Nov 6, 2013 at 7.45pm UK at ​Camp Nou
Barcelona
3-1
AC Milan
Messi (30', 83'), Busquets (39')
Sanchez (62')
FT(HT: 2-1)
Pique (45' og.)
Abate (29'), Muntari (32'), de Jong (56')

Live Commentary: Barcelona 3-1 AC Milan - as it happened

Barcelona's Alexis Sanchez celebrates with teammate Neymar after scoring the opening goal against Espanyol on November 1, 2013
© Getty Images
Sports Mole brings you live commentary of the Champions League Group H clash at the Camp Nou as Barcelona beat AC Milan 3-1.
Barcelona welcomed AC Milan in the Champions League on Wednesday looking to move onto 10 points in Group H.

The home side took the lead after 30 minutes when Lionel Messi converted from the penalty spot, before Sergio Busquets made it 2-0 five minutes before the interval.

Milan had one back in first-half stoppage time, however, when Gerard Pique turned into his own net following a low cross from Kaka.

Both sides had chances in the second period, but it was Barcelona that completed the scoring in the latter stages when Messi converted from close range.

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! Our Champions League coverage continues this evening as Barcelona welcome AC Milan. The home side currently sit top of Group H having collected seven points from their three matches in the group stages. Meanwhile, Milan sit second following an unbeaten start. However, they have struggled at the Camp Nou in recent seasons.

6.49pmBREAKING TEAM NEWS: Cesc Fabregas misses out for Barcelona this evening, with Gerardo Martino selecting Andres Iniesta and Xavi alongside Sergio Busquets. Meanwhile, Alexis Sanchez is preferred to Pedro in attack. Milan have Mario Balotelli on the bench, while Urby Emanuelson comes into their XI at the expense of Kevin Constant.

6.52pmTEAMS:

BARCELONA: Valdes; Alves, Pique, Mascherano, Adriano; Busquets, Xavi, Iniesta; Sanchez, Neymar, Messi

AC MILAN: Abbiati; Abate, Zapata, Mexes, Emanuelson; Poli, Montolivo, De Jong, Muntari; Kaka; Robinho

6.55pmSo there we have it. Neither Carlos Puyol nor Sergi Roberto will suit up for Barcelona this evening, but Pedro is on the bench alongside Cesc Fabregas and Martin Montoya. Sulley Muntari keeps his spot in the Milan midfield, while Kaka will provide support to Robinho. Alessandro Matri joins Balotelli on the bench for the away side.

6.58pmThe two sides met in the San Siro in the reverse group match last month. Robinho handed the home side an early lead following good work from Kaka, but Lionel Messi equalised with 24 minutes on the clock. Both teams had opportunities to claim all three points in the second period, but the match ended in a 1-1 draw.

7.01pmIn total, the two sides have met in European competition 18 times. Barcelona have recorded seven wins to Milan’s five, while they have scored 27 times to the Italian side’s 22. Barcelona’s home record against Milan is also strong with four wins, three draws and just the one defeat in their eight meetings.

7.04pmThe two sides have also clashed in each of the last two Champions League campaigns. Milan secured a 2-0 lead in the first leg of their last-16 clash last season, but Barcelona won 4-0 in the Camp Nou to advance. Milan were also eliminated by Barcelona in the quarter-finals of the 2011-12 campaign after losing 3-1 in this stadium.

7.07pmPerhaps the most high-profile encounter between the two sides came in the 1994 Champions League final, when Fabio Capello’s Milan side won 4-0. Milan were also victorious when the pair met in the 1989 UEFA Super Cup, winning 1-0 at home after claiming a 1-1 draw in Barcelona.

7.10pmBarcelona also enter this particular match with a formidable home record. The Spanish outfit have lost just one of their last 23 Champions League fixtures in the Camp Nou, with that defeat occurring in the semi-finals against Barcelona last season. Meanwhile, they have won their last 21 league matches in this stadium.

7.13pmAs mentioned, the Spanish outfit currently top Group H with seven points. They opened their campaign with a comfortable 4-0 win over Ajax, before beating Celtic 1-0. They struggled against the Scottish champions, but a Cesc Fabregas header after 76 minutes made sure of the points. Next came the Milan clash, where they secured a point in a 1-1 draw.

