Barcelona moan about penalty decision after 0-0 draw

Mar 29, 2012
Bill Mann

We get victimised by officials all the time, says Barca keeper (conveniently forgetting Arsenal match)

2012 Getty Images

AC Milan 0 Barcelona 0. No repeat of the 4-0 thrashing they handed out to Arsenal last month, but AC Milan will still be pleased to have held the reigning European champions to a goalless draw in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final at the San Siro.
Despite the scoreline it was an entertaining encounter and one that sets up the prospect of a tense return leg at the Camp Nou on April 3.

Milan should have taken the lead within the first five minutes but Robinho volleyed wide from point blank range. A few minutes later Barcelona almost scored when Milan keeper Christian Abbiati failed to hold a shot from Lionel Messi and the rebound fell to Dani Alves whose effort went just wide.

Then came the first of two penalty claims by Barcelona as Abbiati collided with Alexis Sanchez in the penalty area. Referee Jonas Errikson waved away the Spaniards’ pleas for a penalty, as he did in the second half when Barcelona captain Carles Puyol appeared to be impeded by Djamel Mesbah inside the Milan penalty box.

The closing stages belonged to Barcelona with Lionel Messi coming close on two occasions and only a last-ditch tackle from Luca Antonini preventing Tello from scoring.

Puyol later blamed the referee for Barcelona’s failure to come away from the San Siro with a win, telling reporters: "Everyone saw what happened. As I was trying to head the ball, I had my shirt pulled. The referee did not want to award us a penalty. I saw it on the screens."

Despite the fact Barcelona have benefited from referees’ decisions in the past, most notably against Arsenal in last season’s Champions League, Catalan keeper Victor Valdes made the astonishing claim that his side are victimised by officials who fail to award them penalties: "This has happened a lot of times, we get tired of this," he complained.

In the evening’s other Champions League quarter-final, Bayern Munich have one foot in the last four after their 2-0 win at Marseille. Mario Gomez gave the German visitors the lead on 44 minutes when Elinton Andrade – the French side’s third-choice goalkeeper - fumbled his shot into the net, and Dutchman Arjen Robben added a second after the break.

"There's still a chance we can go through, but it's a tiny one," admitted Marseille coach Didier Deschamps. "We're not in the best position and we know Bayern are very strong at home."

Assuming Bayern beat Marseille over the two leg clash they’ll almost certainly play Real Madrid in the semi-final, following their 3-0 defeat of Apoel Nicosia on Tuesday, while the winner of the Barcelona/Milan tie will face Chelsea or Benfica.

Sign up for our daily newsletter