AC Milan will still be underdogs when they head to the Camp Nou, but they have done enough to deny Barcelona an away goal and give themselves a chance to advance to the UEFA Champions League semifinals. Milan couldn't create a goal themselves, but they defended brilliantly to hold on for a 0-0 draw.
The first half was a bit more eventful than the second, with Milan having more chances to score. Robinho had a terrible miss in the 2nd minute with a shanked volley, while Zlatan Ibrahimovic made a mess of a clear chance in the 20th minute for Milan. Barcelona had a couple of great opportunities, but some good goalkeeping by Christian Abbiati kept Barcelona off the scoreboard, along with one spectacular clearance by Luca Antonini on a 35th minute Alexis Sanchez breakaway.
The first half got off to a bad start for Milan, as Robinho picked up an injury in a challenge with Javier Mascherano in the 51st minute. He came back onto the pitch and attempted to run it off, but he was unable to continue. Stephan El Shaarawy came on to replace him.
Milan had an excellent spell of possession in the 57th minute and looked like they were going to at least challenge Victor Valdes, but no one was able to pull the trigger. Both Andres Nocerino and Ibrahimovic had great shooting opportunities, but opted to pass when they should have shot. Barca eventually won the ball back and sent Lionel Messi out on the counter. Alessandro Nesta stopped him from getting into a shooting position the only way he knew how.
In the 66th minute, Urby Emmanuelson came on for a tired-looking Kevin-Prince Boateng. It took just one minute for him to absolutely blow a golden chance. Ibrahimovic played him through on goal with a stunning through ball, but Emmanuelson somehow took a touch away from the goal that instantly took away a shooting chance, even though he was clearly one-on-one with Valdes. It was a touch almost too poor to be believed.
In the 74th minute, Milan had to take off Nesta, who was limping noticeably. With no true central defenders on teh bench, everyone watched in horror as Djamel Mesbah -- the goat of the 3-0 loss to Arsenal -- came on to the pitch. Daniele Bonera moved to the center of defense and Luca Antonini moved to right back.
While Mesbah didn't exactly do anything to improve his reputation, Antonini's move to right back turned out to be crucial. In the 87th minute, he made a fantastic clearance, denying Cristian Tello what would have been a game-winning goal.
This is the first time in nine games in all competitions that Lionel Messi has failed to score, and it is the first time in Pep Guardiola's tenure as Barcelona manager that he has failed to get an away goal in a Champions League knockout stage tie.
You can find all of our coverage from the day's games in our UEFA Champions League Wednesday StoryStream. For more on the two teams, head over to Barcelona blog Barca Blaugranes and The AC Milan Offside.