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UEFA Champions League
March 12, 2013
• Camp Nou, Barcelona
Referee: V. Kassai
• Attendance: 94944
L. Messi 5', 40'
David Villa 55'
Jordi Alba 90'+
Barcelona win Aggregate 4 - 2
That's all from me for tonight guys and girls. What a game that was! Barcelona march on in the Champions League at the expense of Milan. Good night!
FULL-TIME: BARCELONA 4-0 MILAN (AGG 4-2) The Catalan side put in a sensational performance at Camp Nou to overturn their opponent's two-goal lead from the first leg. Messi scored two sublime goals in the first half before Villa and Alba added further goals after the break. Milan were outclassed for long periods of the game against a Barcelona team in rampant form.
90' + 3'
AND THERE IS THE FINAL WHISTLE! BARCA WIN THIS GAME 4-0!
90' + 2'
Assist Alexis Sánchez
90' + 2'
Goal Jordi Alba
4-0!!! ALBA INCREASES BARCELONA'S LEAD!! The Blaugrana add a fourth goal through their brilliant left-back, Alba. After latching on to a pass from the right inside the Milan box the Spain international took a touch before clipping a finish past Abbiati.
90' + 1'
STAT: The last time Barcelona exited the Champions League at the last-16 stage was in 2006/07, against Liverpool.
The fourth official signals for three minutes of added time...
Messi does that, but the ball is pushed into the centre as Constant and Zapata press him which leads to him overrunning the ball and losing possession.
Alves wins a corner for Barcelona off the torso of Constant. I imagine they will play this short...
Messi looks to play a wall-pass off Alexis on the edge of the Milan box but the Chilean is not on the same wavelength and the ball goes straight to Mexes.
Alba is showing his defensive ability as Barca hold out a bit here, he has just put in a vital block on Robinho and then swept the ball away from Bojan. Milan are pushing men forward in search of a goal that would take them through to the quarter-finals!
Barca make their last change, and it is a defensive one. Adriano is on for Pedro for the final minutes of this game.
BOJAN THREATENS FOR MILAN!! The former Barcelona player has just jinxed his way past Alves and nearly set up a goal there! His driven cross to Robinho was flicked goalwards but never got there thanks to a diving block from Alba.
VITAL CHALLENGE FROM PIQUE!! The Barca centre-back puts in a last-ditch tackle on Robinho just as the Brazilian looked to be in on goal against Valdes. That was timely defending from the former Manchester United man.
THAT IS A CLOSE CALL!! Sanchez sprints clear of the Milan defence and rounds Abbiati but play is pulled back for offside. Replays show Constant very nearly played him on there.
GREAT PLAY FROM ALBA!! The left-back marauds forward for Barca and after playing a tidy one-two with Iniesta tries to cross to Messi from the left side of the Milan box. Abate does just enough to stop it reaching Messi though and the ball cannons out for a corner.
Barcelona make a change. The scorer of their third goal, Villa, is replaced by Alexis Sanchez. Milan also take the opportunity to bring on a fresh face, and it just so happens to be a former Masia player. Bojan Krkic has come on for Flamini.
The Argentina captain's effort goes straight into the wall, and though the rebound falls back to him, his dinked pass runs through to Abbiati.
BARCA FREE KICK!! 25 yards out, just right of centre. Messi territory...
STAT: Milan hold the unwanted record for the biggest first-leg lead squandered in the Champions League era, when their 4-1 advantage in the 2003-04 quarter-finals against Deportivo La Coruna was overturned by a 4-0 defeat in the return leg.
Milan are showing some much-needed urgency now. Abate in particular is troubling Alba and Iniesta with his runs from deep.
GOOD DEFENDING FROM PIQUE!! Milan threaten on the right through Abate and the ball pinballs inside the Barca box before Pique is able to control it under pressure from Flamini and volley it away to safety.
How Robinho would love to get a goal tonight! The Brazilian attacker played against Barcelona many times during his three-year spell at Real Madrid.
Abate does very well to get past Alba on the right and hook a cross into the Barcelona penalty area but none of the right-back's team-mates are quick enough to keep up with him and get on the end of it.
