Having lost the first leg at San Siro, Barcelona players were confident that they would turn the tie around at Camp Nou. Last night, in the second leg, Barca absolutely dismantled poor AC Milan to progress to the last eight of the Champions League.
The Rossoneri have themselves to blame for wasting two goals advantage earned in Italy. Milan mainly focused on defending the two goals lead without posing much threat to the opposition’s goal. They should have learned the lesson after conceding early in the game as Messi scored a sublime goal from outside the box but the visitors continued their defensive approach.
Catalans bombarded Milan with constant attacks and gave them no breathing space. On the other hand, Rossoneri were finding it hard to even keep possession of the ball as Barca’s pressure was too much to handle for them.
Allegri knew that one away goal may as well seal the deal for the visitors and they got an excellent opportunity in the 38th minute of the game to do exactly that. However, Niang could only hit the post despite having all the time to set himself. For worst, Barcelona responded in no time as Messi once again found space to shoot and leveled the tie on aggregate.
Knowing that Barcelona are on top and the tie is still far from over, Allegri did not make any change in the setup as perhaps he hoped against hope that Milan will survive the onslaught and somehow take the game to penalties or may as well score a lucky away goal. However, it was not going to happen as 10 minutes into the second half, Xavi’s brilliant pass found David Villa who coolly slotted the ball past Abbiati to make it 3-0.
Having gone behind on aggregate, surely Milan knew now that they have to score if they are to progress in the competition. Allegri brought Muntari and Robinho on to boost the offense and for the first time in the game, Milan started attacking Barca’s defensive line effectively.
The Rossoneri started to hold the ball well in opposition’s half and combined passes to threaten Barcelona. The question is, why did they not attack until they were behind in the tie? Barca’s defense has been shaky recently but Milan were only interested in offensive approach after conceding three goals.
Allegri’s side did create few decent opportunities in the final ten minutes of the game pushing everyone forward but could not score the crucial away goal. On the other hand, Barca counter attacked and eventually killed the game as Jordi Alba grabbed their 4th goal of the night to ensure Barcelona’s qualification into quarter finals.
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