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AC Milan welcome holders FC Barcelona to San Siro for the first leg of a UEFA Champions League quarter-final pitting together two of the continent's heavyweights – with the Italian side hoping for a case of third time lucky.
• The Rossoneri twice failed to get the better of Barcelona when the clubs met in the group stage of this season's competition. Josep Guardiola's men took four points from the two encounters – including a 3-2 win in Milan – to finish top of their section.
• Competing at this stage for the first time since 2006/07, when they went on to lift the trophy, seven-time winners Milan can take heart from the fact they have never lost a home quarter-final tie in the European Cup. That is unlikely to daunt Barcelona, now champions four times and seeking a fifth successive semi-final appearance – which would equal the record set by their arch-rivals Real Madrid CF from 1956 to 1960.
• There was no shortage of goals and excitement when the clubs met in Milan on matchday five. Barcelona prevailed 3-2 at San Siro on 23 November to consign their hosts to the runners-up berth in Group H. Xavi Hernández hit a 63rd-minute winner after Zlatan Ibrahimović (20) and Kevin-Prince Boateng (54) had cancelled out leads given Barcelona by Mark van Bommel's own goal (14) and Lionel Messi's penalty (31).
• The teams' matchday one meeting on 13 September finished 2-2, Thiago Silva scoring a 92nd-minute equaliser for Milan after Pedro Rodríguez (36) and David Villa (50) had overturned Pato's goal in the first minute.
• The sides have squared off 13 times overall in UEFA competition, with Barcelona recording five wins to Milan's four and scoring 19 goals to the Italian side's 18. Milan's record in six home outings against Barcelona reads W2 D1 L3.
• Barcelona have won on their last two visits to San Siro to face Milan, also beating the Serie A outfit 1-0 in the 2005/06 UEFA Champions League semi-final first leg thanks to Ludovic Giuly's goal.
• Van Bommel and Maxi López, now Milan players, played for Barcelona that night. The full lineups for that match on 18 April 2006 were:
Milan: Dida, Kaladze, Nesta, Stam (Cafu 77), Serginho, Gattuso (Ambrosini 74), Seedorf, Pirlo (Maldini 67), Kaká, Shevchenko, Gilardino.
Barcelona: Valdés, Oleguer (Motta 75), Márquez, Puyol, Van Bronckhorst, Edmílson, Van Bommel, Iniesta, Giuly (Belletti 70), Eto'o, Ronaldinho (Maxi López 89).
• Milan's last victory against Barcelona came on 20 October 2004 in the UEFA Champions League group stage, Andriy Shevchenko scoring the only goal. Gennaro Gattuso, Alessandro Nesta, Clarence Seedorf and substitute Massimo Ambrosini played for the Rossoneri with Xavi, Carles Puyol, Víctor Valdés and substitute Andrés Iniesta lining up for the Blaugrana. Ambrosini and Gattuso are also survivors of Milan's only previous win at the Camp Nou, 2-0 on 26 September 2000.
• The clubs' most high-profile encounter was the 1994 UEFA Champions League final in Athens, which Milan won 4-0. Milan also prevailed when the pair met in the 1989 UEFA Super Cup, winning 1-0 at home after a 1-1 away draw.
• Milan have a formidable home record in European Cup quarter-finals. This is their 15th appearance in the last eight and they have yet to lose a home leg at this stage, with ten wins and four draws.
• That record will be put to the test against a Barcelona side who have won their last six away fixtures in the UEFA Champions League – and scored 15 goals in four games on the road in this term's competition.
• Overall, Milan have won 11 and lost three of the 14 quarter-finals they have contested. Their most recent victory was against FC Bayern München in 2006/07, the season of their last European triumph. The most recent defeat came against Spain's RC Deportivo La Coruña in 2003/04 when they famously surrendered a 4-1 first-leg advantage in Galicia. They had no quarter-final matches in 1992/93 and 1993/94, because of the evolving format of the newly established UEFA Champions League.
• Barcelona have won the same number of quarter-finals as Milan, with 11 wins and two defeats from 13 appearances at this stage. Like Milan, they had no quarter-finals to negotiate when reaching the final in 1991/92 and 1993/94.
• Barcelona have won their last five quarter-finals in the UEFA Champions League – four in a row between 2008 and 2011 – and another in 2006. Their last defeat at this stage was against another Italian team, Juventus, in 2002/03. They last lost the away leg of a quarter-final tie at Panathinaikos FC in 2001/02.
• Aside from their defeat by Barcelona, Milan have done well at home in Europe this term, their other three fixtures all yielding victories with a combined score of 8-0.
• The Rossoneri have won none of their last four home games against Liga opposition but their overall record against visitors from Spain is W11 D4 L6.
• Barcelona's overall record away to Italian sides is W5 D6 L5.
• The Spanish club won their first European Cup by beating Italy's UC Sampdoria 1-0 in the final 20 years ago in May.
• As a player, Barcelona coach Guardiola had spells at Brescia Calcio and AS Roma after leaving the Camp Nou. He was a team-mate of Daniele Bonera at Brescia in 2001/02. On 10 May 2003 he appeared in Brescia's 1-0 home win against a Milan side including Ambrosini with Christian Abbiati on the bench.
• Gianluca Zambrotta (2006-08), Ibrahimović (2009-10), Van Bommel (2005-06) and the on-loan López (2005-07) have all had spells at Barcelona. Van Bommel won the UEFA Champions League with the Azulgrana in 2006. López scored his only goal in UEFA club competition on his first appearance in the UEFA Champions League for Barcelona against Chelsea FC in 2005.
• Abbiati (Club Atlético de Madrid), Seedorf and Robinho (both Real Madrid) have played in Spain.
• Barcelona midfielder Thiago Alcántara was born in San Pietro Vernotico in Italy. His father, Mazinho, played in Serie A for US Lecce and ACF Fiorentina.
• Javier Mascherano and Aquilani played together at Liverpool FC in 2009/10. Mascherano was in the Liverpool team beaten 2-1 by Milan in the 2007 UEFA Champions League final.
• Cesc Fàbregas and Mathieu Flamini were Arsenal FC team-mates from 2004 to 2008. Fàbregas scored at San Siro in a 2-0 win at Milan in the 2007/08 round of 16 second leg, with Flamini also featuring.
• Iniesta scored the extra-time winner as Spain overcame a Netherlands side featuring Van Bommel in the 2010 FIFA World Cup final.
• Villa and Fàbregas converted from the spot as Spain defeated Italy 4-2 on penalties in the UEFA EURO 2008 quarter-finals. Ambrosini, Zambrotta and Aquilani appeared for Italy.
• Aquilani got the winner as Italy overcame Spain 2-1 in a friendly last August in which Thiago made his senior Spain debut.
• The two clubs' respective Italy and Spain contingents will meet again in the summer when their national teams face off in the group stage at UEFA EURO 2012 – in their opening game in Gdansk on 10 June.
• Éric Abidal was sent off when an Italy team including Zambrotta, Gattuso and substitute Aquilani overcame France 2-0 in the UEFA EURO 2008 group stage.
• Alexis Sánchez scored in Udinese Calcio's 4-4 draw at Milan last season. That was his sole goal in seven league and cup meetings with Milan during three years in Udine which brought three wins, two draws and two defeats.
• The second leg takes place at the Camp Nou on 3 April, with the winning team advancing to a semi-final against the victors of the SL Benfica v Chelsea quarter-final.
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