Barcelona are thrilled, while Viktoria Plzen now feel like they have to get a result in one of their next two matches following BATE Borisov's 1-1 home draw against AC Milan on Tuesday night. Milan had most of the possession and took a deserved first half lead, but BATE snatched an equalizer, defended well and forced Christian Abbiati into multiple good saves to earn an important point.
After a long period of sustained dominance for AC Milan, Zlatan Ibrahimovic fired in their opener in the 22nd minute with a great one-on-one finish, placing the ball past Aleksandr Gutor. Robinho provided a brilliant assist, hitting a cross right into the path of Ibrahimovic on the counter.
BATE forced a spectacular save out of Abbiatti just a minute later, making it apparent that Milan weren't simply going to be able to coast to a shutout win. Milan were the better side for the rest of the half, though, with Gutor having to make a couple of very good saves and Robinho hitting the post in the 39th minute.
In the 54th minute, Ignazio Abate would gift Milan their equalizer when he brought down Artem Kontsevoy in the penalty area. Talented young attacking midfielder Renan Bressan stepped up and converted the spot kick, giving his team a valuable equalizer. Both teams had a few half chances before the end of the match, but failed to convert as the game ended in a 1-1 draw.
BATE still have little to no chance of qualifying for the knockout stage, but now have a leg up on Viktoria Plzen for a place in the Europa League. If Plzen do not pull off a shock win against Barcelona or Milan, the match between the two on the final matchday should determine the team who qualifies for Europa League.
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