Champions League

Brilliant Barca beat Milan

2011-11-24 07:22
Lionel Messi and Xavi celebrating another goal for Barcelona (AFP)
Milan - Barcelona dazzled as they beat AC Milan 3-2 at the San Siro here on Wednesday night to ensure top spot in Champions League Group H.

An own goal from former Barca player Mark van Bommel, a Lionel Messi penalty and Xavi gave the title holders victory in a thrilling game.

Although largely outplayed Milan, who were already guaranteed second place in the group, fought gamely and replied through another former Barcelona player Zlatan Ibrahimovic and a wonderful goal from Kevin-Prince Boateng.

But the Spaniards left no doubt as to who the better team was with a scintillating performance full of verve, quick passing, incision and energy.

Goalscorer Boateng felt his team had more than matched Barca.

"It was a good game, we were unlucky but the most important thing is that we've qualified," he said.

"Barcelona are the best team in the world but we played really well and when everyone's concentrating we can match anyone."

Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri felt this was a good learning curve for his players.

"It was important to play a match such as this to see what stage we're at," he said.

Barca gave an early sign of things to come as Thiago Alcantara stepped over a Messi pass to free David Villa but the Spain striker's finish was woefully high.

The visitors took the lead on 14 minutes as they strung the passes together again and Messi found Seydou Keita in acres of space on the left side of the area with his devilish cross into the six-yard box being turned in by the unfortunate Van Bommel.

Another great move saw Thiago's flick put in Cesc Fabregas, whose powerful shot hit goalkeeper Christian Abbiati.

Milan should have been level when a cross from Ibrahimovic found Boateng at the back post and his mishit shot fell to Robinho inside the six-yard box but the Brazilian embarrassingly lifted the ball over the bar.

Milan kept pushing and Clarence Seedorf played in Ibrahimovic in the inside left channel and his finish crept under Victor Valdes on 20 minutes.

That turned out to be a false dawn as Barca stepped up the pace.

Xavi passed to Fabregas who crossed for Messi but he proved unusually human and his shot from six yards deflected off Abbiati and onto the bar.

A Xavi free-kick found Villa but his free header went well off target.

Barca were awarded a seemingly generous penalty when Alberto Aquilani bundled over Xavi in the box and Messi, who was booked for stopping in his run-up when scoring at the first time of asking, duly fired home on the second take.

A stunning run from the Argentine wizard then saw him beat four players but Abbiati was equal to his shot.

The second half saw no let up from Barca as Fabregas chipped over the defence but Messi shot into the side-netting.

Out of nothing Milan equalised again after Boateng played a Messi-esque flick to leave Eric Abidal standing and thrashed his shot past Valdes at his near post.

But again Barca carved open the Italian champions as a stunning pass from Messi picked out Xavi and his 64th-minute finish was precise.

NEXT ON SPORT24X

WRAP: English Premiership

2014-10-20 23:00

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

 

Watch: 5 skills to improve your BMX riding

Learn some great skills that will help your riding on the road and on the track.

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

Tips on how to set your fitness goals
This all-terrain vehicle is badass!
The TRUTH about painkillers and exercise
WIN! Where were you when you last felt alive?
Fixtures
21 October 2014
CSKA Moscow v Manchester City, Arena Khimki 18:00
BATE Borisov v Shakhtar Donetsk, Borisov Arena 20:45
Barcelona v Ajax, Camp Nou 20:45
FC Porto v Athletic Club, Estadio do Dragao 20:45
APOEL Nicosia v Paris Saint Germain, GSP Stadium 20:45
Roma v FC Bayern München, Olimpico 20:45
Chelsea v NK Maribor, Stamford Bridge 20:45
FC Schalke 04 v Sporting Lisbon, VELTINS-Arena 20:45
22 October 2014
Liverpool v Real Madrid, Anfield 20:45
Bayer 04 Leverkusen v Zenit St Petersburg, BayArena 20:45
RSC Anderlecht v Arsenal, Constant Vanden Stock 20:45
Olympiakos v Juventus, Karaiskaki Stadium 20:45
Ludogorets Razgrad v FC Basel, Ludogorets Arena 20:45
Monaco v Benfica, Stade Louis II 20:45
Galatasaray v Borussia Dortmund, Türk Telekom Arena 20:45
Atlético de Madrid v Malmö FF, Vicente Calderón 20:45
04 November 2014
Zenit St Petersburg v Bayer 04 Leverkusen, Petrovski Stadium 19:00
Arsenal v RSC Anderlecht, Emirates Stadium 21:45
Benfica v Monaco, Estadio da Luz 21:45
Juventus v Olympiakos, Juventus Stadium 21:45
Real Madrid v Liverpool, Santiago Bernabéu 21:45
Borussia Dortmund v Galatasaray, Signal Iduna Park 21:45
FC Basel v Ludogorets Razgrad, St Jakob-Park 21:45
Malmö FF v Atlético de Madrid, Swedbank Stadion 21:45
Logs
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team
Vote

Which team will win the 2013/14 Champions League title?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Featured

Got something you'd like to get off your chest? Got a burning desire to air an opinion? If so, be sure to sign-up on Sport24's FORUM!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

Forum Have your Say on Sport24's brand new Forum!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.