inside the stadium at the moment with the crowd waiting for something to happen. Barcelona make their second change moments later as Pedro replaces Neymar.

85 minMuntari thinks he is in on goal as he is found by Abate, but the offside flag is raised at the vital moment. The midfielder could not finish, however, as he fell to the ground. Barcelona continue to pass and probe outside the Milan box, but the home side have been solid in defence this evening.

87 minPedro is involved for Barcelona moments later as he cuts into the box before delivering a low cross towards Messi, but Zapata is on hand to make the clearance. Milan have all 10 outfield players in their own half as they continue to shut the door. It does appear as if we are heading for a draw here.

89 minBarcelona continue to force the issue as Alves wins a corner from Mexes, but it is played short before the Frenchman heads clear. Not too much for either set of supporters to get excited about at the moment as the match dwindles into the latter stages. Both sides will be fairly content with a draw if that is indeed the case.

90+2 minBarcelona's frustrations grow as Pique is penalised for a foul on De Jong, allowing Milan to slow the game once more. The fourth official indicates that we will play an additional three minutes and we are indeed into the second of those. No surprises, Barcelona have possession in the Milan half.

90+3 minFULL TIME: AC Milan 1-1 Barcelona

9.37pmSo there we have it. The referee brings the match to an end with the two sides sharing the points in a 1-1 draw. Thanks for joining Sports Mole for the action and be sure to stick around the site for all of the reaction. Good evening!

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Barcelona's Lionel Messi is congratulated by team mate Dani Alves after scoring the opening goal against Ajax during their Champions League group match on September 18, 2013
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Preview: Milan vs. Barca

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