Live Commentary: Barcelona 4-0 AC Milan (4-2) - as it happened

Barcelona's Lionel Messi celebrates after scoring in his side's match with Valencia on February 3, 2013
© AP Photos
Sports Mole brings you live commentary of the second leg of the last-16 Champions League clash at Camp Nou as Barcelona book their spot in the quarter-finals with a 4-0 win over AC Milan.

Barcelona welcomed AC Milan to the Camp Nou on Tuesday in the second leg of their last-16 clash in the Champions League needing to overturn a 2-0 deficit.

The Spanish outfit had the lead on the night inside five minutes when Lionel Messi struck from the edge of the box, before the Argentine added his second to level the tie at 2-2 moments before the interval.

Milan improved in the early stages of the second period, but a goal from David Villa in the 55th minute sent Barcelona into a 3-0 lead on the night.

The Italian side pushed for the goal that would have taken them into the next round in the latter stages, but they were stung on the counter as Jordi Alba made it 4-0 on the night in stoppage time.

Read how it all unfolded in Sports Mole's minute-by-minute live commentary of the action below.


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6.46pmEvening all! Well, we have something really special on the cards this evening. Many had predicted that Barcelona would ease to the Champions League crown this season, but Milan had obviously not read the script. If the Spanish outfit are to secure progress this evening, then they will need to find one of their finest performances in recent years.

6.49pmIn terms of the recent meetings between the two sides, Barcelona have edged it with two wins from the last five matches, drawing twice and losing once. As mentioned, the Catalan outfit were 3-1 winners against Milan in this stadium last season, but that score would not be enough to see them progress to the final eight this time around. Right, the team news is just filtering in.

6.52pmBREAKING TEAM NEWS: No Carlos Puyol or Cesc Fabregas in the Barcelona team this evening, with Javier Mascherano and David Villa both coming into the side. Victor Valdes also returns in place of Jose Pinto between the sticks. Milan, meanwhile, pair Stephan El Shaarawy and Mbaye Niang in a youthful looking attack. Full teams to follow.

6.55pmTEAMS:

BARCELONA: Valdes; Alves, Pique, Mascherano, Alba; Busquets, Xavi, Iniesta; Pedro, Messi, Villa

AC MILAN: Abbiati; Abate, Mexes, Zapata, Constant; Montolivo, Ambrosini, Flamini; Boateng; Niang, El Shaarawy


6.58pmLooking back further into the history books, these two teams have met on 16 occasions. Barcelona have won six of those matches to Milan’s five, scoring 22 goals to the Italian side’s 21. The Spanish outfit’s home record against Milan does make good reading, however, with three wins, three draws and just the single defeat.

7.01pmBarcelona’s recent home record in the Champions League is also impressive with the Catalan side on a 19-game unbeaten run at the Camp Nou. The last time they lost in this stadium was a 2-1 defeat to Rubin Kazan in October 2009. But not only do they need to win this evening, they need to score at least twice without reply.

7.04pmThe last time Barcelona exited the Champions League at this stage was in the 2006/2007 season when they were beaten by Liverpool. However, no side in the history of the competition has overturned a 2-0 lead from the first leg. If any team are to break that record, it could be Barcelona with the Spanish side winning 11 of 24 ties in which they have lost the first leg away from home.

7.07pmThe home side have also failed to score in their last two Champions League matches for the first time since April 2008, while they have not kept a clean sheet in their last six knockout matches in this competition. That said, Milan have conceded at least three goals in four of their last six away matches in Europe, which will hand Barcelona some hope.

7.10pmMilan have also failed to keep a clean sheet in their last eight away matches in the Champions League, while their last away win in the knockout stages of this competition was back in April 2007 when they overcame Bayern Munich 2-0 in Germany. However, Milan have not beaten Barcelona in the Camp Nou since 2000, when they were also 2-0 winners.


