Nesta bemused by penalty decision

AC Milan defender Alessandro Nesta was left bewildered by the penalty given against him during their Champions League loss to Barcelona.

Referee Bjorn Kuipers pointed to the spot after the former Italy international had tangled with Barcelona duo Carles Puyol and Sergio Busquets in the area as they awaited the delivery for a corner shortly before half-time of the quarter-final second-leg clash.

Milan were incensed by the decision, given the ball had not been in play at the time, and Nesta has admitted that he has no idea why he was penalised.

"I pulled Puyol out of the way but only after he blocked me," the World Cup winner said. "Not a single one of the players protested."

Team-mate Clarence Seedorf also agreed the penalty was unwarranted.

"The referee blew and the penalties were given," he said. "It's true that I didn't see what happened but, speaking to the referee, for me he made a mistake (on the second penalty).

"If he saw that a foul was being committed (before the ball was in play), he should have stopped the game, which is what always happens.

"That was a key moment in the game, but we didn't lose because of that."

Despite the controversy caused by the penalty, which Lionel Messi converted to set Barca on their way to a 3-1 victory, Nesta conceded that the better side had progressed to the semi-finals.

"Barcelona are strong," he said. "If you leave them space, they start to play like they know how.

"There's a big difference between us but I think that Milan have the economic power and the technical talent to get closer and one day or another this (Barca) team will start to fall.

"I think that in these two games we've shown that they can be beaten. But it's true that they have Messi, who's like having an extra player and good for them that they have him.

"We were unlucky and there's no shame in losing to the best in the world."

The former Lazio captain has won two Champions League titles during his decade-long Milan career.

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