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March 13, 2013
Barcelona Beats AC Milan in Champions League as Galatasaray Wins
By Bob Bensch - 2013-03-12T23:07:54Z
Barcelona eased into thequarterfinals of soccer’s Champions League with a 4-0 win overAC Milan, while Galatasaray beat Schalke 3-2 to advance.
Lionel Messi scored twice last night at the Nou CampStadium in Spain to help Barcelona to a 4-2 win over the two-game series. Barcelona is the first team to overturn a two-goaldeficit after not scoring in the first game of a ChampionsLeague tie.
“We believed since the first minute,” Barcelona defenderGerard Pique said in a televised interview. “We were betterthan Milan from the start.”
Hamit Altintop, Burak Yilmaz and Umut Bulut scored inGermany as Galatasaray completed a 4-3 series win to reach thequarterfinals for the first time in 12 years.
“I personally believed we could reach the quarterfinals,”Altintop said on the website of tournament organizer UEFA. “Weplayed well in the first half and in the second half Schalketried to put pressure on us. Eventually, we got what weneeded.”
Barcelona, seeking its fourth European Cup in eight seasons,and Galatasaray join Real Madrid, Juventus, Borussia Dortmundand Paris Saint-Germain in the last eight. The last twoquarterfinal places will be filled tonight, with the drawconducted in two days. Messi’s Opener
Facing a 2-0 deficit from the first game in Italy, Messiopened the scoring after five minutes with a shot into the topcorner of the net from just inside the penalty area. It was his57th Champions League goal, moving him into second place in theall-time scoring list behind Raul Gonzalez’s 71.
Milan goalkeeper Christian Abbiati pushed Andres Iniesta’sshot onto the crossbar seven minutes later, with Messi headingthe rebound into the side netting.
Milan’s M’Baye Niang then hit the post after getting behindthe defense in the 38th minute and Messi drew Barcelona evenabout a minute later with a shot from just outside the area.
Barcelona took its first lead in the series in the 55thminute when David Villa curled a shot from the right inside thefar post.
With Milan pushing forward in stoppage time for the scorethat would send it through on the away-goal tiebreaker,Barcelona defender Jordi Alba scored on a counterattack toclinch Barcelona’s sixth straight quarterfinal appearance.
“We always felt we could come back in this tie,” Villasaid on UEFA’s website. “After experiencing what we did tonightwe don’t care who we get in the quarterfinals.” Biggest Loss
Barcelona is the fourth team to advance in the ChampionsLeague by erasing a first-leg deficit of more than one goal,while seven-time winner Milan matched its biggest defeat in thecompetition.
“We simply did not play the game we were supposed to,”Milan coach Massimo Ambrosini said on UEFA’s website. “I willnot call it a failure because Barcelona are a great side.”
In Gelsenkirchen, Germany, Roman Neustadter’s goal in the17th minute gave Schalke the lead in the series following anopening 1-1 draw in Turkey.
Former Schalke striker Altintop pulled Galatasaray even inthe 37th minute with a shot from 25 yards out (22 meters).Yilmaz then made it 3-2 on aggregate five minutes later with hiseighth goal to match Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo for thecompetition lead.
Michel Bastos scored in the 63rd minute to even the series,though Schalke still trailed on the away-goals tiebreaker. WithSchalke pushing forward for another score, Bulut broke throughon goalkeeper Timo Hildebrand and slid home the rebound tosecure Galatasaray’s place in the next round.
“We deserved the win,” Galatasaray midfielder Wesley Sneijder said on UEFA’s website. “We played well, especially inthe first half. In the second half we made a lot of mistakes, wemade it difficult for ourselves.”
In tonight’s quarterfinals, Bayern Munich takes a 3-1 leadinto its home match with Arsenal, while Malaga hosts Portotrailing 1-0.
To contact the reporter on this story:Bob Bensch in London at email@example.com.
To contact the editor responsible for this story:Christopher Elser at firstname.lastname@example.org.
▫ AC Milan’s Defense Blunts Barcelona in 2-0 Champions League Win
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