7.13pmMilan do hold the unenviable title, however, of the biggest first-leg victory which has been overturned in this competition. They looked on course for the semi-finals in the 2003/2004 season when they won the first leg 4-1 against Deportivo La Coruna in Italy, but lost the second leg 4-0 to exit the competition in quite remarkable circumstances.

7.16pmThere is no question that Barcelona have struggled in recent weeks. It is hardly time to talk of a crisis, but they will have been hurt with recent back-to-back defeats against Real Madrid. First they were dumped out of the Copa del Rey by Jose Mourinho’s side at the Camp Nou before losing in the league in Madrid a few days later.

7.19pmThey have won two of their last three matches in the league, but struggled to a 2-1 win over Sevilla on February 23 before overcoming basement outfit Deportivo La Coruna at the weekend. It was top against bottom in that particular match, but for long periods Deportivo were more than in the match against a poor Barcelona team.

7.22pmIt is hard to criticise Barcelona with the Spanish side sitting top of La Liga, some 13 points clear of Real Madrid, but in truth, they sewed up the league a long time ago. Only the biggest collapse in history would see them forfeit the title at this stage, but it is hard to get away from the fact that just the one title would not be considered a success this season.

7.25pmBoss Tito Vilanova had the club playing exceptional football in the early stages of the season, but his absence due to illness has coincided with their struggles. There have been plenty of big matches in Barcelona’s history, make no mistake about that, but you just get the feeling that this could top them all. It is going to be such a tense night in Catalonia.

7.28pmMilan, meanwhile, had their struggles in the early part of the season, but have hit some serious form this year. They are unbeaten in the league in 2013, winning seven and drawing three. That run of form has moved them into third position in the table, but they are still 11 points behind leaders Juventus with 10 matches remaining.

7.31pmMany people had branded this team as one of the worst Milan sides in history, but the performances of the likes of Stephan El Shaarawy and Kevin Prince-Boateng have complemented the older heads in the team. They were rank outsiders for the Champions League at the beginning of the season, but who says that they cannot win the competition if they overcome Barcelona?

7.34pmBarcelona have a stunning league record in this stadium this season, with 12 wins and one draw from 13 matches, but Milan have suffered more defeats at the San Siro than they have on the road in Serie A this season, with just three losses from 14 matches. Although Milan have already lost on Spanish soil this season – a 1-0 defeat to Malaga in the group stages.

7.37pmOverall, Milan’s away record against Spanish opposition is won four, drawn six and lost 13, not a total that will fill them with too much confidence. However, they can afford to suffer a narrow defeat this evening and still advance, courtesy of strikes from Boateng and Sulley Muntari in the first leg.

7.40pmRight, we are just about five minutes from kickoff, which can only mean one thing, time for my pre-match prediction. I expect Barcelona to win this evening, but they rarely keep a clean sheet, which could be their undoing. I am backing a 3-1 Barcelona win, with the Spanish side to exit on away goals. If Milan can score first, I expect them to park the bus, the train, the aeroplane, the boat and well anything else they can find.

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7.43pmHere we go then. Both sets of players join us on the pitch as the wonderful Champions League music beams out around this famous stadium. Following the completion of the pre-match handshakes and the exchanging of flags, we will get the action underway. What a night of European football in Barcelona. Can the home side turn it around?

0 minJust a reminder of the main team news. Mascherano and Villa return to the Barcelona side this evening at the expense of Puyol and Fabregas. Mario Balotelli is cup-tied for Milan, meaning that Niang starts in attack alongside El Shaarawy. Right, the away side get the action underway on this wonderful night of European football.

2 minSensational atmosphere inside the stadium in the early stages of this match. It is so important that the home supporters stay with their team in the early stages. Milan immediately relinquish possession to the home side, who begin their passing style. I suspect we could see a lot of this type of football this evening.

4 minFirst attack for Barcelona as Mascherano finds Dani Alves down the right, but Mexes comes across to clear the danger. Messi collects moments later before drifting inside, but Flamini is across to clear. Milan are just struggling to keep hold of the ball in the early stages. They really need to ride out the first 10 or 15 minutes.

