Milan draws 1-1 against Malaga in Champions League


MILAN (AP) -Alexandre Pato's late header enabled AC Milan to come from behind to draw 1-1 at home to Malaga on Tuesday, the first goal the Spanish side has conceded to ruin its perfect Champions League record.

Malaga, however, still went through to the knockout stages in its first Champions League campaign with the result. The team remains top of Group C with 10 points after dropping its first points. Milan is five points further back in second place.

Eliseu put Malaga ahead against the run of play in the 40th minute after goalkeeper Willy had pulled off two tremendous saves to deny Bojan Krkic and Urby Emanuelson.

However, Pato scored his first goal since coming back from eight months out with injury to rescue a point for Milan in the 73rd.

It is the first goal Malaga has conceded in five Champions League matches, including the final round of playoffs against Panathinaikos.

Milan was hit by an early blow when Ignazio Abate was forced off in the sixth minute after being unable to shake off an injury he picked up in the warm-up. He was replaced by Mattia De Sciglio.

The first shot on goal came in the 16th minute with a tame effort by Eliseu, which was easily saved by Milan goalkeeper Christian Abbiati.

That seemed to serve as a wake-up call for Milan, which almost took the lead following some good work on the left side of the area by Stephan El Shaarawy. The young striker cut the ball back to Bojan, who tried to pick out De Sciglio, but it was comfortably gathered by goalkeeper Willy.

Willy did even better moments later, diving at full stretch to tip Bojan's 20-yard effort around the post.

Milan went close again, with Bojan crossing for El Shaarawy's shot to hit Malaga defender Weligton.

Willy pulled off another fantastic save in the 27th minute to turn Emanuelson's 20-yard free kick around his right post.

However, all of Milan's good work was undone five minutes before halftime following a moment of magic from Isco, whose delightful through ball allowed Eliseu to drill the ball into the bottom corner.

Emanuelson almost leveled on the stroke of halftime but his effort skimmed the top of the crossbar from 20 yards.

Milan struggled to carve out decent opportunities after the break. Emanuelson blazed an effort over the bar when he could have passed to a teammate in a better position.

The home fans at the San Siro, which was half empty with less 31,000 people in attendance, were beginning to show their frustration and loud boos rang out when El Shaarawy - Milan's leading scorer this season - was substituted for Kevin-Prince Boateng shortly after the hour mark.

Boateng's first touch was a long-range effort which he hoofed woefully over the bar.

Milan leveled in the 73rd minute when Pato headed in Constant's cross.

There was more good news for Milan when Robinho came off the bench for the final 10 minutes for his first appearance after almost a month out with a thigh injury.

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