UEFA Champions League 2012: Barcelona 3 v 1 AC Milan
BARCELONA 3 AC MILAN 1
90+3 min Messi closeish with a bending free kick from 20-odd yards. Specificity is irrelevant at this stage.
90+1 min Three minutes of added time. Richard Whitall tweets what
88 min Adriano is set clear by a clipped Keita ball from just inside Milan’s half. He’s onside and only has the keeper to beat but his finish is hopeless, well wide of the near post.
87 min Alves delivers a devilish low cross into the six yard box. Messi and Abbiati attempt to latch onto it. Abbiati is just about there first, and gathers the ball at the second attempt.
85 min Pato, only on 15 minutes ago, has done himself a leg-based mischief. Maxi Lopez, formerly of Barca, is on in his place.
81 min Ambrosini penalised for putting his thigh in Busquet’s way as he took the ball around him. Does Busquets like biscuits? Which is his favourite? I see him as a Party Ring kind of guy.
78 min Keita’s on for Fabregas for Barca.
76 min Pato is close to reaching a hoof from the back by Mexes. Valdes is alert to it and off his line to claim.
75 min Looks like Pique’s evening is over. He is down in the area clutching a leg muscle. He’s walking off without any obvious signs of discomfort, Adriano is his replacement.
74 min It’s not beyond those fabled realms of possibility that Milan could get back into this. Aquilani (on for Seedorf some time ago, apologies) is close to getting on the end of a deep cross from Pato with a flying header. Inches away.
72 min Here’s Iniesta making it 3-1 to Barca:
70 min Thiago should have made it four. Messi directs a high ball into his path after he shrugs off a blatantly uninterestested Nesta. He slides his shot wide. Boateng has come off for Milan, Pato is replacement.
68 min Here’s Archith Mohan:
I’m going to have to suggest that Barca have bribed the ref!
You can if you like, Archith, but be expecting a sternly worded letter from Michel Platini and some lawyers in the near future.
66 min Mascherano penalised for a slightly unhinged slide tackle on Robinho. I have a feeling we might be entering the “tiresome series of fouls” section of this match.
63 min Xavi coming off for Barca, Thiago his replacement.
61 min Ach, that was probably the chance for Milan! Robinho in the clear after sloppy work from Alves and a Pique clearance right into him. Valdes is out and saves low to his left. It wouldn’t have counted in any case, Robinho adjudged, ridiculously, to have handled after Pique smashed the ball at him from half a yard.
59 min Paul Hayward on why a Milan comeback will make him sad:
&lt;noframe&gt;Twitter: Paul Hayward – “Messi scores” has become the world’s reliable good-news flash, a spark of pleasure. “Nocerino equalises” isn’t quite the same.&lt;/noframe&gt;
57 min Here’s your friend and mine Marc Melander:
Ibra obviously a keen viewer of MOTD – one week he emulates Grant Holt and now he’s Oh Carroll aka the poor man’s Alan Waddle.
53 min GOAL!! Barcelona 3 AC Milan 1 (Iniesta)
Milan go short with the corner and the resulting cross finds two of their players offside. From the restart Barca ghet is tofrward quickly. Messi’s shot from just outside the box deflects fortuitously to the feet of Iniesta, in space to the left of goal. He has little trouble in finding the far corner with his poised shot. Game over, I suspect.
52 min Puyol is forced to clear behind for a corner after a promising, pacy run n cross from Boateng. Milan making far more of a nuisance of themselves this half.
50 min Seedorf puts too much on a corner. It’s hooked back towards goal but Valdes is out to claim without much bother.
49 min Abbiati is scrambling across his line in pursuit of a floated Xavi free kick from 25 yards. It drops just wide.
46 min Milan get us started and almost immediately Ibrahimovic looks to be felled in the box by Mascherano. Ref had a good vier of it and there weren’t many Milan players appealing.
45+2 min Ibrahimovic puts it straight into the wall.
45+1 min Xavi bafflingly excapes censure for a late, high challenge on Ambrosini that caught him above the ankle. No menace or particular force to it, but that was a yellow card. Milan do have a free kick, inviting distance 25 yards out.
43 min Well done to the 14,289 of you that have already pointed out my minor typo describing what Nesta pulled of Busquet’s. It was always going to happen one day.
41 min GOAL!! Barcelona 2 AC Milan 1 (Messi)
Opts for the other corner this time, sending Abbiati the wrong way. What a ridiculous penalty to concede, Milan were going through and had the momentum. Barca gifted what could be a crucial advantage.
39 min Baca palpably more urgent now. A Xavi shot brings about a corner. There are appeals for a penalty as it comes over with Puyol and Pique falling to the ground… I think it’s been given! PENALTY TO BARCA! Nesta booked for pulling at Pique’s shirt. Good spot, but you do see that sort of thing in almost every football match. Serdoorf booked for over-complaining.
