Marco Borriello's early opener was cancelled out by Lucho Gonzalez but neither side could summon the requisite gumption to locate a winner.
Brandao should have given OM a second half lead when he missed a close ranger with the goal at his mercy but Didier Deschamps' side will now need to find a favourable result in their final game against Real Madrid while Milan visit FC Zurich with the odds stacked in their favour.
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.
Milan's lead didn't last long, though. Mamadou Niang powered down the left wing and sent over a cross that Dida failed to punch clear, and Gonzalez hammered the rebound into the unguarded net from the rebound.
Four minutes later, Fabrice Abriel cut in from the right wing and let fly with a left-footed drive that flew just over the crossbar.
Two long balls from Thiago Silva then caused problems for the Marseille defense. First, he picked out Borriello in the box but Mandanda raced off his line and smothered the ball.
Marseille's defense then allowed the ball to bounce into the area, but Alexandre Pato lifted his shot over Mandanda and the bar.
Pato created a chance for himself in the 57th with a flick and turn before shooting wide. In the 61st, Borriello drove his shot wide after Ronaldinho had set him up.
Marseille should have taken the lead in the 65th. Edouard Cisse slipped the ball through to Niang, whose low cross to the far post was missed by teammate Brandao with an open goal at his mercy.
MILAN, Italy (AFP) - AC Milan and Marseille drew 1-1 in the Champions League on Wednesday to give the Italians a slight edge in the race for the knock-out stages.
With Real Madrid winning 1-0 at home to FC Zurich, they now lead Milan by two points with the French team a further point behind in Group C.
Marseille must beat the Spaniards in France in two weeks to have any chance of progressing but if they do win, Milan will have to beat Zurich in Switzerland or it will be them who crash out.
Milan were left holding on for the point at the end as the visitors hit the woodwork but coach Leonardo said it was a fair result.
"Maybe Marseille had the clearer chances but we also had chances in the second half, it seems to me that a draw was fair," he said.
"I'm optimistic (about qualification). Marseille had played on Friday and had five days of rest, we only had three.
"They had more energy and that played a role. We wanted to qualify today but we drew, now we have to go to Zurich and play with a lot of concentration."
The draw meant Milan failed to win any of their three home matches in this competition.
"It's strange, in the past San Siro has been a fortress but this year we're struggling," admitted striker Marco Borriello.
Marseille coach Didier Deschamps, who was a member of the Marseille side that beat Milan in the 1993 Champions League final, was not happy.
"It is not a very good result, because we needed to win," said Deschamos, who guided Monaco to the 2004 Champions League final.
"Seeing what my team did here, there was every chance we should have won.
"However, the dream is still possible. We have a small chance."
Milan went ahead on 10 minutes following dreadful defending from Marseille as Mamadou Niang gave the ball away on the halfway line, allowing Borriello to run at Gabriel Heinze and get past the former Manchester United and Real Madrid man with embarrassing ease before slipping the ball under Mandanda.
The lead lasted only six minutes, though, as more lax defending contributed to the restoration of parity.
Niang beat Massimo Oddo far too easily on the left and Alessandro Nesta came across to cover but seemed to pull out of the challenge, allowing Niang to hit a cross that goalkeeper Dida could only palm out to Lucho Gonzalez, who rifled home.
A couple of minutes later Lucho hit a left footer that had Dida sweating as he watched it fly just past the angle of post and bar.
There was more poor defending on 25 minutes as Thiago Silva's long ball from his own half sent Borriello clear of the defence but Souleymane Diawara just managed to bend his leg around the striker and clip the ball as the Italian went to pull the trigger.
Niang was troubling Milan's right and late in the half he got down the line but his cut-back was just behind strike-partner Brandao.
The second half was a calm affair until 65 minutes when Brazilian Brandao somehow contrived to miss an open goal.
Benoit Cheyrou slipped Niang in behind substitute Ignazio Abate and his cross picked out Brandao on the edge of the six yard box but with the goal gaping he somehow managed to direct the ball onto the bar.
Ronaldinho almost caught out Mandanda with a cross-cum-shot before Bakari Kone escaped up the other end on the break, but with Brandao unmarked at the back post, his poor control allowed Abate to clear the danger.
From the corner Diawara's header agonisingly came back off the foot of the post.
MILAN, Italy (AFP) - AC Milan can secure qualification to the Champions League knock-out stages and gain an element of revenge if they beat Marseille at the San Siro in Group C on Wednesday.
Marseille beat Milan 1-0 in the first Champions League final in 1993 to become the first and only French team to win Europe's premier competition.
That was the last time the two sides had met until September's clash on the Cote d'Azur, with Milan running out 2-1 winners.
That was a game that Milan came into in poor form and in which Marseille dominated but were stung by two typically predatory finishes from Filippo Inzaghi.
Having lost that game and then been well beaten away to Real Madrid, Marseille's hopes of advancing seemed small, but they have responded well, beating FC Zurich home and away to push themselves to within a point of Milan and Madrid.
If the Italians and Spaniards both win, they will qualify for the second round, so Marseille have to get something out of this game to ensure they stay in the hunt.
