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2 vs 0
Played
February 21, 2013 1:15 AM IST
Stadio Giuseppe Meazza — Milano
Referee:‬ C. Thomson‎
Attendance:‬ 79532‎
 
Top of the Match
Stephan El Shaarawy
Stephan El Shaarawy
Milan
Stephan El Shaarawy
Stephan El Shaarawy
Milan
Flop of the Match
Cesc Fàbregas
Cesc Fàbregas
Barcelona
Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
Barcelona

AC Milan 2-0 Barcelona: Boateng and Muntari leave Catalans on brink

The former Portsmouth pair struck in the second half of a memorable victory for the Rossoneri, who defended with their lives to clinch a priceless first-leg win

By Keeghann Sinanan

Kevin-Prince Boateng, Milan-Barcellona
Getty Images
A textbook smash and grab display from AC Milan was enough to see them upset Barcelona 2-0 in the opening leg of their Champions League round of 16 clash at San Siro on Wednesday.

Kevin-Prince Boateng opened the scoring during the second half in controversial circumstances after an apparent handball by Cristian Zapata in the build-up, and Sulley Muntari finished off a counterattack for the second goal with nine minutes to go.

Much like last season's 0-0 quarter-final first leg meeting between the two sides, Barca dominated possession, but were unable to convert their dominance into goals in the face of impressive defensive resistance from the Rossoneri, who now look like convincing favourites to advance to the last eight. 

In the absence of the cup-tied Mario Balotelli, Massimiliano Allegri called on Giampaolo Pazzini to partner Stephan El Shaarawy up front, while Xavi passed a late fitness test to start in midfield for the visitors.

Early on, Phillipe Mexes was forced to head away a Jordi Alba cross dangerously close to the far post, but the first real opening came when Pazzini’s flick put El Shaarawy in the clear, but a poor first touch allowed Carles Puyol to remove the danger.

As expected, Milan were put under significant pressure by the tiki-taka football of Barcelona, but, to their credit, were able to stifle the Blaugrana in great numbers, and force them to bide their time with patient passes outside the area.

Mexes was shown a 25th minute yellow card for tripping up Lionel Messi, but the first half passed with little incident as Barca could do little with all their possession, while Milan’s rare forays forward were snuffed out almost as quickly as they began.

The second half progressed in much the same vein as the first with Barca on top, but, just before the hour mark, Milan would take the lead out of nowhere in controversial circumstances.

Kevin Constant laid off a free kick to Riccardo Montolivo, whose shot appeared to cannon off the hand of Zapata. There was no call from the referee, however, and Barca were stunned as Boateng steadied himself to finish from the edge of the box.

Animated protests from the visitors only led to a booking for Gerard Pique, and Barca's frustration continued in front of goal, with Andres Iniesta's fizzing drive from distance about the best they could muster.

And with 81 minutes on the clock, Milan were in dreamland when a sweeping move on the break saw M'Baye Niang release El Shaarawy into the area, who in turn teed up the advancing Muntari for a precise finish from inside the box.

The San Siro was rocking with pride and disbelief, and Barca simply could not find a way back into the match in the time that remained, setting up an enticing second-leg at Camp Nou in three weeks, with the Catalans needing to score at least twice.





Milan

32
Christian Abbiati
Goalkeeper
3.00
5
Philippe Mexes
Defender
25′
3.50
17
Cristian Zapata
Defender
57′
3.50
20
Ignazio Abate
Defender
3.50
21
Kevin Constant
Midfielder
4.00
9
4.00
18
Riccardo Montolivo
Midfielder
4.00
21
Massimo Ambrosini
Midfielder
4.00
4
Sulley Muntari
Midfielder
81′
4.00
11
3.00
92
4.00

Barcelona

3.00
1
2.00
22
3.00
3
Piqué
Defender
57′
2.00
5
2.50
18
Jordi Alba
Defender
1.50
4
Cesc Fàbregas
Midfielder
62′
2.50
6
Xavi
Midfielder
3.00
8
2.00
16
Busquets
Midfielder
54′
2.50
10
2.00
7
Pedro
Striker

Substitutes

1
Marco Amelia
Goalkeeper
 - 
2
 - 
33
Mario Yepes
Defender
 - 
24
 - 
-
Bakaye Traoré
Midfielder
87′ 91′
 - 
-
 - 
9
3.50

Substitutes

 - 
13
 - 
2
Montoya
Defender
 - 
6
 - 
14
 - 
17
Alex Song
Midfielder
2.00
9
 - 
20
Tello
Striker

Coach/Manager

Coach/Manager

 
  • Goal
  • Own Goal
  • Penalty
  • Penalty Missed
  • Yellow Card
  • Assist
  • Penalty Save
  • Penalty Shootout Goal
  • Penalty Shootout Miss
  • Yellow Card / Red Card
  • Red Card
  • Substitution IN
  • Substitution OUT
  • Injury
  • Goal.com Rating
  • Goal.com Man of the Match
  • Goal.com Flop of the Match
  • Top & Flop Global Ranking
  • Fans' Man of the Match
  • Fans' Flop of the Match
Results
 
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Cristiano Ronaldo Cristiano Ronaldo
Striker
Real Madrid
14 1
Zlatan Ibrahimovic Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Striker
PSG
10 1
Lionel Messi Lionel Messi
Striker
Barcelona
8 2
Diego Costa Diego Costa
Striker
Atlético de Madrid
7 0
Sergio Agüero Sergio Agüero
Striker
Manchester City
6 2