VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS: Barcelona Vs AC Milan (4-0), Leg 2 Champions League 2013
Tuesday 12 Mar 2013 9:33 p.m.
By Greg Robertson
Hello and welcome to Camp Nou where we have Spain’s Barcelona hosting Italy’s AC Milan in the second leg of the Champions League 2013 last-16 action.
It’s all uphill for Barcelona, needing to tuck the ball away a few times to overcome a two-goal deficit from the first leg.
LIVE COMMENTARY... Barcelona 4 – 0 AC Milan (agg 4-2)
FULLTIME: 4-0 to Barcelona. ALL VIDEO NOW UP!
90+1 MINS: Milan with a few final thrusts, score now and they go through by virtue of the away goal. Barcelona Break and Alba scores! 4-0. He drew the keeper and just slotted it away. easy..
88 MINS: Barcelona now sitting in, Milan with a bit more ball now. Three minutes added.
81 MINS: Great ball square and it's Alba with a great challenge to save the day.
78 MINS: Abate scoots around the edge of the Barcelona defence but he's two yards offside by the time the ball is played. Good run, could have done with it earlier. Now we see Barcelona sitting back a little... then they strike, Alba runs on to a through ball and it's Abate that gasses it with him to slide and put the ball out for the corner. Mascherano off and Puyol comes on to strengthen at the back for Barcelona. Sanchez then caught offside, half a body from scoring a fourth.
74 MINS: Messi with his back to goal is fouled by Zapalat. Getting a on-going theme going on here? A promising position, just five yards outside the penalty box... Messi is over the ball... Messi hammers it straight at the wall, hit with some serious power. Villa coming off for Barca and he gets a round of applause... on comesAlexis Sanchez.
70 MINS: Messi gets space again inside the half, lays it off and then gets it back but is steered away from the danger area by a good piece of Milan defence. Twenty minutes to go at the Nou Camp. Messi's keen for his third and how fitting would a Messi hat-trick me? What a performance so far.
68 MINS: Scramble in the Barcelona penalty area as Flamini flicks a shot from Boateng, Pique booting it up field.
66 MINS: First piece of play for a while from AC Milan as Abate gets down the right and delivers a strong ball to the back post - no one there to meet it though.
64 MINS: Montolivo now brings down Iniesta, gets the stud on top of the foot. Two sides, poles apart.
62 MINS: The card will be brandished many a time if this continues... Constant this time bringing down Villa and Barcelona in a dangerous position... it's near post, driven in, headed back to Messi and he re-delivers, chance for Busquets but mis-times... Messi ohhh, in the blink of an eye brings it down and unleashes... just over the top. Messi then fouled again. Right now, he's unplayable.
55 MINS: GOAL BARCELONA! They take the lead and it's David Villa who gets in behind and picks the corner of the net leaving Abbiata standing and watching! This team is phenomenal. And they keep attacking. It was Iniesta who won the ball, off to Xavi and his ball to Villa was delightful.
53 MINS: Messi with a delightful ball beats the offside trap and David Villa is in behind, lays it back but ever Lionel isn't that fast. Milan with a corner but it comes to nothing. Alves then deals with a long ball by nodding safely back to Valdes. Yellow card for Philippe "The Lunger" Mexes as he has no other option but to bring down Messi - again.
50 MINS: This is the Lionel Messi show right now and he's brought down by Ambrosini. He was passed him and the midfielder could only lunge at where Messi had previously been.
48 MINS: It's Messi with a run from just inside the Milan half, he's around the edge of the defence, swaying out toward the left and shoots, Abbiata down to it.
46 MINS: Second half has begun...
HALFTIME: Barca 2 V 0 AC Milan (AGGREGATE 2-2)
44 MINS: Barca continue to push high on the park.... they pass, one-two, wall pass, give and go, turn, pass, pass, header pass... and this is right down the middle of the park and has AC Milan players turning their heads as they follow the Barca play without a means to stop it. It's all about waiting for Barca to make a mistake rather than stopping the movement.
