AC Milan held Barcelona to an 0-0 draw at the San Siro, to leave their Champions League quarter-final tie delicately balanced heading back to the Nou Camp next week.
The last time Barcelona failed to score in the Champions League was in the 0-0 draw with Rubin Kazan in November 2009.
Both teams had their chances. Milan’s were early as Robinho and Ibrahimovic both missed great opportunities in the opening 10 minutes. Messi had a goal pulled back for offside, and Barca were denied a clear penalty when Alexis Sanchez was brought down by Milan goalkeeper Christian Abbiati.
The pitch at the San Siro did not help Barcelona’s flowing football and both teams will be thinking that they can both get a result next week in Spain.
Marseille has no such dreams after losing 2-0 at home to Bayern Munich in the first leg of their Champions League quarterfinal, with Mario Gomez grabbing his 11th goal of the competition and Arjen Robben also scoring.
Gomez put Bayern ahead just before halftime, with Marseille goalkeeper Elinton Andrade to blame for letting the ball slip under his body, and Robben added a clinical second in the 69th after a quick one-two with Thomas Mueller.
So after the first legs, it seems pretty clear that one semi-final will match Real Madrid and Bayern Munich as they both won convincingly away from home this week.
The other side of the draw is up for grabs. Chelsea take a narrow 1-0 lead to Stamford Bridge next week, but Benfica will know that one goal and they are right back in that tie.
And as I mentioned earlier, Milan will take heart that that they denied Barcelona a valuable away goal tonight and they will head to Spain next week knowing that if they can repeat their performance from September when they drew 2-2 at the Nou Camp that they will knock put the defending champions and progress to the semi-finals.