7.16pmBarcelona’s overall home record against Italian visitors is won 12, drawn five and lost two of their 19 matches. The Catalan outfit will also have fond memories of facing Italian opposition, having overcome Sampdoria at Wembley in 1992 to claim their first European Cup. Three points this evening would place them in a commanding position in the group.

7.19pmHead coach Gerardo Martino has not tasted defeat since taking charge in the summer, but Barca have faced criticism this season for their approach to matches. The form of Lionel Messi has also suffered in recent weeks with the Argentine scoring just once in his last five games. However, Messi has registered four times in the Champions League this season.

7.22pmIn a recent press conference, Martino defended Messi’s current situation. He told reporters: “I think that this must be the third news conference in the last five days and more or less the 20th question about Leo's situation. And I will continue saying exactly the same thing. What I am is happy to have him, to be able to coach him and have him in the team. Let's wait for the next match and see whether he continues to contribute what he has been contributing to Barcelona, when everything he does is decisive in the match."

7.25pmMeanwhile, Barcelona’s total of six goals from their opening three games is their lowest haul at this stage since they scored three in the 2009-10 campaign. It is difficult to be critical of a team that has made such a stunning start to the season, but there is a general feeling that some of the magic from their game has gone, for the time being anyway.

7.28pmMilan, meanwhile, currently sit second in the group on five points. They began their Champions League campaign with a 2-0 home win over Celtic, but they needed two goals in the final eight minutes to overcome the Scottish champions. They left it later against Ajax, when a controversial penalty from Mario Balotelli in stoppage time secured a 1-1 draw in Holland, before the draw with Barca last time out.

7.31pmMilan lost twice in Spain last season, with defeat in the group stages against Malaga followed by the 4-0 loss at Barcelona. The Italian side’s overall record against teams from Spain is won six, drawn six and lost 14. Meanwhile, they have not won on any of their last five visits to Spain – a record that is certainly a concern.

7.34pmIn terms of domestic form, Barcelona have made a record-breaking start to La Liga. The current champions sit top of La Liga having won 11 and drawn one of their 12 matches. What’s more, they have scored the most amount of goals (34) and conceded the least (seven). They are one point clear of Atletico Madrid and six clear of Real Madrid.

7.37pmHowever, Milan have not been as impressive at home. The former Italian champions currently sit ninth in Serie A having won just three of their 11 league matches this season. They have scored 17 times, but conceded 19, which is 17 more than Roma and 11 more than Napoli, who sit first and second respectively in the early part of the season.

7.40pmHere’s a word from Kaka, who spoke to the media on Tuesday about this particular match. The Brazilian told Tiki Taka: "For us it is not easy to face Barcelona for the way that they play. The promise is that we will do everything that we can. For us this is a difficult moment, but the match against Barcelona can be an opportunity. We should try to play a good game, as we did in the reverse fixture. We want to leave our current situation with all our might.”

7.43pmPREDICTION: Milan were impressive against Barcelona last time out, but the Catalan outfit are a different animal entirely on their own patch. The return of Balotelli, albeit on the bench, will hand Milan confidence, but I just cannot see any possible way how Milan win this match. A draw is not out of the question, but I expect Barcelona to pick up all three points in Spain this evening.

0 minHere we go then. The pre-match handshakes have been undertaken and the flags have been exchanged. Both sets of players have joined us on the pitch as they entered with that wonderful Champions League music erupting around this famous stadium. Let's hope for excitement in Spain as the away side get this European fixture underway.

2 minNo surprise that there is a wonderful atmosphere inside the stadium this evening and it is indeed a full house. Bright start from Milan as Kaka wins an early free kick in the Barcelona half, but it is played short before the move breaks down. You just get the feeling that Milan need to quieten the crowd in the early stages.

4 minBarcelona have taken control of the possession, as expected, with the likes of Busquets, Xavi and Iniesta seeing plenty of the ball. Milan are pressing quite high, however, with Kaka dropping deep whenever possible. The pattern of this match will be Barca in control of the possession, with Milan hoping to threaten on the counter.

