Barcelona were held to a goalless draw by AC Milan in their Uefa Champions League quarterfinal on Wednesday evening, but there’s no panic in the Catalan camp.
It was a resolute and heroic performance by Milan, with Alessandro Nesta, Luca Antonini and Christian Abbiati leading the way, but as Barca boss Pep Guardiola points out, it was only a 0-0 home draw.
Milan fans may be talking about needing to simply score at the Camp Nou and rely on their resolute defence, but that’s so much easier said than done.
AC Milan clung on brilliantly on Wednesday, but it wasn’t without its share of luck and poor finishing from Barca. Expecting that to be repeated next week, well, that’s crazy.
Guardiola told reporters: “That Milan are happy with tonight’s result is the greatest praise for us. You never settle a tie in the first leg, and the only thing we are missing is an away goal.
“We deserve a lot of recognition for coming here and trying to play football. I give my players credit for managing 17 shots on goal.”
Indeed, on another day one of those goes in and the whole complexion of the tie changes.
Guardiola continued: “To be champions you must come through all types of tests. We have come through many before and we will continue to do so. We must try to do things better each time, there is no other way. Apart from the first few threats – including [Zlatan] Ibrahimović’s one-on-one with [Víctor] Valdés – they hardly had a shot the entire game.
“The return match will be very difficult as Milan have a lot of quality but we know that to make it to the semi-finals we only have to win one game and we will need a full stadium and the backing of our supporters to achieve that. A draw will be no use to us at the Camp Nou.”
It’s a win or nothing for Barca, but surely you’d back them in, considering their quality and dominance in the first leg.