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Messi sets new mark as Barcelona see off Milan

Published: Tuesday 3 April 2012, 22.50CET
FC Barcelona 3-1 AC Milan (agg: 3-1)
Lionel Messi converted two first-half penalties to set a new UEFA Champions League scoring record for a season as the holders eased into the last four.
by Graham Hunter
from Camp Nou

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Match statistics

BarcelonaMilan

Goals scored3
 
1
Attempts on target8
 
1
Attempts off target9
 
1
Corners2
 
4
Offsides2
 
4
Fouls committed9
 
19
Yellow cards2
 
7
Red cards0
 
0
Possession (%)60
 
40

Standings

 
Published: Tuesday 3 April 2012, 22.50CET

Messi sets new mark as Barcelona see off Milan

FC Barcelona 3-1 AC Milan (agg: 3-1)
Lionel Messi converted two first-half penalties to set a new UEFA Champions League scoring record for a season as the holders eased into the last four.

FC Barcelona produced a performance full of power and intelligence to defeat AC Milan and progress to the semi-finals for the fifth successive season.

Two penalties from Lionel Messi, the first his 50th goal in this competition which set a new scoring mark for a UEFA Champions League season, had Barcelona in front at half-time despite a first-class equaliser from Antonio Nocerino. Andrés Iniesta extended the hosts' advantage early in the second period and the holders held on in some comfort, only Gerard Piqué limping off in the second half souring their night.

Messi's first goal, his 13th of this season's competition, came from the spot in the 11th minute but its creation was down to his intelligence and work rate. Philippe Mexès dallied in possession and Messi raced to rob him, bursting forward before unselfishly cutting the ball back. The Milan defence scrambled to recover but as Messi and Luca Antonini contested the loose ball the Italian brought down his opponent, who picked himself up to beat Christian Abbiati with the spot kick.

That goal surpassed the previous 12-goal best for a UEFA Champions League season, set by Ruud van Nistelrooy in 2002/03 and equalled by Messi himself last season, although it might have arrived even earlier. Six minutes in Daniel Alves sent in a low cross, Cesc Fàbregas produced a sweet flick but Messi unusually steered his point-blank shot wide with his right foot.

Milan were being caught in possession, the ultimate sin at the Camp Nou, but while Abbiati continued to save at the end of a flood of Barça moves there was hope. On 32 minutes hope turned into tangible reward; contrary to Piqué's regular warnings, Zlatan Ibrahimović was allowed to bring the ball down and turn. The Sweden striker slid a sublime pass into the overlapping Nocerino, who slotted in a low shot without breaking stride.

The statistic that Milan have won six out of the eight ties in which they drew the first leg 0-0 at home suddenly seemed worryingly relevant for Barça. What did not change was the sparkle of their football, Abbiati turning a fierce Xavi shot behind after a slick one-two with Fàbregas.

The twist came four minutes before half-time; as Xavi's corner curled in, Nesta tugged Sergio Busquets to the ground to give Barcelona a second penalty. Messi changed the direction of his effort but found the net just as effectively.

Even though Barcelona continued to make subtle mistakes which denied them a definitive advantage, the second half was only eight minutes old when they breached Milan's defence again to effectively settle the tie. Messi's deflected shot looped kindly into the path of Iniesta, who controlled with his left foot and beat Abbiati with his right to put Barça in charge.

Josep Guardiola's team used all their savvy and skill to control the remainder of the match and even in the late stages Adriano was clean through but dragged a shot wide. Perhaps the semi-final, against Chelsea FC or SL Benfica, will demand more clinical work.

Last updated: 27/11/12 8.47CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2012/matches/round=2000265/match=2007684/postmatch/report/index.html#messi+sets+mark+barca

Quotes

  • Josep Guardiola

    Read more"The most difficult thing in the world is to continue because you can win anything once but to do it again is very, very tough"

  • Massimiliano Allegri

    Read more"You have to play perfectly to win here and we made some mistakes both defensively and in missing some important final passes"

Lineups

barcelona

Barcelona

milan

Milan

1
Víctor ValdésVíctor Valdés (GK)
32
AbbiatiChristian Abbiati (GK)
2
Daniel AlvesDaniel Alves
5
MexèsPhilippe Mexès
Yellow Card90+1
3
PiquéGerard Piqué
Substitution75
10
SeedorfClarence Seedorf
Yellow Card41
Substitution61
4
FàbregasCesc Fàbregas
Substitution78
11
IbrahimovićZlatan Ibrahimović
5
PuyolCarles Puyol (C)
13
NestaAlessandro Nesta
Yellow Card40
6
Xavi HernándezXavi Hernández
Substitution63
20
AbateIgnazio Abate
8
IniestaAndrés Iniesta
Goal53
22
NocerinoAntonio Nocerino
Goal32
Yellow Card90+3
10
MessiLionel Messi
Goal11
Goal41
23
AmbrosiniMassimo Ambrosini (C)
14
MascheranoJavier Mascherano
Yellow Card66
27
BoatengKevin-Prince Boateng
Substitution69
16
BusquetsSergio Busquets
70
RobinhoRobinho
Yellow Card77
39
Isaac CuencaIsaac Cuenca
Yellow Card86
77
AntoniniLuca Antonini
Yellow Card10

Substitutes

13
PintoJosé Manuel Pinto (GK)
1
AmeliaMarco Amelia (GK)
9
Alexis SánchezAlexis Sánchez
7
PatoPato
Substitution69
Substitution83
11
Thiago AlcántaraThiago Alcántara
Substitution63
18
AquilaniAlberto Aquilani
Substitution61
15
KeitaSeydou Keita
Substitution78
21
Maxi LópezMaxi López
Substitution83
Yellow Card90+2
17
Pedro RodríguezPedro Rodríguez
25
BoneraDaniele Bonera
21
AdrianoAdriano
Substitution75
28
EmanuelsonUrby Emanuelson
37
TelloCristian Tello
76
YepesMario Yepes

Coach

Josep Guardiola (ESP) Massimiliano Allegri (ITA)

Referee

Björn Kuipers (NED)

Assistant referees

Sander van Roekel (NED), Erwin Zeinstra (NED)

Fourth official

Bas Nijhuis (NED)

Additional assistant referees

Pol van Boekel (NED), Richard Liesveld (NED)

Legend:

  • GoalsGoals
  • Own goalOwn goal
  • PenaltiesPenalties
  • Missed PenaltiesMissed Penalties
  • reds_cardRed Cards
  • yellow_cardsYellow cards
  • yellow_red_cardsYellow/red card
  • SubstitutionSubstitution
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