Barcelona dump Milan out of Champions League

Posted on by SoccerPunter

Barcelona put up an incredible performance to win the match 4-0 at Camp Nou and eliminate AC Milan from the UEFA Champions League.

Lionel Messi rose to the occasion by putting two goals past AC Milan in the first half to even the aggregate scoreline. Messi has impressed the football fans with his fine passing and amazing dribbling skills to tear apart the Italy Serie A club defensive system.

It was a nervous night for AC Milan as they were unable to attack swiftly and often lost  possession to Barcelona.

David Villa and Jordi Alba sealed the massive victory for Barcelona with goals in the second half to effectively book a place in Champions League quarter finals.

On a personal level, Messi’s brace saw him reach yet another landmark in an incredible career.

He now has 58 Champions League goals, two more than Ruud van Nistelrooy, and his target now is Raul’s all-time best of 71.

Before the game, it was a question of which out-of-form strikers would play with Messi in attack, and in the end Pedro Rodriguez was chosen along with Villa.

At the back, captain Carles Puyol, who was carrying a slight knock, was not risked and so Javier Mascherano started alongside Gerard Pique.

Even with a two-goal advantage from the first leg, Milan knew they would be in for a tough night but they would have hoped to withstand the Barca pressure for longer than they did.

The home side surged forward from the start and Milan could do nothing when Messi exchanged passes with Xavi Hernandez before stroking a beautiful finish into the top corner from the edge of the area after six minutes.

The tempo was considerably quicker from Barca than in recent matches but they had to be wary of Milan on the counter attack.

The visitors were without an important player in Giampaolo Pazzini, who suffered an injury in Milan’s 2-0 win over Genoa at the weekend, as well as the cup-tied Mario Balotelli, but they still had quality in attack.

Stephan El Shaarawy gave the hosts a warning with a scuffed shot in front of goal which was dealt with by goalkeeper Victor Valdes as Barca’s assistant coach Jordi Roura, on the touchline, urged his team to calm down.

Milan were not comfortable at the back and Christian Abbiati could only palm an Andres Iniesta shot onto the crossbar. Messi was quickest to the rebound but, from a tight angle, headed into the side netting.

Abbiati then denied Xavi but, as the half progressed, Milan succeeded in taking the steam out of the game.

The near-95,000 crowd could see Barca’s Champions League hopes fading in the 38th minute when last-man Mascherano, stretching, could only head the ball to M’Baye Niang.

The youngster bore down on goal, only to see his shot rebound off the far post to safety.

Seconds later, Iniesta fed Messi, who fired in Barcelona’s second through the legs of Philippe Mexes from 20 yards.

The Argentine maintained the same drive after the break, firing a volley over the crossbar and tormenting the Italian defence.

But it was the turn of Villa, who had had a quiet night, to get the third as he controlled a Xavi pass and slotted home clinically.

Barca sat back on their lead and, perhaps because of their patchy recent results, got more and more anxious knowing a goal for Milan would still send the Italians through.

Alba made a crucial block to deny substitute Robinho, before the left-back finally eased the tension when he got the fourth goal two minutes into stoppage time.

Alexis Sanchez played in the Spanish international, who kept his cool to knock the ball in.

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