CHAMPIONS LEAGUE Ro16 2nd LEG: Messi masterclass sends Barcelona through at expense of Milan

Barcelona have overcome a two-goal deficit to progress to the Champions League quarter-finals with a 4-2 aggregate win over AC Milan.

Barcelona have overcome a two-goal deficit to progress to the Champions League quarter-finals with a 4-2 aggregate win over AC Milan.

The Catalan giants produced a 4-0 victory at the Nou Camp thanks to a brilliant performance from Lionel Messi who scored twice in the first half to send the Blaugrana on their merry way.

Messi got Barcelona going inside five minutes when he produced a dazzling finish whilst seemingly under pressure from a number of Milan defenders. He somehow shook himself free of the shackles to curl an unstoppable effort into Christian Abbiati’s top right corner.

Milan had a few half chances but really should have scored in the 39th minute when Mbaye Niang worked himself into space and around Victor Valdes but his angled attempt to an open goal struck the base of the far upright.

A minute later, Messi made him pay when he received a pass from Andres Iniesta on the edge of the area before firing between the legs of Philippe Mexes and past Abbiati’s left hand for his 58th goal in Europe.

With the tie now all square, the onus was on the home side to make all the running and they continued their flourishing attacking display ten minutes into the second half. Xavi played a neat first-time pass to David Villa on the right side of the box with Spain’s all-time leading scorer producing a cool and composed finish with his left foot past the outstretched hand of the flailing Milan keeper.

Barcelona’s defending in the second half was leaving a lot to be desired as Milan chased the away goal that would have seen them through but for all their huff and puff, the Rossoneri could not get the job done as Barcelona wrapped it up with a very late fourth goal to move through to the final eight of the competition.

Left-back Jordi Alba raced forward to get on the end of a pass from Alexis Sanchez, taking a neat first touch before firing underneath Abbiati to send the Barca fans into raptures.

2012/13 UEFA Champions League – Round of 16 second leg

Barcelona (SPN): 4 (Lionel Messi 5’/40’, David Villa 55’, Jordi Alba 90+2’)
AC Milan (ITA): 0 *Barcelona wins 4-2 on aggregate

Nou Camp, Barcelona – 96,000

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