They will also be looking for revenge on Milan having lost a game they should have won on the south coast.
And given the recent goalscoring form of both teams, this promises to be an entertaining encounter.
Prior to Friday's 1-0 win over Paris St Germain, Marseille had banged in 11 goals in their previous two matches while Milan showed in their 4-3 defeat of Cagliari on Sunday that they can be irresistible going forward.
What could make this match equally interesting, though, is the difficulties both teams have at times at the back.
Marseille's 11 goals came in a 6-1 win in Zurich and then a 5-5 draw away to Lyon in which they had actually held a 4-2 lead with 10 minutes left.
The south coast club have been at best inconsistent this season, although there have been signs under coach Didier Deschamps that they are headed in the right direction.
And Deschamps is no stranger to beating Milan having captained that Marseille side that won the Champions League in 1993.
He also put one over Milan coach Leonardo on the field in 1998 in the World Cup final in Paris when France beat Brazil 3-0.
But Leonardo arrives at this match with a much improved reputation to the one he had when the sides first met this season.
The rookie looked like a fish out of water at the beginning of the season as his team managed only six goals in their first nine matches, failing to find the net in five of those and winning only three of them.
But for Milan's financial difficulties, he might well have been a candidate for an early sacking.
Yet Milan kept faith and Leonardo's record and standing have been heading in the right direction.
The rossoneri have not lost in nine matches and won six of the last eight.
Perhaps more important is how they have been playing, particularly in attack.
Ronaldinho, who had looked like a shadow of his former self throughout much of 2009, has benefitted from the faith Leonardo has been showing him and although his turn of pace has gone, he has not lost any of his ability on the ball.
Leonardo's three-pronged attack is also working wonders with the injury-prone Marco Borriello - who is a doubt for Wednesday with a knee problem - proving the perfect foil for Ronaldinho and Pato either side of him.
Borriello's strength and ability to hold up play and bring others into the game has proved a better combination with the two Brazilians than Inzaghi's style of hovering on the edge of the offside line.
Pato has also rediscovered his scoring touch after a lean spell and with Clarence Seedorf and Andrea Pirlo in the side, Milan are firing.
But it is at the back where they are suffering, particularly in the absence of centre-half Alessandro Nesta and defensive midfielder Gennaro Gattuso.
Both should be missing again on Wednesday and that could help ensure a spectacular occasion.
MILAN, Italy (AFP) - AC Milan coach Leonardo insisted on Tuesday that his team has been buoyed by a recent unbeaten run of nine games ahead of Wednesday's Champions League clash against Marseille.
Milan top group C on head-to-head record over Real Madrid with the French giants just a point behind.
If the Italians win they will be through to the knock-out phase, while a draw would mean they can guarantee qualification by beating FC Zurich in two weeks.
And Leonardo says his team, who have won six of their last eight, is brimming with confidence.
"The recent positive results have boosted our morale," he said. "This team has a great tradition in Europe and we have to be aware of that.
"The match in September in Marseille gave us a lot, it made us more secure but every time we go out onto the pitch we have to start from scratch.
"Tomorrow's match will also be important for Marseille. Tomorrow we'll try to maintain our level of play, as always we'll try to win and so too I think will Marseille."
Marseille beat Milan in the first Champions League final in 1993 but since then French club football has struggled to keep up with Italy, England and Spain.
Even so, Leonardo, who used to play for Paris St Germain, insists French teams should be feared.
"French football, alongside Italian and Spanish football, is very even. Maybe the French championship is followed less on a world level," he said.
"But right now Marseille, Bordeaux, Lyon and PSG represent very well what French football is all about."
Leonardo was once again forced to answers questions regarding the future of defensive midfielder Gennaro Gattuso, who is rumoured to want a move to the English Premier League.
But having previously dismissed any such notion, Leonardo was more ambiguous in his response this time around.
"Gattuso's situation is very clear, I talked with him, he's injured and everyone hopes he will get better soon," said the Brazilian coach.
"His problem, if there is one, will be dealt with when the time comes. He has a great relationship with the club and whatever needs to be arranged isn't and never will be a real problem.
"His problem right now is an injury and I hope he'll be back soon."
Leonardo dampened fears that forward Marco Borriello might miss the game with a knee problem, saying he would be assessed after training.
And the coach paid tribute to one of the stalwarts of the Milan team over the last seven years, Clarence Seedorf.
At 33 the former Dutch international is still an important part of the Milan midfield.
"He is a master at keeping up his level of concentration and that's why after many years, and at his age, he can still make a difference," said his coach.
"He has based his career on concentration and attention to detail. Anyone who has followed his career can only find his form logical, he's led an exemplary career in regards to looking after himself."
Seedorf himself said Milan would be looking to go all the way in the Champions League this season.
"We're just one step away from the last 16 and we simply have to believe in ourselves, not just when it comes to making the second round but also in terms of winning this competition," he said.
"It's in this club's DNA to aim for the sky and that's what allows us to move forwards.
"Marseille are a very good side, we got a great result over there. They have our respect and we'll try to impose our game on them."