Millennium Post

Ghana shocker floors Barca

Ghanaians Kevin-Prince Boateng and Sulley Muntari both scored in a lively second half as AC Milan inflicted a shock 2-0 defeat on Barcelona in their Champions League last 16, first leg, at tSan Siro on Wednesday.  Milan, crowned European champions seven times, had failed to beat the Catalan giants in the competition since a 2-0 win at Camp Nou in 2000 and had exited the competition last season and in 2006 after defeats at the hands of Barcelona.

But, after a promising first-half display was taken up a level in the second period, fans of the Rossoneri were given reason to believe that their team can advance to the quarterfinals.

In a tight first half, Barcelona toyed with the hosts’ defence without really putting ‘keeper Christian Abbiati in danger. Milan sought to get men behind the ball but were still left rueing several missed chances.

No changes were made at half-time, but the game itself went on to change dramatically. On 53 minutes, tempers frayed when Sergio Busquets brought down Pazzini in midfield, earning the Spaniard a yellow card.

Moments later, San Siro erupted when Boateng pounced to give Milan the opener. A Riccardo Montolivo free-kick from 30 metres bounced fortuitously off the hand of Cristian Zapata for Boateng, who beat Valdes with a superb strike from the edge of the area. Barca protested but Scottish referee Craig Thomson responded by showing a yellow card to Gerard Pique.

The visitors had barely threatened the home goal until an Andres Iniesta strike from the edge of the area shaved the far post, and they then fell further behind in the 81st minute.

Muntari, unmarked on the left of the area, finished off some neat build-up play by El Shaarawy and M’Baye Niang to beat Valdes with a superb angled strike. Barca rallied in the dying minutes and Puyol was unlucky with a bullet header when he rose to meet a corner from the left, but they were unable to get what would have been a precious away goal.


A determined performance from Schalke led the away side to an impressive 1-1 draw against Galatasaray, as they put themselves in the driving seat for the Champions League last-16 tie. Burak Yilmaz had given his side a dream start in the 12th minute with a powerful strike, but the Turkish team were pegged back by Jermaine Jones’ leveller and will have to get a result in the second leg to stay in the continental competition. Schalke and Galatasaray will be back in Champions League action on March 12, when they meet for the last 16 decider in Germany. The Turkish side know they will have to score at least once to avoid elimination.

Meanwhile, Schalke 04 have lodged a protest with Uefa over Galatasaray striker Didier Drogba’s participation in their 1-1 Champions League draw. ‘There are doubts about the validity of the permission to play Drogba in the Champions League,’ the German club said on their official Twitter account. ‘Schalke 04 reserves its rights and is looking into this.’ UEFA confirmed it had received ‘a protest concerning Drogba’s eligibility.’

Jermaine Jones earned Schalke a 1-1 draw in the last 16 first leg match against Galatasaray. The European governing body said its disciplinary panel would investigate the matter but had not yet set a date. vorian Drogba made his European debut for the Turkish club on Wednesday, after joining them in January from Shanghai Shenhua.

The former Chelsea forward signed an 18-month contract with the Istanbul side after moving from China. The Chinese club, with whom he had signed a two-and-a-half-year deal last June, opposed the move. He made his full debut in the last-16 tie, following his appearance as a substitute in a league game last Friday, in which he scored just minutes after coming on.
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