6 minBarcelona's first free kick of the match arrives outside the box as Milan skipper Montolivo fells Neymar outside the box. The resulting set piece is taken by Xavi, but his effort is just wide of the post. Milan enjoy a period of possession moments later, but no real threat from the Italian side thus far.

8 minFirst real sign of Messi as the Argentine dances into the Milan box, but Abate is across to clear at the vital moment. Alves strikes one from outside the box moments later, but it deflects over the crossbar. Another half-chance arrives as Neymar drives into the Milan box, but Abbiati collects the danger.

11 minMilan are really struggling to keep the ball at the moment as Barcelona continue to force the issue in the final third. Another free kick arrives for the home side as Mexes fells Sanchez, but the cross from Xavi is cleared. Kaka has possession down the other end moments later, but Valdes is on hand to clear following a back-pass from Mascherano.

13 minAnother half-chance for Neymar as the Brazilian collects possession outside the box, but his effort is high and wide of the crossbar. Abate just needs to be a little bit careful here as he continues to give away free kicks outside the box. The possession football continues, but there have been no real chances for either side in the opening 13 minutes of football.

15 minIt is almost like a training exercise at the moment as Barcelona continue to pass and probe outside the box. Eventually Messi finds Sanchez, but his first touch is poor. Muntari loses possession moments later, setting up a counter for the home side, but Messi asks too much from Sanchez. Milan just have not been involved in the final third thus far. It has to be better.

18 minSlight frustration from the home supporters as another Barcelona attack breaks down in the final third. It is almost too easy for the Catalan outfit at the moment. Sanchez is involved moments later as he drives a low cross into the box, but Emanuelson clears. The resulting corner is whipped into the box by Xavi, but Abbiati comes a long way to clear under pressure from Pique.

20 minNot too much to report in terms of chances in the last couple of moments or indeed in the opening 20 minutes, but still Milan struggle to keep hold of the ball. There is no real shape to their side at the moment, while Kaka and Robinho have hardly touched the ball. That said, for the moment, they are repelling the threat from Barcelona, which has been constant.

22 minSanchez threatens for Barcelona as he collects a through pass from Messi, but the Chilean is ruled offside by the linesman. Neymar finds space in a crowded box moments later before finding Xavi, but there is no way through this Milan defence. Adriano's low cross finds Sanchez moments later, but he turns wide.

24 minCHANCE! Oh my good grief. It is a horror moment from Abbiati as the Milan keeper attempts to chip one towards Mexes, but Sanchez makes the block. Luckily for the away side, the ball hits the side netting. That would have been comical. In terms of this match, it is a clear chance. However, the score remains level after 24 minutes of football.

27 minMilan finally threaten Barcelona with a corner from Robinho, but Adriano is on hand to clear the danger. Mexes attempts the spectacular with a bicycle kick moments later, but it did not threaten Valdes in the Barcelona goal. Some whistles around the stadium in the last couple of moments as the home side continue to struggle to create clear openings in the Camp Nou.

29 minAgain it's good work from Sanchez as the Chilean breaks free of Emanuelson before delivering a dangerous cross into the box, but Abbiati palms clear at the vital moment. Milan have a free kick moments later as Robinho is felled by Mascherano, but it comes to nothing. Still goalless with little over 15 minutes of the first period remaining in Spain.

29 minPENALTY TO BARCELONA!

30 minBarcelona are awarded a penalty as Abate pulls Neymar to the floor inside the box. It was a definite foul there is no question about that. Poor from the Italian defender.

30 minGOAL! Barcelona 1-0 AC Milan (Messi, pen)

31 minMessi ends his recent drought in front of goal with a cool penalty straight down the middle. Now Milan must come out, which will open up space for Barcelona in the final third.

34 minYellow card for Muntari as the Milan midfielder fells Alves inside his own half. Really poor challenge from the Ghana international. Milan just need to be a little bit careful here as their frustration continues to boil over. Little over 10 minutes of the first period remaining in Barcelona.

36 minSanchez continues to play on the final shoulder as he attempts to move behind Mexes, but the flag is raised. Robinho has possession down the other end moments later, but he asks too much from Kaka. You just get the feeling that Milan need to keep it tight before the interval. Another Barcelona goal at this point would make it very difficult for the Italian outfit to respond.

