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Milan seek change of luck against Barcelona

AC Milan host FC Barcelona in the first leg of their last-16 tie looking to avenge knockout defeats by the Spanish side in the 2011/12 quarter-finals and 2005/06 semi-finals.

Background: AC Milan v FC Barcelona ©Getty Images

AC Milan are looking to avoid an unwanted hat-trick when they take on FC Barcelona in the first leg of a round of 16 contest that pits together two of the UEFA Champions League's most successful clubs.

• Seven-time winners Milan have suffered elimination on the two previous occasions they have come up against Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League knockout phase, succumbing to the Blaugrana in last season's quarter-finals and in the 2005/06 semi-finals.

• Furthermore, while Barcelona finished top of Group G, Massimiliano Allegri's Rossoneri took second place in Group C with the lowest points' tally (eight) of any team in the last 16.

Previous meetings
• These two famous names have squared off 15 times, Barcelona recording six wins to Milan's four and scoring 22 goals to the Italian side's 19. Milan's record in seven home outings against Barcelona reads W2 D2 L3.

• In last season's quarter-final, Milan and Barcelona played out a goalless first leg at San Siro on 28 March. The lineups were:
Milan: Abbiati, Bonera, Mexès, Nesta (Mesbah 75), Antonini, Nocerino, Ambrosini, Seedorf, Boateng (Emanuelson 67), Robinho (El Shaarawy 52), Ibrahimović.
Barcelona: Valdés, Alves, Piqué, Mascherano, Puyol, Xavi, Busquets, Keita, Sánchez (Pedro 76), Messi, Iniesta (Tello 65).

• Barcelona prevailed 3-1 in the 3 April return with Lionel Messi scoring two first-half penalties, either side of Antonio Nocerino's 32nd-minute equaliser. Andrés Iniesta cemented victory for Josep Guardiola's side with a third goal after 53 minutes.

• The clubs also met in the 2011/12 group stage, Barcelona taking four points from their two meetings. Their matchday one fixture at Camp Nou on 13 September 2011 finished 2-2, Thiago Silva scoring Milan's 92nd-minute equaliser after Pedro Rodríguez and David Villa had overturned Pato's first-minute goal.

• Barcelona then won 3-2 in Milan on 23 November to consign their hosts to second place in their group. Xavi Hernández hit a 63rd-minute winner after Zlatan Ibrahimović and Kevin-Prince Boateng had cancelled out Mark van Bommel's own goal and Messi's penalty respectively.

• Frank Rijkaard's Barcelona were 1-0 aggregate winners against Carlo Ancelotti's Milan in the 2005/06 semi-finals en route to winning the second of their four European Cups. Ludovic Giuly's strike at San Siro proved decisive in a first leg featuring Massimo Ambrosini for Milan and Víctor Valdés, Carles Puyol and Iniesta for Barcelona.

• Barcelona are unbeaten in seven matches against Milan, whose last success came in the group stage on 20 October 2004, Andriy Shevchenko getting the only goal. Substitute Ambrosini played for the Rossoneri with Valdés, Puyol, Xavi and substitute Iniesta lining up for the Spanish side. Ambrosini is also a survivor of Milan's only 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, Fabio Capello's Milan winning 4-0 with goals from Daniele Massaro (22, 45), Dejan Savićević (47) and Marcel Desailly (58). Milan also prevailed when the pair met in the 1989 UEFA Super Cup, winning 1-0 at home after a 1-1 away draw.

• Barcelona won the clubs' first two-legged contest 7-1 on aggregate in the first round of the 1959/60 European Champion Clubs' Cup.

Match background
• Milan's three Group G outings at San Siro yielded just two points and they scored just one goal, in the 1-1 draw against Barcelona's Liga rivals Málaga CF.

• By contrast, Barcelona have won eight of their last 11 UEFA Champions League away fixtures and are targeting a sixth successive quarter-final appearance. In the group stage they recorded victories at SL Benfica and FC Spartak Moskva either side of a defeat at Celtic FC.

• Milan's aggregate success against Arsenal FC in last season's round of 16 ended a run of three defeats at this stage – all by English opposition – and put them in the quarter-finals for the first time since 2006/07, when they last lifted the trophy.

• The Rossoneri have won none of their last six home matches against Liga opposition but their overall record against visitors from Spain is W11 D6 L6.

• Barcelona's away record against Serie A teams is W6 D7 L5. Their last defeat in Italy came at San Siro, 3-1 at FC Internazionale Milano in the 2009/10 semi-finals.

• Barcelona won their first European Cup by beating UC Sampdoria 1-0 in the final at Wembley in 1992.

• Milan lost their first European Cup final 3-2 to Real Madrid CF in 1957/58.

Team ties
• A product of Barcelona's youth system, Bojan Krkić played in their first team from 2007 to 2011, making 104 Liga appearances and scoring 26 goals. He scored five goals for Barcelona in 28 UEFA Champions League outings but was an unused substitute in their 2009 and 2011 final triumphs.

• Riccardo Montolivo and Ignazio Abate played in Italy's 4-0 defeat by Spain in the UEFA EURO 2012 final in Kyiv last July. Jordi Alba was among the scorers for a Spain side also featuring Gerard Piqué, Xavi, Iniesta, Cesc Fàbregas, Sergio Busquets and second-half substitute Pedro.

• Fàbregas had earlier scored in the 1-1 group stage draw against Italy in Gdansk, where the only Milan representative was late substitute Nocerino.

• Fàbregas hit the winning penalty when Spain overcame Italy in the UEFA EURO 2008 quarter-finals and struck Arsenal FC's opener in a 2-0 victory at a Milan side including Ambrosini in the second leg of the 2007/08 round of 16 at San Siro, securing an identical aggregate success. Mathieu Flamini was alongside him in Arsenal's team that night and also played with Alex Song during his time in London.

• Lionel Messi equalised as his Argentina side came from behind to win 2-1 away to a Colombia team captained by Mario Yepes in a FIFA World Cup qualifier in Barranquilla in November 2011.

• Iniesta scored the extra-time winner as Spain overcame a Netherlands side featuring Nigel de Jong in the 2010 World Cup final.

• Christian Abbiati (Club Atlético de Madrid), Robinho (Real Madrid) and Cristián Zapata (Villarreal CF) have all had spells in Spanish football. Zapata played in Villarreal's 5-0 reverse at the Camp Nou in August 2011, but Robinho won 1-0 in Barcelona with Madrid in December 2007.

• Thiago Alcántara was born in San Pietro Vernotico in Italy, where his father Mazinho was playing for US Lecce and where he also represented ACF Fiorentina. Thiago made his international debut for Spain in a 2-1 loss to Italy in Bari in August 2011, Montolivo scoring for the Azzurri.

• Alexis Sánchez scored in Udinese Calcio's 4-4 draw at Milan in 2010/11. That was his solitary goal in seven league and cup meetings with Milan during three years in Udine which brought three wins, two draws and two defeats.

• Javier Mascherano was in the Liverpool FC team beaten 2-1 by Ambrosini's Milan in the 2007 UEFA Champions League final in Athens.

• Villa put an 82nd-minute winning penalty past Marco Amelia when Valencia CF defeated Genoa CFC 3-2 in the 2009/10 UEFA Europa League group stage. The Barcelona forward struck a 95th-minute winner in the return in Italy with Amelia not playing.

• The second leg takes place on 12 March.