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UEFA Champions League
21 February 2013
• Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, Milano
Referee: C. Thomson
• Attendance: 79532
K. Boateng 57'
S. Muntari 81'
Full time in San Siro! AC Milan sensationally defeat Barcelona 2-0 in the first leg of the Champions League round of 16 tie between two European giants! Kevin Prince-Boateng opened the scoring with a terrific volley from the edge of the box, and Sulley Muntari completed the win with a left-footed volley of his own. Barcelona never looked like scoring, really! The second leg promises to be very, very interesting! I'm Martin Macdonald, thank you for joining us on Goal.com! See you for the next leg!
90' + 3'
Barca inexplicably take it quickly and end up losing the ball! Traore runs through the centre and unleashes a shot on goal, but his attempt is blocked by Pique!
90' + 2'
Last chance for Barca! They have a free kick on the left-hand side!
90' + 1'
Yellow Card Bakaye Traoré
Traore is booked almost instantly after coming on. Mascherano is taken out as he goes up for a header. Harsh yellow card. Just a couple of minutes of added time!
Barcelona still remaining patient in their build-up play. They don't really have a choice really, it's not as if they have a tall striker they can just pump the ball into the box to.
Stephan El Shaarawy
A double change to report. Javier Mascherano replaces Carles Puyol for Barcelona and Bakaye Traore replaces Stephen El Shaarawy for Milan.
PUYOL!!! Iniesta floats a corner kick to the front post and the Barcelona captain powers a header towards goal, but it goes just wide!
It's vital that Milan keep a clean sheet here. An away goal from Barcelona now changes the tie significantly.
San Siro is absolutely bouncing at the moment, and no wonder! I don't think anyone saw this result coming, and, on the basis of the second half, Milan deserve the lead.
Two former Portsmouth players score against Barcelona in the knockout stage of the Champions League!
Assist Stephan El Shaarawy
Goal Sulley Muntari
GOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAL FOR AC MILAN!!! INCREDIBLE!!! Niang touches the ball into the path for El Shaarawy, who in turn flicks the ball into the path of Muntari, and the Ghanian lashes a left-footed volley into the bottom right corner! Brilliant goal! 2-0!
Xavi steps up and looks to whip he ball into the top left corner but his attempt goes just north of the crossbar. Abbiati had it covered anyway.
Free kick to Barca in a dangerous position. Alexis does well to hold up the ball on the edge of the box and is clattered from behind by Prince-Boateng. Messi or Xavi to take.
INIESTA!!! So unlucky!! The midfield maestro cuts in from the left-hand side and fizzes a shot towards the far corner, but it the last minutes it curls wide of the post! That had Abbiati scrambling!
Just over 15 minutes remaining. It is a tough one for Milan, do they attempt and find more goals or do they shut up shop and take a one goal lead to Camp Nou?
First change of the match from Milan. Giampaolo Pazzini is replaced by M'Baye Niang.
Messi picks out Sanchez with a lovely guided pass out to the left-hand side, but the Chilean's attempted pass to Alba is intercepted. That's a few times that the substitute has broke down a Barca move since coming on. He has struggled to get to grips with the pace of the game.
Unlucky from Pazzini. The former Inter man cushions the ball delicately on his thigh before swiveling and sending a volley towards goal, but it is right down the throat of Valdes.
Milan had the ball when Pazzini went down, but Barcelona play on instead of giving the ball back, and the home fans are making their feelings felt! The jeers are absolutely deafening!
Nasty collision between Puyol and Pazzini leaves both players down. The Barcelona captain committed to the headed challenge up in the air, but ended up clashing heads with the Milan striker.
Barcelona have the opportunity for a shot on goal from a free kick, but Messi blasts the ball miles over the bar! Sums up the Argentine's night so far! Never write him off, though...
Barcelona react almost immediately to going a goal down with a substitution. Cesc Fabregas comes off to be replaced by Alexis Sanchez. The Chilean is well known in these parts, having starred for Udinese in Serie A.
A goal was just what this game needed, and Milan are the ones who edge ahead!
That goal has really sparked Milan into life!! Prince-Boateng leads the charge as he drives down the right-hand side and looks to swing a cross into the path of El Shaarawy. Dani Alves manages to come in and clear, though.
There was some controversy surrounding that goal, folks! Montolivo's shot appeared to cannon off the hand of Zapata on the edge of the box before it broke to Prince-Boateng. The Barcelona players are furious!
Yellow Card Piqué
Assist Cristian Zapata
Goal Kevin-Prince Boateng
GOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAL FOR AC MILAN!!! The free kick is taken quick and Montolivo fires a strike at goal! The ball rebounds into the path of Kevin Prince-Boateng, who rifles a left-footed half volley into the bottom corner!! 1-0!!!
Free kick to Milan in a very useful position. El Shaarawy cuts inside and looks to unleash a shot at goal, but is unceremoniously bundles over by Dani Alves. A real chance for the hosts here!
Yellow Card Busquets
Poor challenge from Busquets! The Barca man takes out Pazzini right on the ankle, but ends up coming out of the tackle the worse. He'll receive a booking from referee, Craig Thomson.
Barcelona being incredibly patient here. Tito Vilanova's men are sometimes playing at walking pace along the backline but Milan look more than happy to let them have the ball in deeper areas.
Alves and Messi look to exchange a neat one-two inside the box but El Shaarawy and Constant do well to nullify the threat and regain possession.
Bright start to the half from the home side. Their passing at the back and in midfield looks a lot more assured. Let's see if they can move some play into the final third and attempt to hurt Barca.
Collector's item for you all as Lionel Messi breaks down a move with a poor touch. It doesn't happen often!
We are back under way!
