Last-gasp Milan snatches draw at Barca

Updated: September 13, 2011, 11:04 PM ET
Associated Press

Barcelona conceded a goal after 24 seconds and another in stoppage time, opening its Champions League title defense Tuesday with a 2-2 draw against visiting AC Milan. Arsenal played to a 1-1 tie, stunned by Borussia Dortmund's late goal.

Pato opened the scoring for Milan and, after goals from Pedro and David Villa, looked to have put Barcelona in control, Thiago Silva's header secured a point in Group H.

Dortmund tied it in the 88th minute, with Ivan Perisic's volley canceling out Robin Van Persie's first-half goal for Arsenal in the tie in Group F.

Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas oversaw a 2-0 victory against Bayer Leverkusen in Group E in his first Champions League match, while his former club Porto recovered to beat nine-man Shakhtar Donetsk 2-1 in Group G.

While Porto won the Europa League in May, Barcelona lifted the European Cup for the second time in three years.

The Wembley Stadium victory cemented Barcelona's status as world soccer's superpower, and Pep Guardiola's team is the favorite to become European champions for the fifth time in May.

But the script went against them at the Nou Camp on Tuesday against a Milan team missing Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Robinho to injury.

Only 24 seconds had elapsed when Pato coolly slid the ball under goalkeeper Victor Valdes after dashing through Barcelona's half.

A determined Lionel Messi led the Spanish champions' response as the Argentina forward created Pedro's 36th-minute tying goal before Villa curled a long-range free kick into the net five minutes into the second half.

"We could have played better after Barcelona took the lead," AC Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri said. "But I'm happy because the team did not collapse until we found the late equalizer."

That came deep into stoppage time when Thiago jumped high to meet Clarence Seedorf's corner to secure a point for Milan.

"In the Champions League, teams can create goals out of nothing against you and you can end up with egg on your face as was the case tonight," Barcelona winger Dani Alves told UEFA's website. "We played a great game but we didn't kill it off and we saw the consequences against a great rival."

All four teams in Group H are on one point after BATE Borisov and Viktoria Plzen tied 1-1.

In Germany, Arsenal went in front just before halftime when Van Persie won possession from Sebastian Kehl and played a one-two with Theo Walcott before beating Dortmund goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller with his shot.

But after Marcel Schmelzer's free kick was only half-cleared by Kieran Gibbs toward the end, Perisic volleyed in a late tying goal.

The draw enabled Marseille to go to the top of the group after Lucho Gonzalez secured a 1-0 victory over Olympiakos.

The Argentine exploited a lapse in the Greek defense, meeting Jeremy Morel's cross before beating former River Plate teammate Franco Costanzo in the Olympiakos goal.

At Stamford Bridge, Fernando Torres' scoring drought continued for Chelsea, but he set up both goals.

David Luiz ran onto Torres' layoff before bending a sublime strike into the bottom corner of the net midway through the second half.

And after Torres broke down the left flank, Juan Mata tapped home the second with almost the last kick of the game.

Chelsea is atop Group E after Racing Genk drew 0-0 with Valencia in the other match.

There were two victories in Group G -- both by 2-1 scores.

At Porto's Stadium of the Dragon, all the goals came from Brazilians.

Porto goalkeeper Helton handed Shakhtar the lead after 12 minutes, failing to hold Willian's weak shot from outside the area and spilling the ball for Luiz Adriano to tap in.

But striker Hulk tied it for Porto directly from a free kick just before the half hour, and Kleber latched onto James Rodriguez's cross to poke in the host's winner six minutes after halftime.

Shakhtar lost left back Yaroslav Rakitskiy just before halftime for a studs-up challenge on Joao Moutinho, and center back Dmytro Chygrynskiy was shown his second yellow card in the 80th.

There was a first-ever Champions League win for APOEL Nicosia after second-half goals from Gustavo Manduca and Ailton secured a 2-1 win over Zenit St. Petersburg.


Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press