5 minLet me take a moment to draw attention to a certain Lionel Messi. The Argentine needs just one more strike to overtake former Real Madrid and Manchester United striker Ruud van Nistelrooy’s total of 56 goals in the Champions League, should he overtake that number this evening, then he would become the second-highest scorer in history. I am not sure if Milan have completed two passes thus far.

5 minGOAL! Barcelona 1-0 AC Milan (Messi)

6 minStunning just stunning from Barcelona as they pass and probe on the edge of the box before Messi curls an effort into the top corner. That is just about as good as it gets. There is the goal for the Argentine, his 52nd of the season. Just what the doctor ordered.

8 minFirst real tackle of the match as Boateng dives into the back of Busquets, but the referee takes no further action. It is almost like a training match at the moment as Barcelona utterly dominate possession of the ball. Incredible atmosphere inside the stadium as their famous song rings around.

10 minMilan attempt to break on the counter as Niang dances past two challenges, but Mascherano comes across to clear the danger. El Shaarawy has a similar run moments later, but he runs down a blind ally with Alves across to clear. Milan really need to gain some sort of control in the early stages.

11 minHalf-chance for the away side as El Shaarawy drives into the Barcelona box, but he is taken wide by two defenders and cannot strike with any real power. There is always that risk with this Barcelona team. We have had 11 minutes of sensational football inside the Camp Nou. This is what football is all about.

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13 minBarcelona want a free kick just outside the penalty area as Messi dances between two challenges, but the referee shakes his head. Barcelona are just playing at such a high tempo as they continue to pop the ball around. This is the loudest that I have heard this stadium this season. The home side want a penalty as Pedro moves into the box, but Abate is across to challenge fairly.

15 minOn second replay, Abate did not challenge Pedro fairly. For me, it was a penalty and it would have been a red card. What a moment that would have been. Milan attempt to advance down the other end with El Shaarawy, but the attacker just cannot keep hold of the ball. Hardly time to draw breath in the opening 15 minutes.

16 minCROSSBAR! Barcelona come within a whisker of their second as Iniesta thump an effort from outside the box, but Abbiati pushes onto the crossbar. Messi meets the rebound, but he can only head wide of the target. Incredible pressure from the Catalan outfit.

18 minIt almost sounds as if someone has a guitar in the crowd at the moment along with the usual drum as the deafening noise continues inside the Camp Nou. It's better from Milan as Boateng collects possession before driving down the right, but Alba is across to clear. It's careless down the other end as Mexes plays a short back-pass towards Abbiati, but Zapata is across to clear.

20 minBarcelona continue to force the issue as Xavi strikes an effort from outside the box, but Abbiati gets down to make the save. The resulting corner is taken short to Messi before Busquets meets the cross, but it moves behind for another corner. Milan are under some serious pressure at the moment. They simply have to ride out this period.

22 minThe relentless pressure continues as Iniesta drives a low cross into the box, but Mexes is across to clear the danger. Alves forces a cross into the box from the other side, but Boateng thumps clear. It is just a question of relieving your lines at the moment as the pressure comes back with interest. It is difficult, but Milan really need to put their foot on the ball.

24 minBarcelona force a free kick outside the penalty area which Xavi attempts to pass to Pedro, but Boateng reads the danger. Pedro dances into the penalty area moments later before being chopped down, but the referee is simply not interested. Very impressive display from the official in the opening 24 minutes of this match.

26 minIt's better from Milan as they start to pass the ball around in midfield with Montolivo and Constant prepared to play it short and sharp. Eventually the latter attempts to force it towards Abate, but his low cross is claimed by Valdes. I would not like to take a guess at the possession statistics thus far. I will save that until half time. It is going to be quite amazing I can assure you.

28 minAnother half-chance comes to the home side as Alves finds the head of Pedro in the penalty area, but the little Spaniard can only flick his header wide of the post. Slight problem for Flamini here as he receives treatment for a head wound, but it does appear that he will be fit to continue. The opening 28 minutes of this match has just flown by.