37 min A Xavi shot from 25 yards is beaten away from goal by Abbiati. Twitter’s Miguel Delaney makes an accurate observatio
35 min Less composed work from Nocerino who has a promising crossing opportunity on the right. He scuffs the ball and pulls it back for no-one in particular. Barca, suddenly, somewhat on las cuerdas.
33 min GOAL!! Barcelona 1 AC Milan 1 (Nocerino)
Ibrahimovic, back to goal, spots Nocerino in space in the inside left channel. He picks him out with a beautifully executed diagonal ball, Mascherano is unwisely playing him onside and Nocerino slots cooly past Valdes to give Milan a largely undeserved equaliser.
32 min Here’s your friend and mine Damian Durrant:
Thom, it seems like Barcelona largely have their A team uninjured — unlike half the Prem. Could it be they let the ball do the chasing; and get tackled less because by the time you reach a Barca player the ball is gone?
Not quite sure how “letting the ball do the chasing” works, Damian. I would contend that Barca do more high-intensity running than almost any other team, their pressing game is ridiculously aggressive.
30 min Alves hits it, poorly. It’s well wide.
29 min Milan’s forward forays becoming ever rarer, like a reverse steak cooking machine. Barca have a free kick around 30 yards out.
27 min Alves arrives in the box and a pair of stepovers and a quick nudge in front of him gets him clear of Milan’s defence. Abbiati is out to deal with the loose ball, Alves is commited to making it, they collide, the ref awards a Milan free kick.
25 min Cuenca again with time to do something interesting on the left. He’s practically kissing the touchline, the level above hugging, perhaps a bit too wide for Barca’s usual tiki-taka. As such he’s often crossing a long way from the area and while his pace is proving difficult tfor Abata to deal with he’s yet to deliver anything telling into the box. On this occasion Abate tackles him impeccably.
23 min Barca doing a dangerous amount of their business in the Milan box. Fabregas the latest to find the ball at his feet within mere yards of goal from a Cuenca pass. Nesta just about makes the recovering tackle.
21 min Here are two men that are happy with a goal pulling silly faces:
19 min Barca corner. Xavi’s delivery isn’t the greatest but Puyol sneaks in at the far post after Abate, his marker, gets lost in the crowd. Puyol can’t quite reach the cross.
17 min If you’ve got any interest in blatantly untrue stories, here is one from Alex Melvin:
E-mail On a weekend in Amsterdam we lost a friend in the Red Light District. The next morning we were woken by the local boys in blue at 7am banging on our door. Apparently the silly fool was so wasted that after his “business”, thinking he was at home, demanded a cup of tea and the remote so he could watch MOTD.
15 min First time we’ve seen Cuenca having a clean run at Abate on the left. I will confidently state now that Milan’s full back is not going to win any of the foot races he engages in against his young wing-based adversary this evening. Cuenca breezes past him but his low cross is easily cut out by Mexes.
13 min Barca’s fans singing a variant of Go West. I hope I will always take some mild pleasure in the knowledge that the Pet Shop Boys and the Village People, will forever have a legacy at football matches.
Goal 11 min GOAL!! Barcelona 1 ACT Milan 0 (Messi)
Perfectly placed penalty down low to Abbiati’s right. Keeper goes the right way but was never likely to make it unless he suddenly development the limb-extending abilities of Stretch Armstrong, or, as he is known is Spain: El hombre con los brazos muy maleables.
10 min PENALTY TO BARCELONA!
Messi breaks with trademark frightening pace after Mexes gives the ball away stupidly. He pulls it back for Iniesta but it’s a little off-target. Ball is played back to Messi and Antonini slides in with two feet, catching the Argentine. No question about the pen, Antonini is booked.
9 min Lovely cross from Alves, just slightly too quick for Fabregas in the middle. Cuenca keeps it in play but Milan usher him away from danger. Barca beginning to turn el tornillo.
7 min Messi puts a great chance wide! Tight angle, but you’d expect him to finish that. Alves floats one into Fabregas in the box, Messi peels off his man and Fabregas is able to steer the ball right in front og him. Tries to find the far corner, but puts it the wrong side of the post.
5 min Lovely ball from Seedorf picks out Nocerino beyond the far post, he puts a dangerous cross into that most dangerous of areas (the bit just in front of goal) but Pique is there to clear. Encouraging moment for Milan, but Messi getting past two men with ease at the other end before shooting straight at Abbiati moments later isn’t quite so encouraging.
4 min Here’s Steve “Silk” Curley:
E-mail 3-0 Barca. I can’t think of anything else to say other than I’ve always admired your challops, Thom.
3 min Messi and Iniesta combine on the edge of the box but Iniesta snatches at his shot some and it bobbles harmlesly wide.
2 min Barca have started a stately pace, oddly giving the impression of a Champions League final. Mascherano is guilty of a wayward pass which Nesta intercepts, but he gives it away by hitting a too-short pass for Ambrosini.
1 min Here we go then, Barca get us started.