Milan puts Barcelona on the ropes
Milan, Italy (Sports Network) - AC Milan is halfway to pulling off a big upset in the Champions League after the Rossoneri stunned Barcelona, 2-0, at the San Siro on Wednesday in the first leg of their round of 16 matchup.
Barca has won two of the last four Champions League titles and entered Wednesday's match as a considerable favorite against a Milan side that has struggled at times in Serie A this season.
But the Italian club was able to frustrate Barcelona time and again in Barca's attacking third, while second-half goals from Kevin-Prince Boateng and Sulley Muntari give Milan a two-goal lead ahead of the return leg in Spain on March 12.
As is the case in most Barcelona games, the Catalans had the majority of the possession, but they were kept at bay by an organized Milan defense, which gave away few clear-cut chances.
But the home side stunned the Spanish outfit in the 57th minute with a goal that came under controversial circumstances.
A deflected shot from outside the area struck the hand of Milan's Christian Zapata, allowing it to drop kindly for Boateng to lash past goalkeeper Victor Valdes.
Andres Iniesta went close in the 76th minute with one of the few chances that Barcelona had, but the club was hit on the break nine minutes from time in a move that involved substitute M'baye Niang.
He got into the area on the right and squared the ball to Stephan El Shaarawy, who lofted a delicate volley to Muntari for a first-time finish at the back post.
Barcelona had no response over the remainder of the match and now faces a big challenge at the Camp Nou in the second leg.
Galatasaray 1, Schalke 1
Istanbul, Turkey - Galatasaray and Schalke traded first-half goals and finished in a 1-1 draw in Turkey in the first leg of their Champions League round of 16 encounter on Wednesday.
Burak Yilmaz netted his seventh goal of the competition after just 12 minutes when he flicked the ball through traffic and emerged on the other side to hammer a shot past the helpless Timo Hildebrand in the Schalke net.
The hosts nearly went up two goals five minutes later, but Hamit Altintop saw his shot strike the crossbar, and Schalke answered shortly before halftime.
Jefferson Farfan created the goal when he broke into the penalty area and drew a pair of defenders before sliding the ball to an open Jermaine Jones for a simple finish.
Galatasaray had most of the possession after the break but was unable to press the advantage, leaving things nicely poised for the return leg on March 12 in Germany.