Champions League round-up: AC Milan jeered after Anderlecht claim point
AC MILAN produced another disjointed home performance as they were held 0-0 by Anderlecht in their opening Champions League Group C match at a restless and one-third full San Siro last night.
Visiting goalkeeper Silvio Proto produced four outstanding saves to frustrate Milan who created more chances despite being outplayed for long periods.
The highlight for Proto came when he blocked a point-blank header from substitute Stephan El Shaarawy just after the hour.
Anderlecht, back in the Champions League after a six-year absence, should have gone ahead shortly before that when Dieudonne Mbokani flicked the ball through to Lucas Biglia who burst into the area but fired over with only keeper Christian Abbiati to beat.
Milan were jeered off by a 27,000 crowd at the 80,000 capacity San Siro after failing to score for the third straight home game this season, having suffered 1-0 defeats by Sampdoria and Atalanta in Serie A.
Earlier, the Belgians began with some flowing moves involving Brazilian playmaker Kanu and Argentine midfielder Biglia and Sacha Kljestan nearly gave them the lead with a low shot that was turned around the post by Abbiati.
Milan, struggling to rebuild after selling Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva in the close season, somehow managed to produce some dangerous situations which brought out the best in Proto. He did well to deny close-range efforts from Mathieu Flamini and Kevin-Prince Boateng and also foiled Urby Emanuelson after the forward got behind the defence to meet Luca Antonini’s raking crossfield pass with a first-time shot.
In the other Group C match, Malaga enjoyed a dream Champions League debut as Francisco “Isco” Alarcon scored twice in a 3-0 win over Zenit St Petersburg. Javier Saviola was also on target.
In Arsenal’s Group B, goals either side of the break from Benedikt Hoewedes and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar gave Bundesliga side Schalke a 2-1 win over Olympiacos in Athens, while in Manchester City’s Group D, Robert Lewandowski scored late to give Borussia Dortmund a 1-0 victory over Dutch champions Ajax.
In Group A, Paris St Germain produced some brilliant football in a 4-1 home win over Dynamo Kiev. Zlatan Ibrahimovic opened the scoring from the penalty spot, Thiago Silva netted on his debut, Alex made it 3-0 just past the half-hour mark and Javier Pastore wrapped up the victory with a fourth in stoppage time. In the other match, Lucho Gonzales and Steven Defour scored late in each half to give Porto a 2-0 victory over Dinamo Zagreb.
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