30 minIt has been all Barcelona thus far, but we must not forget that as it stands, Milan are still winning the tie. We can have extra-time this evening if Barcelona win 2-0, but a Milan goal at this stage would leave the home side needing to score another three times. The Catalan outfit continue to utterly dominate possession as the atmosphere rises.

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32 minIt's better from the away side as Montolivo cuts inside before finding Boateng, who in turn slides a pass towards El Shaarawy, but it was always running away from the Italian. Niang finds El Shaarawy in the box moments later, but the Italian can only head wide. Much better from the away side. More of an even match in the last couple of moments.

34 minBarcelona continue to move the ball from left to right, but Milan have just managed to quell the threat in the last few moments with Mexes and Zapata first to every ball. Niang and El Shaarawy remain a threat in the final third, but the final ball just needs to be slightly better. The crowd has also been quietened in the last couple of minutes.

36 minHalf-chance for the away side once more as El Shaarawy collects possession before stepping inside Pique and striking an effort on goal, but it never had enough power to really worry Valdes. Barcelona threaten down the other end moments later, but Messi is stopped in his tracks by Abate before Alves fires wide from distance.

38 minNot too much to report in the last couple of minutes, which is the worst time I have been able to say that this evening. Milan have certainly improved since falling behind, while they are now offering an attacking threat of their own. It is so important that they keep it tight with little over five minutes of the first period remaining.

39 minHalf-chance for the home side as Pedro finds a dangerous cross into the box, but Niang is across to clear for a corner. The resulting set piece is whipped into the area by Xavi, but Milan are certainly the more powerful team in the air. The pressure is just building once more.

39 minPOST! Oh my word. What a moment in this match! Glorious chance for the away side as Niang advances through on goal, but he can only thump his effort against the post. How crucial could that moment be? Terrible mistake from Mascherano.

39 minGOAL! Barcelona 2-0 AC Milan (Messi)

40 minWhat a couple of minutes. Niang hits the post and moments later Messi collects the ball on the edge of the box before thumping his effort into the bottom corner. That is some strike from the Argentine. His seventh Champions League goal of the season.

42 minThere are defining moments in each Champions League season and that Niang miss could be up there. It would have been a long way back for Barcelona if the striker hit the back of the net, but now they have levelled the score on aggregate. Little over three minutes of the first period remaining.

45 minThe home supporters have found their voice again with Barcelona utterly dominating possession in the final third. The half-time interval will come as a welcome respite for the Italian side. Meanwhile, the fourth official indicates that we will play an additional one minute of stoppage time.


45 min+1HALF-TIME: Barcelona 2-0 AC Milan (2-2 on aggregate)

8.32pmWow. That is some half of football. Barcelona had their early goal as Messi struck after five minutes, but the turning moment in the half arrived when Niang hit the post for Milan, moments later Messi scored his second. We are all even at the half-way point of the second leg. What a first half of football.

8.36pmSTATISTICS: The home side have utterly dominated possession with 76%, while Barcelona have had seven attempts to Milan's four. The Spanish outfit have certainly been the better side, but there is no question that Milan have had their chances. They must be taken at this level.

8.40pmBENCH WATCH: The home side have a wealth of options on the bench in the shape of Alexis Sanchez, Adriano, Cristian Tello and Alex Song. Meanwhile, Milan have the likes of Sulley Muntari, Bojan and Robinho in reserve. There are certainly goals in that list of players.

8.44pmIt is indeed half time in the other Champions League clash this evening with Galatasaray leading 2-1 on the night and 3-2 on aggregate against German side Schalke. Two wonderful matches in Europe's elite competition. What will come in the second 45 minutes?!

46 minHere we go then. Both sets of players join us on the pitch ahead of the second period. No changes for either side which is perhaps not too surprising at this stage of the match. As it stands, this match is heading for extra-time. But I suspect we have not seen the last of the goals. The home side get the half underway.

