Could do little about Nocerino’s mature finish as Milan leveled in a rare attack from the visitors, but claimed well under pressure from Ibrahimovic as the Rossoneri looked for a second equalizer.
Outdone by Robinho at one stage, despite the Brazilian having taken a heavy first touch, then allowed Ibrahimovic to keep the ball in on the byline. Looked no more convincing up against the Swede in the second period, but was withdrawn early when he picked up an injury.
Caught out of position when Nocerino ghosted into the box on the right to put Milan level, but was often on hand to faze out Rossoneri breaks. His involvement in the second penalty was questionable to say the least.
Got a great cross in under pressure from Antonini, then got inside the fullback before catching Abbiati as he attempted to get a shot in. Continued to supply great energy as Barca ramped up the attacks.
Showed some great touches early on, including one excellent through-ball for Fabregas, and continued to provide energy down the flank deep into the game, causing Antonini and Aquilani trouble to the end.
Barely put a foot wrong as Milan decided to attempt to cut down his options rather than harry him off the ball, and sent in a shot which tested Abbiati soon after Milan had equalized. Almost netted a fantastic free-kick effort after the break, and was given early release when Thiago joined the fray.
Got into a great position from Cuenca’s chipped pass, but couldn’t get a shot away. Played some key passes around the edge of the area, but was never allowed in for another chance before being hauled off for Keita.
Was involved in a key controversial moment once more, with the second penalty swinging the tie. Did the hard yards across the middle, but was often bypassed as Milan broke.
Having been his usual assured self in the first half, he started the second by calmly slotting home Barca’s third goal after Messi’s initial shot was blocked. His ability to make football look easy never ceases to astound.
Showed his naivety as a defender when he played Nocerino onside as Milan went ahead in the tie, but then made a crucial tackle on Ibrahimovic at the start of the second half. Generally looked composed as Milan tried to make its way back into the game.
Tested Abbiati with a low drive in the early minutes, but then somehow slotted wide having got in behind Nesta. Neatly bagged his second penalty against Milan this season after he was brought down by Antonini, and put Barca back in front after Nesta pulled Busquets’ shirt. Class personified, again.
Guessed the right way on Messi’s first penalty, but soundly beaten on the second before Iniesta gave him no chance having escaped the Milan backline to get one-on-one.
Gave far too much space to Barca’s forwards at times as they were allowed to turn and play easy passes deep in Milan territory, and it was also he who handed Messi possession in the build up to the first penalty.
Attacked with vigor, but his choice of pass wasn’t always the best before the break. His counterattacking charge soon after the interval reminded Barca that the tie wasn’t won, but he was then busy appealing for offside when the ball broke for Iniesta to make it 3-1.
Beaten both inside and outside by Dani Alves in the first half, and failed to take the ball cleanly when lunging in to stop Messi, resulting in Barca’s first penalty. Looked tentative thereafter, clearly not wanting to pick up a second yellow card.
Lost Messi in the seventh minute, and got lucky that the Ballon d’Or winner shot wide, then suffered a brain freeze when clutching Busquets’ shirt from a corner to hand Barca a second penalty. Made a superb challenge on Messi right near the end.
He was noticeably subdued early on, but then took it upon himself to pick up the pace of the game in the build up to Nocerino’s goal. Not nearly as influential as he can be for the Rossoneri, and was replaced by Pato.
Tried a couple of unnecessary long passes when team-mates were available in closer proximity, but his finish from Ibrahimovic’s pass was as cool as they come. Disappeared back into his shell for long spells after that, despite the odd decent challenge.
Often started moves from a higher position than is his norm when playing on the left of midfield, but he saw less of the ball than he would have hoped and eventually was consigned to a more orthodox role chasing Barca shadows. Replaced by Aquilani in the second half.
Two grabs on Fabregas saw him living on the edge, but he made it to the end without being booked despite putting in another decent shift in the center.
Failed to have his desired impact early in the proceedings, but then delivered a magnificent ball for Nocerino’s equalizer. Harried Pique off the ball on the byline, but couldn’t beat Mascherano to get a shot in, and then made Pique worry more after the break. If only he’d had more chances to get at the Barca back-line...
His touch was sometimes a little heavy at crucial moments, and he went long spells without even coming close to enjoying any possession. Got a stroke of bad luck when he was adjudged to have handled as he headed for goal.
- 1 M. Amelia
- 28 U. Emanuelson
- 25 D. Bonera
- 76 M. Yepes
Replaced Seedorf to add extra legs in midfield at 3-1 down, but couldn’t provide the cover on Cuenca that Seedorf had largely manage to add.
Returned from injury in place of Boateng for the final quarter, but couldn’t even last that long, making one run in on goal before limping off again.
Given only seven minutes to celebrate his 28th birthday with a telling contribution.