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Barcelona overcome Milan to seal early progress

Published: Wednesday 6 November 2013, 22.58CET
FC Barcelona 3-1 AC Milan
Lionel Messi scored a goal in each half as the four-time European champions qualified from Group H with two matches still to spare.
by Graham Hunter
from Camp Nou

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Match statistics

BarcelonaMilan

Goals scored3
 
1
Possession (%)59
 
41
Total attempts17
 
4
on target9
 
1
off target8
 
3
blocked3
 
0
against woodwork0
 
0
Corners9
 
3
Offsides6
 
1
Yellow cards1
 
3
Red Cards0
 
0
Fouls committed12
 
12
Fouls suffered12
 
12
Passes745
 
526
completed649
 
389

Standings

Last updated: 19/06/2014 23:28 CET

Legend:

P: Played   
Pts: Points   
 
Published: Wednesday 6 November 2013, 22.58CET

Barcelona overcome Milan to seal early progress

FC Barcelona 3-1 AC Milan
Lionel Messi scored a goal in each half as the four-time European champions qualified from Group H with two matches still to spare.

Lionel Messi reaffirmed his love affair with the UEFA Champions League, scoring in each half as FC Barcelona deservedly defeated AC Milan and qualified for the last 16 with two games to spare.

His elegant strike with seven minutes left settled a testing night at the Camp Nou. Messi's first-half penalty – added to by Sergio Busquets's header – had left Gerardo Martino's side looking comfortable, only for an own goal on the cusp of half-time from Gerard Piqué to open the door to a Milan fightback.

Indeed, for most of the first period the story was one of tension and tenacity. While the Spanish champions bossed the ball and created minor openings, they never went through the notes to hit major keys and reach a crescendo. Christian Abbiati was busy, but seldom in extremis, and his neat work to block Neymar and Messi was simply the product of a sharp, in-form keeper.

Adriano stung his fingertips with a fierce drive, but the reason that the net behind Abbiati bulged for the first time must be put down to a basic drop in concentration by the defence in front of him. Andrés Iniesta was allowed freedom to clip a pass through to Neymar and Ignazio Abate tugged him back. Up stepped Messi and he ate into Raúl González's all-time competition record of 71 goals.

The lead became two for the same fundamental reason. Rossoneri captain Riccardo Montolivo committed a needless foul on Neymar, Xavi Hernández put vicious bend on the resulting free-kick and Busquets was splendidly isolated to glance his header in.

There were five minutes to the break but by the time the players trooped off it was to the sound of Milanese chanting. Kaká's run left Daniel Alves struggling in its wake and the cross-shot was deftly sliced past Víctor Valdés by Piqué.

Although Milan's confidence rose, and the 46th-minute introduction of Mario Balotelli helped, the goal jolted the Catalans. Iniesta struck a measured shot towards the bottom corner of the Milan net not long after the restart, but Abbiati continued his fine night by diving full length and tipping the ball away.

Then, drama. Neymar clearly thought the contest needed settling and weaved past three Milan defenders in the box only to slip slightly and skew his effort wide. Next he set Messi free and a goal looked sure when the ball was fed to Alexis Sánchez, only for Abbiati to dwarf all his previous work with a fabulous stop. Not that he could do the same when Messi finished off a give-and-go with Cesc Fàbregas late on.

Last updated: 03/12/13 19.43CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2014/matches/round=2000479/match=2011814/postmatch/report/index.html#barcelona+ease+through

Lineups

barcelona

Barcelona

milan

Milan

1
Víctor ValdésVíctor Valdés (GK)
32
AbbiatiChristian Abbiati (GK)
3
PiquéGerard Piqué
Goal45
4
MuntariSulley Muntari
Yellow Card32
6
Xavi HernándezXavi Hernández (C)
Substitution88
5
MexèsPhilippe Mexès
8
IniestaAndrés Iniesta
Substitution78
7
RobinhoRobinho
Substitution46
9
Alexis SánchezAlexis Sánchez
Yellow Card62
16
PoliAndrea Poli
Substitution74
10
MessiLionel Messi
Goal30
Goal83
17
ZapataCristián Zapata
11
NeymarNeymar
Substitution85
18
MontolivoRiccardo Montolivo (C)
14
MascheranoJavier Mascherano
20
AbateIgnazio Abate
Yellow Card29
16
BusquetsSergio Busquets
Goal40
22
KakáKaká
Substitution84
21
AdrianoAdriano
28
EmanuelsonUrby Emanuelson
22
Daniel AlvesDaniel Alves
34
N. De JongNigel de Jong
Yellow Card56

Substitutes

13
PintoJosé Manuel Pinto (GK)
35
CoppolaFerdinando Coppola (GK)
2
MontoyaMartín Montoya
9
MatriAlessandro Matri
Substitution84
4
FàbregasCesc Fàbregas
Substitution78
14
BirsaValter Birsa
Substitution74
7
Pedro RodríguezPedro Rodríguez
Substitution85
21
ConstantKévin Constant
15
BartraMarc Bartra
25
BoneraDaniele Bonera
17
SongAlex Song
Substitution88
45
BalotelliMario Balotelli
Substitution46
20
TelloCristian Tello
81
ZaccardoCristian Zaccardo

Coach

Gerardo Martino (ARG) Massimiliano Allegri (ITA)

Referee

Milorad Mažić (SRB)

Assistant referees

Milovan Ristić (SRB), Dalibor Djurdjević (SRB)

Fourth official

Milan Minić (SRB)

Additional assistant referees

Danilo Grujić (SRB), Miodrag Gogić (SRB)

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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