FC Barcelona appear to have one foot out of the UEFA Champions League after losing 0-2 to Massimiliano Allegri’s impressive AC Milan side at the San Siro stadium. Normally purveyors of prime butifarra, Barcelona served up something with the aroma of Bologni. Milan’s defense was marshalled perfectly to stifle Barcelona’s creative players although Barça will complain about a mistake by Scottish referee Craig Thomson in allowing Boateng’s first goal (after Zapata did not live up to his name… by handling). Another triumph for UEFA’s fourth referees.
Muntari notched the second from a cross by the lively El Shaarawy with less than 10 minutes to go. Barcelona were hardly able to trouble the Milan keeper, and left this impressive football arena with both strip and face the colour of pizza. Barcelona are now faced with the task of scoring 3 goals at least in the Camp Nou return leg on 12th March. Our roving tweetmeister, Nicky Donalsdon, was there to witness all of the action… and clock Ballotelli in the stands with Fanny. Read Nicky’s live tweetcast here…as it happened.
Prematch comments and forecast
Match: AC Milan v Barcelona, round of 16, UEFA Champions League, 20 February 2013
Stadium: San Siro, Barcelona
Blogger and commentweetor: Nick Donaldson.
Type of ticket and seating of our commentator: Category Three Tickets (Behind goals, Barcelona away supporters section)
Expected Barcelona Team: Valdés; Alba, Pique, Puyol, Alves, Xavi, Busquets, Fabregas; Pedro, Iniesta and Messi.
Expected AC Milan line-up: Abbiati, Abate, Mexés, Zapata, Constant, Muntari. Ambrosini, Montolivo, Boateng, Pazzini, El Shaarawy.
Our expert’s forecast: AC Milan 1 – Barcelona 3.
Leo Messi is currently the second highest goal scorer of all time in UEFA matches, level with Van Nistelrooy on 56. Messi only needs 15 goals at the San Siro tonight to pull alongside the mighty Raul on 71. Barcelona have played AC Milan so many times in this compatition in the last few seasons, with Barcelona so far on top that complacency could be the Blaugranas worst fear (although not as scary as Alexis). Our roving commentweetor, Nick Donaldson is in Milan. He’ll be eating and drinking the atmosphere on his way to the San Siro, one of football’s true catedrales. Pace Monseignore Ratzinger, Nick’s tweetstream is bull of a less-than-papal variety, but we have WhatsApped him the GMap directions to the other cathedral in Milan (the one that doesn’t draw the crowds) so he can seek premature absolution. Can Messi deliver 15 ? 2045, Milan !
How it happened – Live blog by our commentweetor Nicky Donaldson
|Pre Kick Off: Hotting up here in Milan for the big match, players warming up on pitch, a bit chilly up here in the stands though!! #SpanishKicks #BarçaMamma mia there are some foxy #Milan fans, you didn’t get this at the Valley! Waiting for teams coming out, cold fingers typing this…
Just before kick off I also want to tweet out to the Napoli fans down at the Sport Bar in Carrer Ample, Barrio gotico Barcelona.
Those good folks went through the agonies of losing to the appalling Chelsea last year and we all groaned along with them…This year those little ponies are all firmly behind FC Barça….
One thing I am sure is that with their wood burning pizza oven all fired up it will be toastier down at the Sport Bar than it is here in Milan. Ciao Federico y Barbara !!!!!
