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Played
April 3, 2012 7:45 PM BST
Camp Nou — Barcelona
Referee:‬ B. Kuipers‎
Attendance:‬ 94629‎
 
11′ (PG) Messi
41′ (PG) Messi
 
 
   
 
 

Champions League Player Ratings: Barcelona 3-1 AC Milan (Agg 3-1)

Two Lionel Messi penalties and a second-half strike from Andres Iniesta sent the champions through to the semi-finals for the fifth season running

By Kris Voakes

  • Víctor Valdés
    326
    326
    3.00

    Víctor Valdés

    Could do little about Nocerino’s mature finish as Milan levelled in a rare attack from the visitors, but claimed well under pressure from Ibrahimovic as the Rossoneri looked for a second equaliser.

  • Daniel Alves
    426
    280
    3.50

    Daniel Alves

    Sent in a great cross when under pressure from Antonini, then got inside the full-back before catching Abbiati as he attempted to get a shot in. Continued to supply great energy as Barca ramped up the attacks.

  • Piqué
    298
    386
    2.50

    Piqué

    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 byeline. Looked no more convincing up against the Swede in the second period, but was withdrawn early when he picked up an injury.

  • Carles Puyol
    341
    302
    3.00

    Carles Puyol

    Caught out of position when Nocerino ghosted into the box on the right to put Milan level, but was often on hand to break up Rossoneri counterattacks. His involvement in the second penalty was questionable to say the least.

  • Cesc Fàbregas
    390
    300
    3.00

    Cesc Fàbregas

    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.

  • Xavi
    472
    278
    3.50

    Xavi

    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 equalised. Almost netted a fantastic free-kick effort after the break, and was given early release when Thiago joined the fray.

  • Andrés Iniesta Luján
    566
    274
    3.50

    Andrés Iniesta Luján

    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.

  • Javier Mascherano
    374
    369
    3.00

    Javier Mascherano

    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 their way back into the game.

  • Busquets
    337
    417
    3.00

    Busquets

    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.

  • Messi
    894
    526
    3.50

    Messi

    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.

  • Cuenca
    541
    789
    3.50

    Cuenca Top of the Match

    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.

Substitutions

  • Adriano
    212
    256
    3.00

    Adriano

    Came on for the injured Pique for the closing stages.

  • Thiago Alcántara
    251
    267
    3.00

    Thiago Alcántara

    Replaced Xavi after Barca had earned a two-goal buffer.

  • Seydou Keita
    203
    229
    0.00

    Seydou Keita

    Brought on late on for Fabregas.

  • Christian Abbiati
    342
    112
    3.00

    Christian Abbiati

    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 back line to get one-on-one.

  • Philippe Mexes
    196
    314
    2.50

    Philippe Mexes

    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.

  • Alessandro Nesta
    307
    294
    2.50

    Alessandro Nesta

    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.

  • Ignazio Abate
    267
    156
    3.00

    Ignazio Abate

    Attacked with vigour, 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.

  • Luca Antonini
    202
    379
    2.50

    Luca Antonini Flop of the Match

    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.

  • Antonio Nocerino
    342
    120
    3.00

    Antonio Nocerino

    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.

  • Massimo Ambrosini
    270
    167
    3.00

    Massimo Ambrosini

    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 centre.

  • Kevin-Prince Boateng
    315
    154
    3.00

    Kevin-Prince Boateng

    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.

  • Zlatan Ibrahimovic
    405
    256
    3.00

    Zlatan Ibrahimovic

    Failed to have his desired impact early in the proceedings, but then delivered a magnificent ball for Nocerino’s equaliser. Harried Pique off the ball on the byeline, 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...

  • Robinho
    223
    338
    2.50

    Robinho

    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.

Substitutions

  • Alberto Aquilani
    217
    150
    3.00

    Alberto Aquilani

    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.

  • Alexandre Pato
    184
    248
    0.00

    Alexandre Pato

    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.

  • Maxi López
    257
    116
    0.00

    Maxi López

    Given only seven minutes to celebrate his 28th birthday with a telling contribution.

Results
 
Match News
Player Ratings
Tournament
Position
Ranking
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
C. Ronaldo C. Ronaldo
Striker
Real Madrid
14 1
Zlatan Ibrahimovic Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Striker
PSG
10 1
Messi Messi
Striker
Barcelona
8 2
Diego Costa Diego Costa
Striker
Atl. Madrid
7 0
Sergio Agüero Sergio Agüero
Striker
Manchester City
6 2