POSSESSION STAT: Barcelona 75%-25% Milan
That amounts to nothing though, as Messi's pass towards Villa eventually finds its way into the grateful arms of Abbiati.
And here's another free kick for Barcelona - this one for a late foul by Muntari on Messi.
Messi hammers the free kick towards the near post but Muntari is there to head it away for Milan.
Constant fouls Villa as the striker drives down the right-hand side and Barcelona have a free kick in a decent position.
Milan make a couple of changes here as their captain Ambrosini is replaced by Robinho and Sulley Muntari comes on for Niang.
Barcelona continue to hunt for the ball when they don't have it. It has been an exhilarating performance from them so far tonight. They lead on aggregate 3-2.
Back to that goal from Villa though - here's a question for you. Is there a better finisher with their instep than Villa? (Maybe Messi aside)
By the way that booking for Mexes just before Villa's goal means he will miss the quarter-final first leg if Milan get there.
Goal David Villa
VILLA SCORES A THIRD FOR BARCELONA!! The Catalan side lead for the first time over the two legs thanks to a brilliant curled finish from Villa. The Spain international took a pass from Xavi in his stride on the right side of the Milan box before cutting on to his left and stroking a shot past Abbiati.
That's naughty from Mexes!! The France international is shown a yellow card after tripping Messi as the Barca No.10 dribbled down the right wing.
Yellow Card Philippe Mexes
Boateng drifts the corner to Mexes on the edge of the box but his volleyed effort flies way off target!
Niang wins a corner over on the right for Milan after the ball flicks off Alba's legs and goes behind.
Messi slides a pass to Villa inside the Milan box but his flicked touch to Pedro is stopped by Constant. The former Valencia man timed his run to stay onside to receive that pass from Messi but then wasted his good work by not retaining possession.
Ambrosini sends Messi flying with a crunching tackle in the centre circle. It prompts a heated exchange between Busquets and Boateng that is eventually dealt with by the referee.
ABBIATI SAVES FROM MESSI! The Barca attacker sprints past the challenges of Mexes and Zapata and looks to arrow a low shot towards the bottom left corner with his left foot but Milan's goalkeeper gets down well to keep it out.
A lovely touch from Boateng sets Niang away on the right but his attempted pass to Flamini is wayward and Alba is able to steal the ball for Barcelona.
Barca get us back underway for the second half at Camp Nou...
@coldfaya has just described Barcelona as "a wounded lion" over on Twitter. They seem to be recovering tonight though!
How many passes have Barcelona completed tonight I hear you cry? The answer: 388. Milan have completed 129.
The score on aggregate is 2-2, which means we would be going to extra time, but I would be very surprised if we were to see no goals in the second half. What do you guys and girls think? Let me know your second half predictions and thoughts on the game so far by writing in the comment box on the right or tweeting @charliefscott.
HALF-TIME: BARCELONA 2-0 MILAN The Blaugrana have cancelled out Milan's lead from the first leg in just 45 minutes at Camp Nou, thanks to two devastating finishes from Lionel Messi. The home team have looked very dangerous going forward in the opening period, but Milan have offered a threat through Stephan El Shaarawy and M'Baye Niang. The latter even struck the post just moments before Messi's second in the 40th minute.
45' + 1'
Yellow Card Mathieu Flamini
45' + 1'
There is the half-time whistle! Barca lead 2-0 at the break.
Alves loses the ball at right-back for Barcelona but El Shaarawy fails to make the most of that slip and is tackled by Pique who moves across from centre-back to cover his team-mate.
All of Barcelona's outfield players are in Milan's half as we approach half-time. The visitors just cannot get the ball.
Iniesta has been fantastic for the home side tonight. He has looked stifled by Fabregas in recent months, but with the former Gunner on the bench tonight he has more space and is thriving because of it.
Yellow Card Pedro
How costly could that Niang miss be? If that shot had gone in it would have been 1-1, but instead it is 2-0 after Barcelona went straight up the other end and scored through their talismanic Argentine.
