A last-gasp equaliser from Daniel Van Buyten earned FC Bayern München a 2-2 draw at AC Milan and gave the German side the edge in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League quarter-final.
The Belgian international defender turned in from close range with 12 minutes remaining to cancel out Andrea Pirlo's first-half opener, but Milan regained the lead within six minutes as Kaká was adjudged to have been fouled by Lucio and picked himself up to calmly stroke in his seventh UEFA Champions League goal of the season from the spot. Just when it seemed Milan would take the narrowest of advantages into the second leg in Munich next Wednesday, however, Van Buyten capitalised on uncertainty in the home defence to clinch a potentially vital draw with the last kick of the match.
As six-time European champions, Milan have a close affinity with this competition and they set about defending their heritage with great resolve. After just two minutes Clarence Seedorf – the only man to lift the European Champion Clubs' Cup with three different teams - came within a stud's length of putting the home side ahead when he stole in at the far post in a bid to meet Marek Jankulovski's left-wing cross.
The left-back looked threatening every time he surged forward and another of his centres forced the game's first corner. From it, Massimo Ambrosini headed goalwards only for Michael Rensing, replacing the suspended Oliver Kahn, to make a wonderful reflex save. Bayern sat back for long spells, wary of the counterattacking danger represented by Kaká, so the visitors' chief menace came from long range, with Bastian Schweinsteiger and Andreas Ottl keeping Dida on his toes.
At the other end, Rensing was proving himself a capable deputy as his reactions frustrated Alberto Gilardino's header at point-blank range. Alessandro Nesta's searching ball was superbly half-volleyed across goal by Massimo Oddo but somehow Rensing's outstretched arm denied the striker. Milan did not have to wait long for their breakthrough, however. Five minutes before the break, Pirlo allowed Kaká's cut-back to run for Oddo, whose clever chip caught out the Bayern rearguard and gave Pirlo the chance to loop an angled header over Rensing.
Seven minutes after half-time Gilardino had the ball in the net again but instead of a second goal, his efforts were rewarded with an offside flag and a caution to rule him out of next week's return. Milan threatened again within seconds as Ambrosini's cross invited Kaká's point-blank finish, yet for once the Brazilian missed his cue - and the ball entirely. Alessandro Nesta, meanwhile, was missing nothing at the back although Paolo Maldini needed all his experience to stop Makaay racing clear.
Bayern's new-found positive approach gained them a goal 12 minutes from time through the unlikely figure of Van Buyten. Hasan Salihamidžić's deep delivery was won by Claudio Pizarro and the unmarked Van Buyten, who had come forward for an earlier corner, duly made no mistake. Milan's reply was swift, as Kaká broke through down the left and tumbled under Lucio's challenge. Referee Yuri Baskakov pointed to the spot and the Brazilian provided an assured finish to spark jubilant scenes among the home support - yet it was Bayern who had the last laugh.