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UEFA Champions League

  • September 13, 2011
  • • 2:45 PM
  • • Camp Nou, Barcelona
  • Referee: M. Atkinson
  • • Attendance: 89861
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Barcelona 2-2 AC Milan: Thiago Silva's last-gasp strike salvages point for Italians

Barcelona 2-2 AC Milan: Thiago Silva's last-gasp strike salvages point for Italians

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The Brazilian defender pops up with a stoppage time header to claim a shock draw for the Serie A title-holders in Camp Nou.

AC Milan shocked Champions League holders Barcelona with a Thiago Silva header in the final seconds to walk away with a surprising 2-2 draw at Camp Nou in the sides’ opening game in Group H on Tuesday.

Alexandre Pato opened the game with a goal just 24 seconds after kick off, which marked the fifth-fasted goal in Champions League history. Pedro and David Villa were the host's heroes as they netted a goal either side of the halftime break.

In the third minute of stoppage time, Silva popped up inside the box to meet Clarene Seedorf's corner with a powerful header which flew into the net to snatch a late point.

The match began in absolutely extraordinary fashion when, against all expectations, AC Milan surged into a 1-0 lead in the opening minute.

Pato picked the ball up virtually from kick off, knocked the it through the center of the Barcelona defense and accelerated directly towards goal, leaving Sergio Busquets trailing in his wake before slotting a cool finish under the advancing Victor Valdes.

The early goal was exactly what the doctor ordered in terms of Massimiliano Allegri’s tactical plan, as it allowed his team to sit deep, defend in numbers and attempt to utilize Pato’s pace on the counter attack.

For a 20-minute spell following the goal, the visitors defended doggedly while testing the Barcelona rearguard, particularly the nervy Sergio Busquets, with a handful of lightning counter attacks.

Milan would remain lucky as Lionel Messi forced at least four decent saves from Abbiati before striking the outside of post with a free kick from 25 yards.

However, as the half wore on, the game was almost exclusively played in the Milan half of the field, and, despite the club's organized and disciplined defending, one moment of magic from Messi in the 35th minute proved its undoing.

The Argentine flicked the ball between Alessandro Nesta and Ignazio Abate and darted through the gap between the fullback and his central defender. He then proceeded to shrug of Abate’s weak challenge and prodded the ball across the face of goal to gift Pedro the easiest of tap-ins.

Milan’s stubborn resistance was breached for a second time five minutes after the restart, and this time there was little anyone in the Rossoneri ranks could do to prevent it as Villa curled a sublime free kick into Abbiati’s top right-hand corner from 25-yards out.

The rest of the second period played out in a predictable fashion, with Barcelona in complete control of possession, but while, less predictably, lacking penetration in the final third as Milan defended doggedly.

That was, however, until against all predictions, Silva powered home a bullet header in the third minute of stoppage time to grab a share of the spoils.

Matchday two sees the Catalan club travel to Belarus to meet Bate Borisov, while Milan hosts Viktoria Plzen at Giueseppe Meazza, with the fixtures to be played on Sept. 28.

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