48 minIt is just over a year since Milan were beaten by three goals - against Arsenal at the Emirates last season. However, the Italian side still progressed in that tie having won the first leg 4-0 at home. You just get the feeling that the next goal - if there indeed is one - could be the decisive factor in this match. Milan have to remain stern in defence.

50 minHalf-chance for the home side as Messi collects possession before driving past two defenders and firing towards the bottom corner, but Abbiati is across to make the save. Just a quick note on Barcelona and clean sheets, Victor Valdes has not kept a clean sheet for over two months, which will hand the away side confidence.

52 minIt's bright football from Milan with Montolivo, Flamini and Boateng working the ball past Iniesta in a roundabout motion, but eventually the Spaniard does gain control before Ambrosini chops down Messi outside the box. Alves takes the resulting free kick, but he fires it straight into the arms of the Milan goalkeeper. Steady opening seven minutes to the first period.

54 minBarcelona continue to pass and probe outside the penalty area, but Milan have been more steady in defence. A half-chance arrives for Milan as Boateng collects possession on the left before driving a low cross into the box, but it deflects behind for a corner. Much more intent about the Italian side in the early stages of this half.

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55 minHalf-chance for the away side as Boateng strikes a volley from inside the box, but it was always rising over the crossbar. Remember, a goal for Milan would leave Barcelona needing four in order to book their spot in the next round. Milan are arguably on top at the moment as they continue to work the ball into wide positions.

55 minGOAL! Barcelona 3-0 AC Milan (Villa)

56 minBarcelona have their third of the evening as Villa collects a pass from Mascherano before cutting into the box and curling his effort into the corner. Stunning finish from the Spaniard. Milan simply have to score to remain in this match.

58 minIn truth it had been coming. One misplaced pass too many for the away side, but they have to keep believing that they can get back into the match. One goal at this stage would put them through into the next round, but they would need to score twice if Barcelona score again. Little over 30 minutes of football remaining.

60 minMessi is again involved for the home side as he dances past two players before finding Alves on the right, the Brazilian fires a low cross into the box, but Mexes is across to clear. Milan have almost retreated into their shell at the point where they simply have to remain focused. It is constant pressure at the moment.

62 minDouble change for the away side as Muntari and Robinho enter the field in the place of Ambrosini and Niang. Messi almost scores his third moments later as the Argentine strikes an effort from outside the box, but it was always rising over the crossbar. Can Robinho influence this match in the final 30 minutes?

64 minThe foul-count continues to rise as Muntari comes across to foul Messi. The resulting free kick is taken by Messi, but Abbiati is across to claim under pressure from Pedro. The Italian side are really struggling to keep hold of the possession once more. But they have to keep believing that they can find that one chance and that one goal.

66 minSimply all one-way traffic at the moment as Barcelona continue to pass and probe in the Milan half, but as it stands, the Italian side need one goal to take them into the next round. Oh what they would give for Mario Balotelli to be available this evening. You would put money on him turning up for this kind of match. Little under 25 minutes of football remaining in Barcelona.

68 minIt's good work from Abate as the right-back comes forward before flashing a decent ball into the box, but there are no takers. Milan simply have to push forward, but that will leave gaps for the home side to exploit. Robinho is involved as he crafts outside the box, but eventually the attack breaks down with Boateng.

70 minAgain Abate is involved for Milan as he drives into the Barcelona box before finding Flamini, but his flick is blocked by Pique. Milan have really started to sense something this evening as they continue to push forward. Remember, as it stands, one goal for the away side would take them into the final eight of the competition.

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72 minBarcelona have just lowered the pace in the last couple of moments as they pass the ball around in their own half. Milan are offering much more of an attacking threat, which is forcing the home side to drop deeper. It is so delicately poised with little under 20 minutes of football to play in the Camp Nou.

74 minNot too much to report in the last couple of moments with Barcelona happy to keep hold of the ball rather than push for the fourth, which would surely be enough to secure their spot in the final eight. It is a dilemma for Barcelona. You just get the feeling that there is going to be a late sting in the tail.

