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Played
November 6, 2013 9:45 PM SAST
Camp Nou — Barcelona
Referee:‬ M. Mažić‎
Attendance:‬ 80517‎
 
30′ (PG) Lionel Messi
Piqué 45′ (OG)
40′ Busquets
 
83′ Lionel Messi
 
Top of the Match
Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
Barcelona
Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
Barcelona
Flop of the Match
Ignazio Abate
Ignazio Abate
AC Milan
Piqué
Piqué
Barcelona

Barcelona 3-1 AC Milan: Messi catapults Catalans into last 16

The Argentine scored first and last for the Blaugrana, with Sergio Busquets scoring for the hosts before Gerard Pique conceded an own-goal on the brink of half-time in between

Lionel Messi Barcelona AC Milan Champions League 11062013
Getty
Lionel Messi rocketed back into goalscoring form by firing Barcelona into the knock-out stages of the Champions League in a 3-1 win over AC Milan.

The Argentina international had not scored in three games prior to the Group H clash, but he put the Catalan giants ahead after half an hour at Camp Nou, scoring from the penalty spot after Neymar had been brought down by Ignazio Abate.

Sergio Busquets headed the home side further in front nine minutes later, when he got just enough contact on an inswinging set piece from Xavi to guide the ball home and register his second goal of the season.

Milan pulled one back a minute before the break courtesy of Gerard Pique's own goal - with Kaka's cross being diverted past Victor Valdes courtesy of a ricochet off the defender.

But Messi scored his second after 83 minutes, following good link-up play with Cesc Fabregas, as Barcelona moved five points clear at the top of their group and kept up their unbeaten home record.

Carles Puyol failed to make the bench for Barca, despite having featured twice since his return from a long-term knee injury, with Javier Mascherano and Pique starting in the centre of defence for the second successive game.

Massimiliano Allegri left striker Mario Balotelli on the bench, after a run of four games without a goal, while Kaka made his 90th Champions League appearance as the coach sought to avoid a fifth successive match without a win.

The home side made much of the early running, Xavi curling a free kick just wide after three minutes, before Messi was crowded out in the area as he attempted to fashion an opportunity.

Alexis then came close to nudging home Adriano's cross after 21 minutes, but he was unable to connect at the far post.

Barca went ahead through Messi on the half-hour mark when he powered a penalty past Christian Abbiati.

Neymar was hauled down in the box by Abate as he attempted to reach a dinked Andres Iniesta throughball, with Messi keeping his cool to score his fifth goal of Barcelona's European campaign.

Riccardo Montolivo almost levelled six minutes later, flashing an effort wide of Valdes' right-hand post, but Barca continued to dominate and doubled their lead five minutes from the break.

Busquets glanced home a header from Xavi's delivery to give Abbiati no chance.

Milan, though, pulled one back in the final minute of the half, when they were given a lifeline in somewhat fortuitous circumstances as Kaka's attempted pull back clipped Pique and found its way past a wrong-footed Valdes.

Balotelli was introduced at the break and was quickly into the action, shaking off Mascherano and Adriano in the area before hitting a fierce shot that Valdes smothered.

The Italian then set up Kaka, who could only fire wide from close range, as Milan started the second half with purpose.

However, while they enjoyed plenty of possession, they failed to carve out clear-cut chances, as Barca's defence stood firm, while Neymar and Sanchez reminded Milan of their threat on the counter.

Messi completed his double and wrapped up the match seven minutes from time, finishing neatly after a clever one-two with Fabregas to put Barca on the verge of the knockout phase.


Barcelona

1
Víctor Valdés
Goalkeeper
3.00
3
Piqué
Defender
45′
2.50
21
Adriano
Midfielder
3.00
22
Daniel Alves
Defender
3.00
6
Xavi
Midfielder
40′ 88′
3.00
8
2.50
14
Javier Mascherano
Midfielder
3.00
16
Busquets
Midfielder
40′
3.50
9
2.50
10
Lionel Messi
Striker
30′ 83′
4.00
11
Neymar
Striker
85′
3.50

AC Milan

3.50
32
3.00
5
2.50
17
2.00
20
2.50
4
Sulley Muntari
Midfielder
32′
2.50
16
Andrea Poli
Midfielder
74′
2.50
18
2.50
28
3.00
34
Nigel De Jong
Midfielder
56′
2.50
7
Robinho
Striker
46′
3.50
22
Kaká
Midfielder
84′

Substitutes

13
 - 
2
Montoya
Defender
 - 
15
Bartra
Defender
 - 
4
Cesc Fàbregas
Midfielder
78′ 83′
 - 
17
Alex Song
Midfielder
88′
 - 
7
Pedro
Striker
85′
 - 
20
Tello
Striker
 - 

Substitutes

 - 
35
 - 
21
Kevin Constant
Midfielder
 - 
81
 - 
25
 - 
14
Valter Birsa
Midfielder
74′
 - 
32
3.00
45

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
Group A Matchday 4
Times In SAST
 
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Cristiano Ronaldo Cristiano Ronaldo
Striker
Real
14 1
Zlatan Ibrahimovic Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Striker
PSG
10 1
Lionel Messi Lionel Messi
Striker
Barca
8 2
Diego Costa Diego Costa
Striker
Atl. Madrid
7 0
Sergio Agüero Sergio Agüero
Striker
Man City
6 2