BARCA SCORE A SECOND!! AND AGAIN IT'S MESSI!! The Argentine makes Niang pay for that miss a few moments ago by rifling a shot into the bottom left corner after cutting in from the right.
NIANG HITS THE POST FOR MILAN!! The young striker can only watch in agony as his shot cannons back off the left-hand post after he had raced through on goal.
That Alves cross is not good enough! Again Pedro wants a pass on the left and this time his team-mate does try and give it to him. It is a poor attempt to find Pedro at the back post though, and Milan are able to clear the ball away.
STAT: Barcelona have completed over three times as many passes as Milan tonight. Barca 300-97 Milan.
Alves fires a shot wide from 25 yards after space opens up for him. Pedro was screaming for a pass over on the left but the Brazilian full-back ignored him.
MIlan do look dangerous on the break though! They need to move the ball as quickly as possible to El Shaarawy and Niang, as that pair undoubtedly have the pace and trickery to trouble Pique and Mascherano.
Over on Twitter @Xclusivexyz is confident that Milan will hold out and advance to the next round. I'm not so sure... Barca look very threatening tonight.
Niang holds the ball up well for Milan but after he offloads it to Flamini they lose possession following a sloppy pass.
AMBITIOUS FROM EL SHAARAWY!! The Italy international attempted an acrobatic overhead kick on the penalty spot after Boateng lofted a pass to him from the right, but he failed to make a good connection with the ball and Valdes was able to gather it comfortably.
El Shaarawy chases a loose pass towards the Barcelona goal but Valdes is able to sprint from his goal to seize the ball before the Milan forward can get to it.
A foul from Alves on Constant gives Milan a chance to catch their breath momentarily. The visitors are down to 10 men for the time being as Flamini waits to be allowed back on following a change of shirts.
What have you all thought of the game so far? Let me know your thoughts in the comments box to the right or on Twitter at @charliefscott. I think it has been an absolute belting first half!
Milan are seeing a bit more of the ball as the half wears on, but Barcelona are showing great tenacity to close them down all over the pitch.
Messi and Alves link well on the right with the latter of the two eventually chipping a cross towards Pedro in the Milan box. The Masia graduate cannot get high enough to direct the ball at goal though as it glances off his head and out for a goal kick.
That earlier goal from Messi moves him into second place outright on the all-time Champions League goalscorers table. The Rosario-born forward has 57 goals in the competition, with Raul the only man left ahead of him. The former Real Madrid striker scored 71 times in the Champions League.
Yellow Card Kevin-Prince Boateng
Xavi tries to be too clever with the free kick though! The Spain international slides a quick pass towards Messi who is hiding behind the Milan wall but Cristian Zapata reads the play and intercepts it.
Foul on Messi by Massimo Ambrosini! Barca have a free kick 35 yards from goal...
The Blaugrana are playing some sumptuous stuff at the moment. Iniesta, Xavi and Messi have treated the Camp Nou crowd to some magical touches already in this game.
ABBIATI SAVES FROM XAVI!! The 35-year-old produces another great stop to keep the score at 1-0. Xavi's rasping effort from 25 yards was heading for the bottom right corner before Abbiati dived across and flicked the ball round the post.
The home side clear the corner away and launch a counter attack that nearly results in a second goal. Abbiati comes rushing from his line to meet Messi but is caught out as the Argentine pushes the ball round him. Luckily for Abbiati, Mexes is able to recover and steal the ball from his opponent.
Niang wins a corner for Milan on the right. The early signs suggest they will need to make the most of these rare set piece opportunities, particularly as Barcelona are susceptible in that respect.
STAT: Barcelona are on a 19-match unbeaten run at Camp Nou in the Champions League, winning 15, since a 2-1 loss to Rubin Kazan in October 2009.
ABBIATI PULLS OFF A BRILLIANT SAVE! The Milan goalkeeper flies to his right to tip Iniesta's rising half volley onto the crossbar. The Barcelona midfielder struck that superbly, he must have thought that was 2-0.
THAT COULD HAVE BEEN A PENALTY! Pedro is bundled to the floor inside the Milan box as he tries to take Xavi's chipped pass in his stride but again the referee waves away Barcelona's appeals.
