|10. (11’)||22. (33’)|
Barca cruise into semis
Barcelona booked a place in the UEFA Champions League semifinals with a 3-1 win over AC Milan at Camp Nou on Tuesday evening. The Spaniards won the two-legged tie 3-1 on aggregate after the first match ended 0-0 last week.
Lionel Messi was again the star for the Catalans, scoring two first half penalties to send them on their way to a comfortable victory, especially when Andres Iniesta notched up a third goal early in the second half.
Milan looked like they would make it tough for Barca when they had the score at 1-1 just past the half hour mark, but in the end they were unable to match the class of the home side.
Barca started on the front foot and went ahead on 11 minutes through a Lionel Messi penalty. The Argentine wizard won the spot kick off of left-back Luca Antonini, who slid in from behind to take out the attacker’s legs.
The Spaniards looked very comfortable at 1-0 up, but soon seemed to be going through the motions with little intensity in their play.
Milan made them pay just past the half hour mark when Zlatan Ibrahimovic played a great through ball for Antonio Nocerino, who fired a low shot past Victor Valdes to make it 1-1.
The equalising goal was exactly what Barca needed to kick-up a gear and they were soon pinning the visitors back deep in their own half.
Four minutes before half time they earned another penalty after Milan’s defenders were guilty of shirt-pulling at a corner kick. Messi scored a second successive spot kick to make it 2-1 to the hosts heading into the break.
Barca picked up in the second half where they left off in the first, and eight minutes after the restart they gave themselves breathing space with a third goal, Andres Iniesta sweeping home from close range after a typically slick build up.
From then on the hosts were able to control the game and they made the better scoring opportunities in what remained of the match, though they were unable to find the back of Christian Abbiati’s net again.
Milan only had half chances and were unable to really get at Barca’s defence, even when centre-back Gerard Pique limped off with a quarter hour still to play.
Barcelona are likely to face Chelsea in the semifinal, as the English club hold a 1-0 lead ahead of their second leg against Benfica at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night.