Milan hit back at Barca

Mascherano the latest to criticise the San Siro pitch

AC Milan have responded to Barcelona's complaints about the state of the San Siro pitch

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AC Milan have rejected criticism from Barcelona that the San Siro pitch was not up to standard for their UEFA Champions League encounter.

Barcelona have complained to UEFA regarding the condition of the surface during Wednesday night's 0-0 draw in the first leg of the quarter-final tie.

However, the Serie A leaders have responded to Barca's comments and have insisted that the referee and UEFA delegates deemed the pitch to be fit for purpose.

A club statement read: "With reference to the protest lodged by FC Barcelona regarding the condition of the pitch at the San Siro, AC Milan wishes to communicate that:

"1) The watering of the pitch within an hour before kick-off, as agreed in the organisational meeting yesterday morning, was not done due to the already high levels of humidity of the pitch.

"2) The general state of the pitch, which the Barcelona team trained on the previous evening without any problems, was declared to be acceptable by the referees and the UEFA delegates."

Difficult

Meanwhile, Barca midfielder Javier Mascherano has joined in the criticism of the San Siro pitch following the first-leg stalemate.

Mascherano said: "It was very difficult to control the ball. The pitch wasn't any good at all and it made it slippery.

"But we can't do anything about that, we can't pretend to make Milan play in another stadium.

"They are used to playing all their league games at the San Siro, the same as Inter."