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UCL Rewind: Messi PKs see off Milan, Bayern Munich puts away Marseille

Messi (Getty Images)


A couple of penalties from Lionel Messi and a goal from Andres Iniesta saw Barcelona dispatch AC Milan 3-1 in Tuesday's second leg and on aggregate and move into the semifinals of the UEFA Champions League for the fifth year in a row.

Milan drew level at 1-1 on the half-hour mark when Antonio Nocerino capitalized on the visitor's first real attack, putting the Italian side in the driver's seat temporarily based on away goals. Milan will feel hard-done by the loss as Messi's second penalty, which gave Barcelona the lead, came after Alessandro Nesta was whistled for a shirt pull inside the penalty area. 

Despite the controversial call, Barcelona dominated the game, controlling possession 62 percent of the time and registering 21 shots to AC Milan's three.

In the day's other match, it didn't take long for Bayern Munich to see off Marseille, as the German side punched their ticket into the semifinals with a 2-0 win on the night, resulting in a 4-0 win on aggregate. Striker Ivica Olic scored a double in the first half to extinguish any lingering hopes Marseille might have had. Marseille offered very little in terms of resistance, especially in the second half.

Here is a closer look at both quarterfinal results:

BARCELONA 3, AC MILAN 1 (Barcelona advances 3-1 on aggregate)

From the opening whistle, Barcelona's attack showed the poise, precision and fluidity that had eluded them in the first leg. Messi uncharacteristically fluffed a shot from six yards out but made up for it by firing home a penalty he drew himself two minutes later for his 50th career UCL goal. Luca Antonini performed a needless tackle to give away the spot kick. The lead was short-lived, however, as Milan equalized and took the advantage out of nowhere 20 minutes later.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic's perfect through ball found its way to Nocerino and the midfielder slotted the ball past Victor Valdes. Nesta's shirt-pull on Sergio Busquets came just before halftime and Messi was again clinical in converting his spot kick. The game was put beyond doubt when a deflection on Messi's shot fell to Iniesta and allowed the Spaniard to convert from just outside the six-yard box.

Barcelona moves on to face the winner of the Chelsea-Benfica quarterfinal tie, which will be decided on Wednesday.

BAYERN MUNICH 2, MARSEILLE 0 (Bayern advances 4-0 on aggregate)

Bayern were off and running at home and were up after only 13 minutes when Olic struck from close range. Franck Ribery provided the assist on the goal. Olic doubled Bayern's advantage eight minutes before the break with another close-range effort. This time David Alaba played provider as Bayern struck on the counter attack.

Munich have now scored 20 goals in their past five games at home. They will play the winner of Real Madrid vs. APOEL in the semifinals, with a trip to the final at Bayern's Allianz Arena on the line.


What did you think of today's results? Impressed by Barcelona? Do you think AC Milan got a raw deal with the second penalty? Can Bayern half the Spanish party and win in the title in their home stadium?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. seriously. Barca are the worse offenders for shirt grabbing. maybe that’s because they always have the ball, so when they lose it, it stands out more. i cannot stand Busquets, Alves, Javier, or Pedro. bunch of punks.

  2. better team won, but that was not a PK. Puyol set up a pick, which you can’t do, which led to a minor grab and busquests went down like he got shot…again. he’s pathetic.

  3. Agreed, Beachbum. The annoyance stems from the fact that this NEVER gets called, and then, all of the sudden, it’s called in favor of Barca at Camp Nou. No other team gets that call. I immediately thought of Barca v. Chelsea in the 2009 semis. Drogba VERY CLEARLY had his shirt pulled in the box, and there was no call (not to mention the fact that it was on a clear breakaway). This was in addition to both Pique and Eto handling the ball in the box when the ref was right there to make the call. I hate to agree with crazies like Mourinho and Ibra, but the evidence is beginning to pile up…

  4. basically, that’s what they do now! the shirt pull in the area is RARELY, if ever, whistled a PK. Then, in the CL semis it’s the deciding call

    the inconsistency, and the beneficiaries of it, deserve ridicule

    yes, Barca is great. yes, the outshot Milan by a ton…so what? shouldn’t mean they get a call like that when that is basically never called.

    and I cannot stand Ibrahimovic one bit. Cry baby extraordinaire, but this is not about him

  5. “Ball to hand” is not actually a law of the game.

    A handball is only called if it is intentional or deemed to have earned the player an advantage. Blocking a clearance down, intentional or not, into your path for a fast break the other way is certainly an advantage and it will be called a handball every single time.

    But of course, you think there is a conspiracy. I see that you didn’t make mention of the two penalties not given in favor of Barcelona in Italy. Were the refs cheating for Milan there?

    Mourinho isn’t right. There’s a reason he’s being pushed out of Madrid. He’s lying scum. He dirties the water with conspiracy theories at every club he goes to. It was the same at Chelsea, Inter, Porto and now Madrid.

  6. Milan did some costly things…Mexes puts Messi in on a breakaway, they somehow get it back and Antonini gifts it back to Messi IN THE BOX then fouls him? Just clear the f’ing thing. You’ve got to be joking. But the Nesta shirt pull was not a pk. Puyol obstructed him purposely, Brusquets dives, and even so the corner could have been retaken, because Nesta had the shirt before the ball was kicked. Still stupid on Nesta’s part. But impossible to play against Barca + the ref at Nou Camp. Ibra taken down in the box (46th min), no call. 60th minute Robinho in on goal after the ball is cleared into his chest where his arm is against his body for protection, hand ball given. Clearly ball to hand not hand to ball, if it even touched his arm. Starting to sound like Mourinho, but it is, sad to say, TRUE.

  7. you can make the argument that the foul was made prior to the ball actually being hit from the corner in which you could reward a yellow card and proceed to retake the kick

  8. I hate Sergio Busquets so much! Make any contact with him at all and he’ll take the opportunity to make it look like you were assaulting him as he falls on the ground writhing in pain…

  9. I agree. “Milan will feel hard-done … Alessandro Nesta was whistled for a shirt pull inside the penalty area.”

    Nesta held the attacker from heading the ball, an obvious foul. The argument should be that it should be called more often, not less. Should soccer turn into the NBA where refs can decide at their whim that three step dunks are allowed?

  10. It’s only controversial because referees are too afraid to call it. It was a foul. It was in the box. Therefore, it was a penalty.

    Dominating performance, and some uncharacteristic misses from Messi and Barcelona. Could have easily been 6 or 7 goals if they convert their 1v1s.


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