Home » Champ League, Featured, Latest » CL Match Report: Barcelona 3 AC Milan 1; 3-1 on agg

Barcelona set up a possible semi-final rematch with Chelsea as they beat AC Milan last night to become the first side to reach the last four of the Champions League five seasons running.

They were given a generous penalty towards the end of the first half, which was dispatched by Lionel Messi, who, having already converted from the spot, has now equalled José Atalfini’s record from the 1962-63 season for Milan with 14 goals in one European Cup campaign.

Messi had snatched at a couple of early chances but once again he proved the difference and the man he passed to at Stamford Bridge in 2009 for the goal that broke Chelsea hearts in the dying moments, Andres Iniesta, claimed the all important third goal. Iniesta and Messi must now wait and see if they are off to London again, Milan had been tough test for them and Chelsea will take heart from the scare they gave the holders if they can clear the Benfica hurdle tonight.

Despite saying before the game that it would be difficult to face Milan with just three at the back Pep Guardiola picked young Isaac Cuenca to play wide left and with Dani Alves wide right lined up with just three defenders. There were nine home growns in the starting line-up.

Ibrahimovic looked predictably fired-up and shot wide as he pulled away from a stretching Pique. Antonio Nocerino then crossed dangerously from the right as Milan made a mockery of the idea they might play for the penalties they had practised in their last training session.

Their ambition allowed Barcelona space and Messi shot into the arms of Christian Abbiati after a typical run at the heart of Milan’s defence. He then missed an even better chance. Dani Alves crossed from the right, Fabregas played the ball through to him in space but he shot wide of Abbiati’s far post.

With just one goal against Italian sides in eight games Messi had made an uncharacteristically nervous start and in Barcelona’s next attack he passed the ball back to Xavi having been a far better position to score himself having dispossessed and raced away from Ignazio Abate.

Xavi couldn’t reach the pass but when Iniesta picked up the loose ball and shot the rebound came out to Messi and he was brought down by Antonini. From the penalty spot Messi squeezed his shot just under Abbiati to put Barcelona 1-0 up. As with his only other goal against Italian teams in the Champions League Messi had scored from the spot and the nerves were calmed.

Fabregas could then have doubled Barcelona’s lead as he ran onto Cuenca’s pass but failed to beat the keeper.

With the youngster stretching Milan on one side and Alves doing the same on the other wing the defence that held out so well in the San Siro looked less assured and Alves could also have scored but overrun the ball straight into the path of the overworked Abbiati.

But on 33 minutes Milan were level and it was Ibrahimovic who delivered the pass for Antonio Nocerino to score. He raced across to embrace Massimiliano Allegri on the touchline. The visitors were on level terms and through.

But on 33 minutes Milan were level and it was Ibrahimovic who delivered the pass for Antonio Nocerino to score. He raced across to embrace Massimiliano Allegri on the touchline. The visitors were on level terms but only until Allesandro Nesta pulled at Busquet’s shirt and referee Bjorn Kulpers pointed to the spot.

Messi got his second of the night and his 14th in the Champions League this season and Barcelona had the lead again. Milan protested furiously and were upset again at the restart when Alves appeared to bring down Robinho but the referee waved away the appeals.

Barcelona, lifted by a full Nou Camp were now keeping better possession but Bate raced away down the right and when he played in Kevin Prince Boateng the former Portsmouth won a corner. It was taken short and then floated into the area where Ibrahimovic went up with Valdes only to be penalised.

From the next move Barcelona made it three. Messi’s shot was blocked and the loose ball ran to Iniesta who found Abbiati’s far corner.

Match details

Barcelona (4-3-3): Valdes; Alves, Pique (Adriano 75), Mascherano, Puyol; Xavi (Alcantara 63), Busquets, Fabregas (Keita 78); Cuenca, Messi, Iniesta. Subs: Pinto (g), Sanchez, Pedro, Tello. Booked: Mascherano.

AC Milan (4-3-3): Abbiati; Abate, Mexes, Nesta, Antonini; Seedorf (Aquilani 61), Ambrosini, Nocerino; Ibrahimovic, Boateng (Pato 70), Robinho. Subs: Amelia (g), Lopez, Bonera, Emanuelson, Yepes. Booked: Antonini, Nesta, Seedorf, Robinho, Nocerino.

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