38 minHalf-chance for Milan as Montolivo combines with Abate before attempting to flash one into the far corner, but it just moves wide of the post. Barcelona take control of the possession moments later, but Milan continue to press in the final third. Little over five minutes of the first period remaining.

39 minCHANCE! Wonderful chance for Messi to make it 2-0 as the Argentine dances into the Milan box before attempting to lift his effort over Abbiati, but Mexes clears off the line.

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

40 minBarcelona have their second five minutes before the interval as Busquets heads Xavi's floated free kick into the back of the net. The defending from Milan was just dreadful. Can the home side make it 3-0 before the interval?

43 minIs that game over? It is difficult to see Milan coming back from this position. Barcelona continue to dominate possession in the latter stages of the first period. Messi looks for the run of Sanchez down the left, but this time Mexes is across to clear the danger. Little over two minutes of normal time remaining in the first period.

45 minEnd-to-end football in the last couple of moments as Milan start to open up in the final third, but it is leaving space for Barcelona to break. I think someone needs to check on Valdes - he has not been involved at all this evening. Adriano tests Abbiati moments later, but the Milan keeper saves.

45 minGOAL! Barcelona 2-1 AC Milan (Pique, OG)

45 min+1Milan have one back in the latter stages of the first period as Kaka's low cross is turned into his own net by Pique. What a time to open their tally.

45 min+1HALF-TIME: Barcelona 2-1 AC Milan

8.32pmSo there we have it. The referee brings the first period to an end with Barcelona leading 2-1. The Catalan outfit appeared to be heading into the break with a two-goal lead courtesy of a penalty from Messi and a header from Busquets, but Pique's own goal has handed Milan some hope ahead of the second period.

8.37pmSTATISTICS: Barcelona had 65% of the possession in the first period, while they had nine attempts to Milan's one. In truth, this match could and should already be over. However, that goal for Milan in first-half stoppage time has handed them real hope. It is so delicately poised ahead of the second 45 minutes.

8.42pmBENCH WATCH: Barcelona have a number of attacking options on their bench in the shape of Cesc Fabregas, Pedro and Cristian Tello. Meanwhile, Milan also boast options in the shape of Matri, Balotelli and Valter Birsa. It would not be a surprise to see Balotelli introduced in the second period.

46 minHere we go then. Both sets of players join us on the pitch for the second period. In Group H's other fixture, Ajax and Celtic are goalless at the interval. You just get the feeling that the next goal in this match - if we indeed have one - could be vital. Barcelona get the second period underway in the Camp Nou.

48 minOne change for Milan at the interval as Balotelli replaces Robinho, who struggled in the first period. Wouldn't it be just like Balotelli to turn this one on its head? Fairly low-key start to the second period with the home side keeping hold of the possession. The home supporters will want more clear-cut chances there is no question about that.

50 minFirst sign of Messi in the second period as the Argentine combines with Sanchez before attempting to find the bottom corner, but Mexes is across to make a fine block. It falls to Xavi, but his effort is high and wide of the crossbar. Neymar is down the other side moments later, but Abate clears. Backs against the wall for Milan, which is not much of a surprise.

53 minFirst sign of Balotelli in the second period as the Italian international drives past two challenges before striking an effort on goal, but Valdes is down to make the save. Barcelona are down the other end moments later with Messi, but he finds Sanchez in an offside position. End-to-end football with 53 minutes on the clock in the Camp Nou.

55 minBarcelona have the ball in the back of the net once more as Adriano's effort deflects off Messi, but the Argentine had been standing in an offside position. Balotelli attempts to force the issue on the break for Milan, but Mascherano fells the Italian. More of an open contest in the early stages of the second period.

58 minBalotelli has turned the match for the away side as he continues to get on the ball in the final third. Mascherano is finding it difficult to deal with the Italian there is no question about that. Pique is forced to make a wonderful challenge to deny Kaka moments later, before De Jong picks up a yellow for fouling Iniesta on the counter. Little over 30 minutes remaining.

60 minNeymar again makes a fine run beyond the Milan defence, but the offside flag is raised. Replays have shown that the Brazilian might have been just level with the final defender. Alves carries the fight for Barcelona moments later before finding Messi, but Zapata is across to make a fine challenge at the final moment.

