Rushed out well to deny Villa, then kept him out when he could have made it 3-1. Made another sprawling save late on to keep Milan in it.
Made one late foul on Messi out of frustration but got in plenty of quick, clean tackles too. Got up well to Aquilani’s corner but should arguably have hit the target. Unable to be the dominant defender he normally is as Barca left all around him cowering.
His poorly judged run almost dispossessed Ibrahimovic, while at the back he had the appearance of a rabbit caught in headlights at times. Pushed forward well late on, with only the offside flag denying him a good position to cross for Pato. Booked for a late challenge on Messi.
Lost his man out wide on the opener, then hit his own bar preventing a second. Made a great cover tackle on the edge of the area on Messi, but was living on the edge at times up against Fabregas.
Made a brilliant tackle on Villa and then tricked Fabregas with great skill, but was later booked after Xavi went down in the penalty area. He was out on his feet at times trying to keep up with Messi’s dynamic surges, then went down clutching his leg and was replaced by Bonera.
Couldn’t quite keep with the pace of the game early on, and two late tackles got him booked. Had nowhere near the presence on the ball that he has in Serie A of late, which meant one less attacking threat for the home side.
An early bit of skill had the crowd on their feet, but his bizarre throw had them scratching their heads. Didn’t offer enough defensively as Messi and Xavi picked up space in his territory, though his through pass for Pato nearly opened Barca up at the end.
Couldn’t quite beat Valdes to Robinho’s header, and then his foul on Messi led to Barca’s first. His volleyed pass to Robinho should have been turned in, but then he scored himself with a low drive past Valdes after his fantastic flick left Abidal standing.
M. van Bommel
Made a superbly-timed tackle on Messi on the edge of the area after the Argentine had beaten two men, but then couldn’t get the ball out of his feet as he turned into his own net. Booked for a crude challenge on Xavi, and later replaced by Nocerino having run out of legs.
Had the beating of Puyol as he crossed for Boateng to tee up Robinho, then made a great angled run to turn home a left-foot shot. Continued to cause trouble coming from the left side as Puyol struggled, but he gradually saw less and less of the ball as the match progressed.
His clever header almost sent in Boateng, but then he amazed everyone by blazing well over from inside the six-yard box. His lack of effectiveness around the area saw him replaced at the break by Pato.
Left his near post exposed as Boateng fired in the second equaliser, having earlier beaten out a stinging effort from the Ghanaian.
Made some excellent breaks forward when the covering Busquets allowed him to attack, but defensively he was nowhere near as sharp. Lost Boateng on a number of occasions, and was completely outfoxed by the Ghanaian as Milan equalised for a second time.
Beaten regularly by Ibrahimovic in the first half, even when he forced the Swede to defend at one point. Made important tackles to deny Robinho on two breakaways, but his booking was coming long before his foul on Boateng for which he finally saw yellow.
Got an important touch in early on after being fooled by Ibrahimovic. Was booked for a dumb foul, but was suitably impressive in the tackle thereafter, and his ability to cover the ground was a valuable commodity.
He was the key pivot which held the whole formation together, and his awareness of how and when his team was being stretched was excellent. His interception of Seedorf’s pass for Pato at the end was vital.
Failed to take the ball in his stride from Xavi’s pass, but then his superb lifted pass for Fabregas so nearly doubled Barca’s lead. Kept making himself available in the second half, but wasn’t quite as influential as before the break.
Nearly sent in Pato when put under pressure by Seedorf, then was booked for dragging down the Brazilian. Looked unsettled by the many balls played around him as he battled gamely in the central position without dominating.
Timed his run brilliantly to fire calmly home the winner from Messi’s pass. Before and after that it was pass, pass, pass, pass, as Milan became just the latest team unable to break up his fluent nature on the ball which drives Barca on.
So nearly made it 2-0 from Thiago’s clever lofted through ball, and then his great run down the left brought a foul out of Abate. The right-back then had to time his tackle well in the area to keep him out again soon after. Replaced by Pedro for the last 10 minutes.
Guilty of failing to hit the target on a number of occasions either side of the break, while he lingered too long before testing Abbiati when he could have made it 3-1. Replaced by Sanchez midway through the second half.
Made the extraordinary decision to stop mid-run on the penalty, but made no mistake second time around. His dazzling runs committed defenders time and again, and his pass for Xavi’s winner was simply majestic.
- 1 M. Amelia
- 77 L. Antonini
Replaced the injured Nesta soon after Xavi had made it 3-2 and within minutes had brought down Messi for a dangerous free kick which so nearly resulted in a fourth Barca goal. Could have made himself a hero in the 88th minute, but scuffed a left-foot shot.
- 28 U. Emanuelson
Came on for Van Bommel to freshen the legs up in midfield. His forward burst down the left won Milan a corner, and he got into a late tangle with Sanchez.
- 23 M. Ambrosini
Brought on for Robinho at the break and showed early signs of making a difference, but quickly faded as Barca turned the screw every time Milan looked to be back in the game.