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Milan earn two-goal advantage against Barcelona

Published: Wednesday 20 February 2013, 22.55CET
AC Milan 2-0 FC Barcelona
Eliminated by Barça in their last two knockout round meetings, Milan hold sway this time thanks to goals from Kevin-Prince Boateng and Sulley Muntari.
by Paolo Menicucci
from San Siro

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Match statistics

MilanBarcelona

Goals scored2
 
0
on target6
 
2
off target2
 
4
Corners3
 
4
Offsides4
 
2
Fouls committed15
 
12
Yellow cards2
 
2
Red Cards0
 
0
Possession (%)34
 
66

Standings

 
Published: Wednesday 20 February 2013, 22.55CET

Milan earn two-goal advantage against Barcelona

AC Milan 2-0 FC Barcelona
Eliminated by Barça in their last two knockout round meetings, Milan hold sway this time thanks to goals from Kevin-Prince Boateng and Sulley Muntari.

A splendid defensive display allied with second-half goals from Kevin-Prince Boateng and Sulley Muntari earned AC Milan a 2-0 win against FC Barcelona in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League last-16 tie.

Having faced the Azulgrana four times in the competition last season, Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri's inside knowledge paid off as his team prevented the visitors scoring for just the second time in any competition this term. Their resilience was rewarded with Boateng's 57th-minute opener, Muntari icing the cake late on to confirm a fourth defeat of the campaign for the Spanish Liga leaders.

Muntari was not so accurate with the first effort of the game, his 25-metre volley flashing well over Víctor Valdés's goal. At the other end, Lionel Messi dribbled past Philippe Mexès with delightful movement only for his left-footed shot to ricochet behind off Muntari.

Milan stayed patient in the face of Barcelona's sustained possession and only pressed hard when the Catalans reached dangerous territory. It was then that they attempted to counterattack, a tactic which nearly paid off on the quarter-hour when a lovely touch from Boateng sent Stephan El Shaarawy free down the left. Though the Italy forward cut into the box, a heavy touch combined with Carles Puyol's timely intervention spelt the end of the chance.

However, the subsequent corner, cleverly delivered low towards the near post by El Shaarawy, was turned towards goal by Boateng but slipped just wide. Barça reassumed control yet remained frustrated by a disciplined home defence, leaving El Shaarawy to go close to converting Boateng's inviting cross from the right.

It was, therefore, little surprise when Allegri's charges took the lead. Riccardo Montolivo received a free-kick from 30 metres out and though his shot struck Cristián Zapata on the edge of the area, the ball fell perfectly for Boateng. The Ghana midfielder beat Valdés with a precise left-footed effort to register his club's 400th European Cup goal.

Milan continued to stand strong at the back thereafter, prompting Andrés Iniesta to try his luck with a long-range drive which flew narrowly wide of Christian Abbiati's left-hand post. With nine minutes left, the hosts rubber-stamped their first victory against Barcelona in their last eight attempts. Substitute M'Baye Niang played in El Shaarawy, who in turn showed delightful poise to tee up Muntari, whose first-time volley left Valdés with no chance. Barcelona have work to do in the 12 March return.

Last updated: 13/03/13 0.26CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2013/matches/round=2000348/match=2009590/postmatch/report/index.html#milan+beat+barcelona

Lineups

milan

Milan

barcelona

Barcelona

32
AbbiatiChristian Abbiati (GK)
1
Víctor ValdésVíctor Valdés (GK)
4
MuntariSulley Muntari
Goal81
2
Daniel AlvesDaniel Alves
5
MexèsPhilippe Mexès
Yellow Card25
3
PiquéGerard Piqué
Yellow Card57
10
BoatengKevin-Prince Boateng
Goal57
4
FàbregasCesc Fàbregas
Substitution62
11
PazziniGiampaolo Pazzini
Substitution75
5
PuyolCarles Puyol (C)
Substitution88
17
ZapataCristián Zapata
6
Xavi HernándezXavi Hernández
18
MontolivoRiccardo Montolivo
8
IniestaAndrés Iniesta
20
AbateIgnazio Abate
10
MessiLionel Messi
21
ConstantKévin Constant
16
BusquetsSergio Busquets
Yellow Card55
23
AmbrosiniMassimo Ambrosini (C)
17
Pedro RodríguezPedro Rodríguez
92
El ShaarawyStephan El Shaarawy
Substitution88
18
Jordi AlbaJordi Alba

Substitutes

1
AmeliaMarco Amelia (GK)
13
PintoJosé Manuel Pinto (GK)
2
De SciglioMattia De Sciglio
9
Alexis SánchezAlexis Sánchez
Substitution62
12
TraoréBakaye Traoré
Substitution88
Yellow Card90+1
11
Thiago AlcántaraThiago Alcántara
19
NiangM'Baye Niang
Substitution75
14
MascheranoJavier Mascherano
Substitution88
22
Bojan KrkićBojan Krkić
19
MontoyaMartín Montoya
36
CristanteBryan Cristante
25
SongAlex Song
76
YepesMario Yepes
37
TelloCristian Tello

Coach

Massimiliano Allegri (ITA) Jordi Roura (ESP)

Referee

Craig Thomson (SCO)

Assistant referees

Derek Rose (SCO), Alasdair Ross (SCO)

Fourth official

Graham Chambers (SCO)

Additional assistant referees

Steven McLean (SCO), Kevin Clancy (SCO)

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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