76 minHalf-chance for Barcelona as Zapata fells Messi outside the penalty area. The resulting free kick is taken by the Argentine, but he smashes his effort straight into the wall. Meanwhile, the home side make their first change of the match as Villa is replaced by Alexis Sanchez.

76 minMilan also make their third and final change of the match as Bojan comes on to replace Flamini. Good reception for the former, who of course used to play for the Catalan outfit. What a moment for him if he could find a goal this evening. Little over 10 minutes of football remaining in this Champions League clash.

78 minAbate is again the threat for Milan as he collects a pass from Boateng before advancing into the box, but the linesman raises his flag at the vital moment. You can just feel the nervousness inside the stadium at the moment. Milan have not been in this game, but one goal and they are in the next round.

80 minBarcelona make their second change of the match as Carlos Puyol replaces Mascherano. Milan have used their full quota of subs this evening, but the home side have one more if they so wish. Will there be one big chance for the away side in the final 10 minutes. Sanchez has the ball in the net for Barcelona, but the offside flag is raised.

82 minMuntari attempts to force it as he fires a long pass towards Robinho, but Pique is across to clear the danger. There is a real sense of nervousness in both the supporters and the players at the moment. Milan have not been in this match, but all it takes is one goal and they are in the final eight. Zapata comes close with a powerful drive, but Pique makes the challenge.

84 minCHANCE! Wonderful chance for the away side as Bojan finds Robinho in the box, but Alba is across to make a stunning challenge at the vital moment. The corner is taken short to Bojan, but his cross is into the arms of the waiting Valdes.

85 minBarcelona make their third and final change of the match as Pedro is replaced by Adriano. I suspect that he will be asked to play a defensive winger role in the latter stages of this match. The best part of five minutes remaining in the Camp Nou. Barcelona currently have possession in the Milan half.

87 minMilan continue to force the issue with Robinho and Boateng looking to slip passes through the Barcelona defence, but Pique and Puyol are defending well. Real sense of unease inside the stadium as the Italian side continue to dominate possession. Can they score?

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89 minHalf-chance for Messi as the Argentine combines with Sanchez before striking towards goal, but Zapata is across to make the challenge. Milan force the issue down the other end, but El Shaarawy just moves into an offside position at the vital moment. Little over one minute of normal time remaining.

90 minAnother Milan attack breaks down as Abate attempts to force the ball inside but Adriano carries forward, before his fellow full-back Alves wins a corner. Time is not on Milan's side at the moment. The fourth official indicates that we will play an additional three minutes of stoppage time.

90 min+2Barcelona have another penalty appeal turned down as Alba tumbles in the penalty area, but the referee is not interested. Barcelona have possession in the Milan half with little over one minute of football remaining. Is there one last chance for the Italian side? Doesn't appear so.

90 min+2GOAL! Barcelona 4-0 AC Milan (Alba)

90 min+3Barcelona book their spot in the final eight as Alba finishes off a sweeping move by turning into the back of the net on the counter attack. Milan just had nothing left. It is all over.

90 min+3FULL-TIME: Barcelona 4-0 AC Milan (Barcelona advance 4-2 on aggregate)

9.35pmSo there we have it. Barcelona book their spot in the final eight of the competition with a 4-0 win over AC Milan. Milan had their moments, but the Spanish outfit certainly deserved to make it into the next round. Thanks for joining Sports Mole for the action and be sure to stick around for the analysis and all the match reaction. Good evening!

San Siro
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2Barcelona11002023
3Real Sociedad11003213
4EibarEibar11001013
5Leganes11001013
6Levante11001013
7Valencia11001013
8Atletico MadridAtletico10102201
9GironaGirona10102201
10Espanyol10101101
11Sevilla10101101
12Athletic Bilbao10100001
13Getafe10100001
14Celta Vigo100123-10
15AlavesAlaves100101-10
16Las PalmasLas Palmas100101-10
17Malaga100101-10
18Villarreal100101-10
19Real Betis100102-20
20Deportivo La CorunaDeportivo100103-30