42 MINS: What a through ball and it's Niang streets ahead - HE HAS TO SCORE - just has valdes to be he shoots OFF THE POST! But now MESSI scores... GOAL BARCELONA! Iniesta off to Messi, he chops back onto his left boot to expose the angle for the shot and unleashes another left foot shot that finds the bottom right of the corner.
36 MINS: Barca with a massive 71% of possession so far in the match as they try and get rid of the goal deficit. game going through a little dry spell - perhaps with that early goal Barca knows they are well and truly in this so bide their time, take the chance when it comes but don't concede an away goal. Alves away on the right as he streaks down the touchline, not pin-point with the cross though and it's belted out for a corner... which is now cleared.
30 MINS: Messi on a little run and he's pulled down... every time he gets the ball they swarm like bees to a honeypot...
28 MINS: Flamini excites the crowd with a quick change of strip after some blood coming from a cut to his head... claret flows at Camp Nou. The war though, just begun. Boateng Ohhh a better ball slipped though would have put El Shaarawy away and on goal. Heavy footed pushed it too deep. The young striker is creating some havoc out there.
26 MINS: This time it's AC Milan with a good wee build up but the Barca defence swarms them to extinguish any chances... Barca back with the ball and passing it about, the search for a way through is on again. Although Messi's goal was a pretty good way of getting through, ping it from outside the edge top corner... goal, easy.
25 MINS: This is all Barca I tell you... Camp Nou is on fire... not literally, but the any hotter and the home fans will self combust!
22 MINS: Xavi with a free kick but he's smoked it straight at the wall... Boateng now with a yellow card for a nasty from behind challenge on Iniesta.
16 MINS: Danger for AC Milan as Abate's pass is a slack on and everyone misses it including the keeper.... Xavi shoots half a minute later and OHHH just wide. Barcelona have come out fizzing!!!
13 MINS: Messi off to Iniesta and he smacks on GREAT SAVE by Abbiata, onto the bar and the follow up header from Messi is just wide.
11 MINS: Pedro and Ambrosini come togerther in a clash inside the penalty area but the penalty or a free kick is not given either way.
7 MINS: Shaarawy with a bit of space in the area, mistimes the shot though and it rolls to Victor Valdes.
5 MINS: Boateng brings down Busquests and we have the first free kick of the game. Barca go short and keep the flow GOAL BARCELONA! Messi scores. Great interplay on the edge of the area and Messi cracks one with his right foot. He took a one-two prior to the shot!
4 MINS: Iniesta probes, does a spin, and probes some more but there's white shirts all over the place as he looks up. Xavi tries to combine with Messi, then Iniesta tries to carve right through the heart of the Milan defence... no way through just yet as they get stopped before the edge of the area.
2 MINS: Barca start and already look like they are here to play tonight... the buildup is sharper and not as laboured as the first Leg against AC Milan... most early possession to the home side as they search for holes through the defence.
We're underway, Milan in white and Barca in traditional colours.
Barcelona win the toss... does that count as 1-0? No, Barca supporters will be hoping they flow today from the feet of Messi et al.
Teams coming out onto the park now... Pique yesterday said that anyone who doesn't believe that a comeback is possible should give their ticket to a friend... no that's fighting talk. I'm sure no Barcelona or AC Milan fans gave tickets away though.
We have our live pictures from Camp Nou...
Let's hope Hungary referees don't impact the Champions League as much as one's from Turkey - good luck Mr Vikto Kassai.
The teams are in and are listed below... as we build up to kick off...
Football fans are you in a frenzy for this one, or what! Kick off in just a few minutes so make sure you join us from the moment the ball is rolled off!
Barcelona: Victor Valdes; Alves, Piqué Mascherano, Jordi Alba; Xavi, Busquets, Iniesta; Pedro, Messi, Villa. Subs: Pinto, Puyol, Adriano, Fabregas, Song, Alexis Sanchez, Tello.