61 minCHANCE! Wonderful chance for Barcelona to score their third as Iniesta collects a loose ball on the edge of the box, but his low effort is pushed wide by Abbiati. Pique has a chance from a header moments later, but Mexes clears the danger. The pressure is building.

64 minPlenty happening in the final third at the moment with both sides forcing the issue. Messi again looks for the run of Sanchez inside the box, but Mexes is on hand to clear the danger. Milan remain a threat with the power of Balotelli in the final third, but the Italian is just being crowded out at the final moment.

66 minCHANCE! Wonderful chance for Milan to level the scores as Balotelli finds some space down the right before delivering a wonderful cross towards Kaka, but the Brazilian can only turn wide of the post from close range. The game has turned for Milan ever since Balotelli entered the field.

69 minAnother half-chance for Balotelli as Emanuelson delivers a dangerous cross into the Barcelona box, but Pique manages to clear at the vital moment. Zapata has another opportunity from the resulting corner, but the Milan defender can only head wide from close range. Little over 20 minutes of football remaining.

71 minAdriano tries his luck for Barcelona as he strikes one from outside the box, but it was always moving high and wide of the crossbar. You just get the feeling that we have not seen the last of the goals this evening. Messi finds Alves down the right moments later, but Abate is across to clear the Brazilian's cross.

73 minPossession football for Barcelona in the last couple of moments as they continue to probe outside the Milan box, but the away side have been more compact in the second period. The out ball is also available for Milan this half with Balotelli causing all sorts of problems with his presence. Little over 15 minutes of football remaining in the Camp Nou.

76 minCHANCE! Wonderful chance for Neymar as the Brazilian dances past three players inside the Milan box before releasing an attempt towards goal, but his effort just moves high and wide of the crossbar. He could have pulled the trigger on three separate occasions there. Change for Milan moments later as Birsa replaces Poli.

77 minCHANCE! Stunning save from Abbiati as the Milan stopper denies Sanchez from close range after the Chilean had been found by Messi inside the box. Milan are still in this and they have their goalkeeper to thank.

79 minBarcelona make their first change of the match as Fabregas replaces Iniesta. Just the 93% passing accuracy for the Spanish international. Sensational. Milan remain a threat in the latter stages with Balotelli and Kaka, but still Barcelona lead with little over 10 minutes of football remaining.

82 minNot too much to report in terms of clear chances in the last couple of moments with Barcelona prepared to keep possession off the ball rather than force the issue in the final third. Seems to be a slight problem for Valdes, meanwhile, with the Barcelona stopper picking up an injury while making a clearance. Can Milan force a late equaliser here?

83 minStop-start period of the match in the last minute or two as Balotelli goes down following a challenge with Busquets. I suspect that we could have a fair amount of stoppage time at the end of the match with the referee called into action to make a number of decisions. Little over five minutes of football remaining.

83 minGOAL! Barcelona 3-1 AC Milan (Messi)

84 minMessi scores his second of the match as he combines with Fabregas before lifting his effort over Abbiati. Milan respond with a change as Kaka is replaced by Matri. This match is over as a contest.

86 minMilan have been much-improved in the second period, but the third goal had been coming there is no question about that. Barcelona make their second change of the match moments later as Pedro replaces Neymar, who has had another impressive evening in Spain.

88 minMessi goes in search of his third of the evening as he bursts into the box before moving past De Jong, but Mexes is across to make a stunning challenge at the final moment. Not too much from Milan in the last couple of moments as they continue to drop deeper and deeper. The fourth goal would not be a surprise.

90 minBarcelona make their third and final change of the match as Xavi is replaced by Alex Song for the final couple of moments. The fourth official indicates that we will play an additional two minutes at the end of the match. Comfortable finish for Barca.

90 min+2Barcelona continue to force the issue in the latter stages as they pass and probe outside the Milan box, but a threaded ball from Messi fails to find Pedro. Milan break down the other end with Abate, but his cross is into the arms of Valdes.

90 min+3FULL-TIME: Barcelona 3-1 AC Milan

9.35pmSo there we have it. Barcelona collect all three points with a 3-1 win over Milan. It means that they move onto 10 points in Group H. Thanks for joining Sports Mole for the action. Good evening!

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