Half time in San Siro. AC Milan and Barcelona go into the break at a 0-0 stalemate in the first leg of the Champions League round of 16 clash between the two sides. The Catalan side have had the vast majority of possession, but the hosts have been dogged and determined in shutting out any chances. An interesting second half in store! Join us in 15 minutes! You wouldn't want to miss it!
Abate skips by Alba on the right-hand side and whips a dangerous cross to the front post, but Valdes is concentrated and manages to pounce on the ball and claim in his arms.
Good defending from Zapata. Iniesta looks to stab a pass through the middle for the oncoming Alba but the Colombian kept with his run and managed to clear the ball up the pitch.
A small break in play at the moment as Montolivo is currently down injured. The Milan midfielder just got caught on the knee from Jordi Alba but it looks like he'll be okay.
It's the Barca fans who are making the noise in San Siro at the moment, and the home fans quickly respond with some loud jeers. There really is a big game atmosphere tonight.
Another slightly shaky moment from Mexes. Dani Alves smashes a cross in on the volley and the former Roma defender again slices the ball wide for a corner kick.
The pitch has definitely been detrimental to the play of Barcelona. You can visibly see the ball sticking as Xavi looks to spray the ball to the wider areas. Their passing has not been as slick as a result.
Milan defending valiantly. They are keeping incredibly high concentration as Barca are just waiting for a chink in the armor. Los Cules are faced with a solid red and black wall whenever they move up the park.
All Barcelona at the moment. The visitors are patiently passing the ball in and around the Milan penalty box looking for an opening, but, for now, the Italian side remain solid.
The only clear-cut opportunity so far has been El Shaarawy for Milan when he ran through on goal from the left-hand side. Abbiati has not had much to do in the home goal. Barca dominating possession, however.
Good clearance from Montolivo. Xavi latches on to a pass from Iniesta into the box and looks to flick the ball into the path of Pedro, but the former Fiorentina man comes in an important challenge to clear the ball into the stand.
Yellow Card Philippe Mexes
First yellow card of the match goes to Mexes. The Frenchman caught the instep of Lionel Messi after the Barca man robbed Ambrosini of the ball and was running at pace towards goal.
Superb defending from Puyol. Montolivo picks Prince-Boateng out with a lovely pass over the top of the Barcelona defence, but the Ghanian is stopped in his tracks as the captain of the Catalan side makes a solid tackle on the right-hand side.
Excellent tracking from El Shaarawy. The youngster matches the run of Dani Alves as the Brazilian looks to latch on to an incisive pass down the right from Xavi.
Abate and Prince-Boateng link up down the right. The ball comes back to the Ghanian who floats a cross into the box, but it is food and drink for Victor Valdes, who easily claims the ball out of the air.
Milan go close again!! A corner kick is curled in and evades everyone in the penalty area before creeping by the back post! That was begging to be tucked away!
Poor touch from El Shaarawy!!! A sublime flick round the corner from Pazzini allows the 20-year-old to drive through on goal, but a bad touch allows Carles Puyol to come in with a vital interception!! He had the goal at his mercy!
A loose pass from Cesc allows El Shaarawy to pick up possession and drive forward, but is run is quickly stopped by Busquets, who makes a timely challenge inside the centre circle.
Barcelona just starting to find their feet now. Milan have retreated back every so slightly and it's creating room for the opposition midfield to dictate the play from the centre.
Some dogged defending from Milan from the resulting corner kick. The ball broke loose a couple of times inside the penalty area but Muntari and eventually El Shaarawy clear the ball up the park.
Dodgy moment from Mexes!! Iniesta whips in a corner kick to the front post and the Frenchman slices the ball just wide of his own goal! The home fans breathe a sigh of relief!
The San Siro pitch looks pretty dry tonight. Perhaps a sneaky move from the groundsmen to stem the flow of slick Barcelona passing?
El Shaarawy has had a couple of neat touches in the final third since the start of the match. Milan will be grateful to have their top goalscorer back from injury for such a vital clash.
Speculative effort from Muntari. Xavi clears the ball up in the air with his heel and the former Inter midfielder strikes a left-footed volley towards goal, but it goes harmlessly over the bar. It got the crowd on their feet, though!
Barca make their first movement into the Milan box. Iniesta jinks left and right but his ball inside is swiftly cut out by Mexes. High tempo start here!
Vibrant start from Milan. The hosts have pressed Barcelona very high up the park from the get-go. A lot of teams have tried this against the Catalan side, lets see how they get on.
The home crowd sound out some loud boos as Barcelona begin their short passing game in the middle of the park. They may may booing for a while!
And we are off in San Siro!
The Champions League theme sounds out in the stadium. With two teams like this playing, it's goosebump inducing!
Be sure to post your thoughts, feelings, and predictions on the match onto the chat section of our Live Match Centre! Only five minutes to kick-off!
However, the Rossoneri faced Barcelona four times in the Champions League last season, drawing two and losing two.
The hosts are on a seven-game unbeaten run in Serie A and have won their last six matches at San Siro in all competitions.
An encouraging stat for Milan...
Barcelona (4-3-3): Valdes; Alves, Pique, Puyol, Alba; Xavi, Busquets, Cesc; Pedro, Messi, Iniesta.
AC Milan (4-3-1-2): Abbiati; Abate, Mexes, Zapata, Constant; Montolivo, Ambrosini, Muntari; Boateng; Pazzini, El Shaarawy.
This is what the Champions League is all about! Two European giants coming head-to-head. I think we may be in for a cracking match ladies and gents!
I'm Martin Macdonald, and I'll be taking you through the action this evening!
Good evening folks! Welcome to Goal.com's LIVE coverage of the Champions League knockout stage clash between Milan and Barcelona at San Siro!
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