Milan: Abbiati; Abate, Mexés, Zapata, Constant; Motolivo, Ambrosini, Flamini; Niang, Boateng, El Shaarawy. Subs: Amelia, De Scihlio, Bonera, Muntari, Nocerino, Robinho, Bojan Krkic.
It should be all out attack at Camp Nou today, at least from the home side.
Lionel Messi and his Barcelona team have to make up for a two-goal deficit from the first leg, as they host AC Milan in the last-16 second leg Champions League do-or-die clash.
And to do that, they will have to put on a feat of football that they have not achieved in all of their unprecedented titles – mount a major comeback to progress in the Champs League.
In the past eight years, Barcelona has won four titles but the favourite’s tag is firmly.
But let’s not forget in 2010, in the Champions League semifinals, it was AC Milan that cut their charge short.
Barcelona needs to rally at the Camp Nou against a young Milan team that is surging in Italy and looked hungrier and more physically fit than its opponents three weeks ago at the San Siro.
If Barcelona are going to come back it will defy history – no team has ever come from a 2-0 loss in the first leg without having scored an away goal.
"It's the moment for this team to have a historic comeback," said Barcelona defender Dani Alves. "We have had a long week working a lot on getting in top shape, and you can see it because we are recovering our defensive form. What has set us apart from other teams in recent years has been our ability to pressure. We had lost that a bit, but now we are getting it back."
Should Barcelona not mount to comeback of comebacks, it will introduce a serious dent in their claim of being the top team in Europe. Add to it, the recent losses to Real Madrid.
Barcelona can take heart that Lionel Messi is on a record scoring run in the Spanish league, having netted in 17 consecutive matches after going on as a substitute in the 2-0 win over Deportivo La Coruna and deftly chipping the goalkeeper two minutes from time for his 51st goal this campaign.
That clean sheet against Deportivo was Barcelona's first in 14 matches.
It will be a boon for the club if Xavi Hernandez is over his leg injury and is able to be used. . Striker David Villa or forward Alexis Sanchez could be new additions to the lineup that lost to Milan after starting.
Milan is on an 11-match unbeaten run in Serie A, but will be missing forward Giampaolo Pazzini after he bruised his right leg in a 2-0 win over Genoa on Friday.
Defender Philippe Mexes and midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng both made the squad that traveled to Spain despite recently struggling with muscle problems.
With Mario Balotelli ineligible after transferring from Manchester City last month, 20-year-old Stephan El Shaarawy, who has scored a team-high 16 goals in Serie A this season, will be expected to lead the attack.
"We've been doing great ever since the holiday break," veteran goalkeeper Christian Abbiati said. "This match really comes at a really good time for us. Last season we were able to draw there, then we had two penalties whistled against us in the quarterfinals, so anything can happen."
Barcelona will also have to achieve the feat under the guidance of assistant coach Jordi Roura. He’s rested Messi as much as he can, and five Spanish Internationals have also had a break.
Goalscoring won’t be a problem according to Barcelona’s Gerrard Pique.
“The other day I was having a look at the chart. We have scored over eighty goals in this season. We have twenty more goals than the second (placed team). If there is one thing this team doesn't lack of that is goals. I can assure you that. It is true that we will play against an Italian team,” says Pique.
“We know how they will try to play. It is true that (AC) Milan are one of the teams that traditionally like to play with the ball. I guess that with the (first leg) result they will be closed in their area trying to avoid conceding any goals. But as for us, with our way of playing, we will surely have options. It will be a very competitive game and the result will depend on the small details.
“I think we have all the qualities we need to beat Milan. We have the talent and mentally we are ready for a good game. And I think we have all we need to beat Milan and go through the quarter-final. But in a game of football you never know. Sometimes you think you are good enough the then Milan arrives and scores a goal and that's it.”