By IVES GALARCEP
FC Barcelona was going to have to make history in order to advance to the quarterfinals of the UEFA Champions League, and history is exactly what they made.
Lionel Messi scored a pair of stunning goals to erase AC Milan’s first-leg 2-0 lead, then David Villa gave Barcelona the lead for good, finishing off a Xavi pass in the second half to give Barca control of the two-leg series. AC Milan pushed hard for a series-winning goal but fell short, with Jordi Alba netting a late insurance goal to give Barcelona an emphatic 4-0 victory at the Camp Nou.
Barcelona thoroughly dominated Milan, though the Italian side had their chance to put a serious dent in Barca’s comeback only to have Mamadou Niang miss a golden scoring chance in the first half, sending a shot off the left post on a breakaway.
Messi needed just a minute to make Milan pay for that miss, blasting a shot just before halftime to seize control of the two-leg Round of 16 match-up.
Galatasaray had a much better time on the road than AC Milan did, erasing an early 1-0 deficit before scoring a pair of first-half goals to take the lead and control of the match-up against a short-handed Schalke 04. Hamit Altintop scored the equalizer against his former club, while Galatasaray forward Burak Yilmaz put the Turkish club ahead for good.
Michel Bastos made things interesting late in the match by scoring and tying the overall series, but they still needed another goal due to the away-goals rule and threw numbers forward late only to have Galatasary torch them for an insurance goal from Umut Bulut to seal their first trip to the Champions League quarterfinals since 2001.
Here are the match highlights:
BARCELONA 4, AC MILAN 0
GALATASARAY 3, SCHALKE 04 2
What did you think of the matches? See Barcelona being the favorites to win it all? Think Galatasaray can play the role of giant killers in the quarterfinals?
Share your thoughts below.
It was a fluke!!!, damn people, one lousy win against a weak team and everyone is jumping on the Barca cycle again, they are coming down and every single one of those ocassional fans barca has are jumping right out of the boat, don´t get me wrong Mian has a great history but they are not great now, Barca is not winning this years CL, mark my words.
And all of this talk lately in the press about how “Barcelona’s system doesn’t work anymore” and “They’re getting old.” Just goes to show what a bunch of morons many soccer columnists are…Barcelona is the best team on the planet. Period. End of discussion. Arguably they are the best club team EVER.
M’baye Niang – not Mamadou
Can’t wait for Dempsey to play in the CL this fall
Turkey Up 😀
I remember their awesome semi-final finish at Euro 2008. Really hope the Turks qualify for the 2014 WC. They have amazing players. Remember 2 years ago there was serious interest at Gala-y for Michael Bradley
Any word on the Galtasaray player who was knocked out? He was still not responsive(although thankfully breathing) as they were stretchering him up the touchline to take him into the dressing room for further attention. I know the longer one is unconscious, the more permanent damage is likely.
I used to like Schalke, but no more. The look of horror on Drogba’s and the nearest Schalke player’s as they both frantically motioned for medical attention, while Schalke’s fans were whistling(they continued to whistle while he was being stretchered off the playing area), as if an unconscious man was time-wasting, means I’ll never support them again.
Other than that, it was an exciting match.
Semih Kaya was the player injured. Just read elsewhere that word from Turkey is he’s “alright”.
That first Messi goal… was… man. He trapped with his right foot, repositioned to shoot with his left, and hit that in a grand total of a blink of an eye. And it was an upper 90 rocket from outside the 18 to boot.
It was left left. Outside left foot touch, left foot rocket.
Does anyone think that Barca allowed Milan to win the first game only to destroy them second game. Kinda like a cat toying with a mouse before he eats it.
No lol. What happened is what we see MLS teams do with Mexican teams. Score at home but get stretched to no end on the road and get crushed. As soon as I saw how Milan was playing I knew it was over. As they say in football, the only thing the prevent defense does is prevent you from winning.
It is risky opening up against a good passing team like Barca, if you don’t have the means to attack intelligently you will be carved up. Most teams always try to counterattack against Barca, but your defense has to be solid to do that. MLS teams routinely get slaughtered in Mexico, mostly becaus they play for the draw.
Allowed them? I suppose Barca wanted to stir up some drama, seeming as no one challeges them to often.
Agreed. Right when the fans are almost on their deathbeds they turn it around and thus full orgasm
Arriba el Barca!
Electrifying, positively electrifying!