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Lucho equaliser denies Milan
AC Milan will have to sweat to the end over their Champions League progress after being held by Marseille in their Group C match at the San Siro.

Lucho Gonzalez's 16th-minute equaliser for the French cancelled out Marco Borriello's opener six minutes earlier.

Milan dominated possession in the second half but failed to make the most of their chances and were fortunate to escape with a draw after Marseille were twice denied by the post. The outcome left Milan second, one point clear of their opponents and two behind Real Madrid, who beat FC Zurich 1-0.

Borriello recovered from a knee injury sustained at the weekend and was included in Milan's starting XI, playing alongside Alexandre Pato and Ronaldinho up front. The Rossoneri dominated possession and took an early lead. Pato fed Borriello, who surged inside the area, got past Gabriel Heinze and fired from close-range past Marseille goalkeeper Steve Mandanda.

But the visitors reacted well and soon levelled. Milan goalkeeper Dida managed to clear Mamadou Niang's cross inside the area but only as far as Gonzalez, who made no mistake as he returned the loose ball into the net. The goal sparked the French side into life and they should have taken the lead after 19 minutes. Fabrice Abriel played a one-two with Gonzalez before firing over the crossbar.

Midway through the first half, Niang's stinging drive from 30 yards forced Dida to make a fine save.

Milan struggled to get past Marseille's well-placed defence and, shortly after the half-hour mark, Andrea Pirlo wasted a good chance with his powerful free-kick going off target.

The hosts twice had the chance to make it 2-1 before the break. Pato's lobbed ball beat Mandanda but his effort went over the bar while soon after, Thiago Silva's angled strike from the edge of the area went inches wide of the far post. Milan picked up where they left off after the restart and Mandanda was called upon to deny Pirlo from long range.

On the hour mark, Pato's effort from the edge of the area cleared the crossbar. Leonardo's men continued to surge forward and Borriello should have put his team in front after being set up by Ronaldinho, but he struck wide from inside the area.

For all their superiority, Milan could have gone behind soon after. Brandao met Niang's cross and fired from inside the six-yard box only to see his shot strike the crossbar. With 15 minutes remaining, Abriel's bullet strike went wide of the near post.

Milan came close to taking the lead again in the 83rd minute but Borriello's header from Ronaldinho's cross went off target.

The visitors were unlucky not to take maximum points with four minutes left after Souleymane Diawara's header from a corner-kick beat Dida but rebounded off the far post.
 
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