It has been a dominant start from the Blaugrana in the opening 11 minutes.
Messi wants a free kick for a handball from Constant high on the right but the linesman and referee fail to spot the infringement. Not sure how the man with the flag missed that one - it was right in front of him.
El Shaarawy has a chance! The Pharaoh breaks through into the Barca box but cannot test Victor Valdes with his shot as the ball runs away from him.
Javier Mascherano and Gerard Pique have just shown they are up for it tonight. Both have put in crunching challenges on Boateng and Niang respectively in the last few minutes.
So you know that Messi goals in open play stat I mentioned in the third minute? Emphatically scrap that!
GOALLLLL!!! WHAT A FABULOUS TEAM MOVE FROM BARCELONA!! Messi curls a sublime shot past Christian Abbiati from the edge of the penalty area after playing a fine one-two with Xavi. The home side lead 1-0 after just six minutes!
Milan cannot keep the ball in the opening minutes here! I don't think they have completed a pass in Barcelona's half yet.
Andres Iniesta tries to carve the Milan defence open with a pass towards David Villa but Philippe Mexes is alert to the danger and steps to his left to intercept the ball.
Time to mention Messi perhaps? The little Argentine has not scored in open play in 790 minutes against Italian opposition in European competition...
The pitch looks glorious tonight! The home side are already stringing some passes together but one move has just been robustly brought to an end by a Kevin Constant tackle on Dani Alves.
We are off! Milan get the game started but quickly surrender possession on the right...
Out come the teams at Camp Nou! Kick-off is imminent in Barcelona...
Can Barcelona turn this game round? It would take a monumental effort! Milan played brilliantly in the first leg in Italy, as they defended superbly against Messi et al and they will go into this match with great confidence as a result of that solid performance.
What do you lot think of those starting XIs? Who do you think will be the standout player this evening? Let me know your thoughts on Twitter at @charliefscott or by posting your comments in the box to the right of this commentary!
MILAN TEAM NEWS: Philippe Mexes and Kevin-Prince Boateng shake off injuries to start for Allegri's side. Boateng joins the athletic pair of Stephan El Shaarawy and M'Baye Niang in attack for the Rossoneri.
BARCA TEAM NEWS: Xavi is back for Barcelona after struggling with a hamstring injury recently, but Carlos Puyol is only on the bench. Javier Mascherano starts in his place at centre-back, while David Villa has pipped Alexis Sanchez and Cristian Tello to a place upfront alongside Lionel Messi and Pedro.
Subs: Amelia, De Sciglio, Bonera, Muntari, Nocerino, Robinho, Bojan
Milan (4-3-3): Abbiati; Abate, Zapata, Mexes, Constant; Flamini, Ambrosini, Montolivo; Niang, Boateng, El Shaarawy
Subs: Pinto, Puyol, Adriano, Song, Cesc, Alexis, Tello
Barcelona (4-3-3): Valdes; Alves, Pique, Mascherano, Alba; Xavi, Busquets, Iniesta; Pedro, Messi, Villa
Anyway, that's enough previewing for the time being, how about we run through the starting XIs?
The Catalan side have got something to inspire them that is beyond the realms of a football field though. Their coach Tito Vilanova has been in New York since the start of January receiving treatment for the recurrence of cancer in his parotid gland but earlier this evening Carles Rexach, an adviser to Barcelona's board, told TV3 that Tito would return on March 25.
The Rossoneri won the first leg at San Siro courtesy of goals from Kevin-Prince Boateng and Sulley Muntari, which leaves the pre-tournament favourites Barcelona at the bottom of an imposing mountain ahead of this second leg. It will certainly take something spectacular to get them through to the next round!
My name is Charlie Scott and I am the lucky man trusted with running this commentary for the next couple of hours, as we find out who will progress to the last-eight of Europe's premier club competition. As always I will be available on Twitter throughout the game at @charliefscott.
Good evening ladies and gentlemen! Let me wish you a warm welcome to Goal.com's LIVE coverage of tonight's HUGE Champions League game between Barcelona and Milan at Camp Nou.
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