|We’re in for a treat tonight, I can feel it! #Barça fans singing here behind the goals, they anticipate a result. 3-1 to the catalans I say|
|I’d like to thank Jean and Sammy, they are down in Valencia celebrating a stag and hen weekend booked with spanishkicks.com (isn’t that weekend running on a bit?) – and have reweeted from the account @sperkster – respect to all retweet foot soldiers!|
|@sperkster Haha yes indeed a bit patchy in places, reminds me of watching my beloved Charlton Athletic, you’d expect better at the San Siro!|
|@SpanishKicks I hope the Scottish referee Craig Thomson gets a grip,looks as if Bojan will play against former team mates, interesting|
|@sperkster Yes a point to prove, or a chip on his shoulder? I don’t see Puyol giving him much breathing space out there…|
|Kick Off. And we’re off! #Milan take the first offensive. Home fans strangely quiet, all the singing coming from #Barça end!|
|That clearance looked a bit wild from #Valdes, although #Barça seem very cool calm and collected on the ball…|
|#Messi dancing around the #Milan defence, that won’t be the last they hear of him all night… Corner to #Barça|
|Some Italian is rolling on the ground as if he’d been pole-axed. Get up!! #Barça #Milan|
|Big #CraigThomson giving #Puyol a dressing down there, the hirsute #Barça centre-half better not talk back to the Jock with the whistle!|
|5′ #MammaMia !! From where I’m sitting it looked like that one was going in from #Xavi… #Barcelona 0 #Milan 0|
|How many times have #Barça played #Milan recently?! Answers on a postcard. Ref shows yellow to #Milan player, can’t see who from here…|
|17′ The problem with #ItalianFootball is you can’t get a decent #pie in the stadium. Everyone’s eating this birdfood stuff. #IwantBovril|
|@SpanishKicks Any aggro in the crowd tonight Nick?|
|#Barcelona looking comfortable camped just outside the #Milan box. Come on lads give us a #ChampionsLeague goal before half time!!|
|35′ still #NilNil I thought #Barça would have created more chances by now. #Milan causing a few problems too|
|Thought #Xavi would have delivered a better corner than that. Goal is coming though, I can feel it. #Barça #Milan #GiveUsAGoal|
|Rhythm of this #Champions tie so far is #Barça constantly pressuring and #Milan trying to catch them on the break. 40m and still nil nil…|
|Cameramen keep picking out #Italian totty in the crowd and showing it on the big screen. #Milan a good #Stag destination?! Hmmm….|
|#Piqué looks a bit shaky with that pass, I’ve never rated his defending. Anyone who scores an own goal against Scotland has got to be dodgy|
|#HalfTime I’m off to stretch my legs and warm up a bit, bloody chilly here! Will there be a #signorina to keep me warm later?! Who knows…|
|#Novak Djokovic is in the #SanSiro crowd, cameras show him on big screen. Didn’t know the big Serb was a #Milan fan. #Vamos #Barça!!|
|Back in my seat for the second half. #CraigThomson blows his whistle and we’re off for round two! #Milan 0 #Barça 0|
|0-0 #Milan #Barça. Scrappy start to second half. I’ve now changed my mind about scoreline, 3-1 Barça seems far-fetched, more like 1-0 now|
|GOAL!!!! #Milan 1 #Barça 0 – Against the run of play. #SanSiro fans have found their voice now!!Boateng scores after Zapata seemed to handle from a Montolivo free kick.|
|#Piqué gets a yellow card there, couldn’t see what for. Will #Shakira make him sleep on the couch tonight?!|
|#Fabregas off #Alexis on, #Barça going on the attack. #Messi skies a free kick into the #italian night|
|Nasty bang of head there, looks like a genuine sore one and not just Mediterranean acting. #Milan 1 #Barça 0 #Champions|
|Decent stop by #Valdes. #Milan looking strong and comfortable now. Another Italian rolling on the ground. Get up!!|
|#Iniesta so close there!! #Barça fans thought that was the #equaliser. What the F””k is #Puyol wearing on his forehead? A giant nappy??|
|Interesting that #Piqué and #Shakira’s son is called “Milan” Free kick #Barça…|
|#Xavi could have done better there, free kick flies over the bar. #Barça have 10 minutes to find an opening here. One Nil to #Milan|
|#GOOOOAAAALLLL!!!! #Muntari makes it 2-0.. #SanSiro goes wild, all over for #Barça??!|
|If I was #Vilanova I’d push for an away goal now, send the troops forward. Go on son…|
|Can I just say thanks to #SpanishKicks for sorting me this #SanSiro ticket in return for the tweets! Well worth the frozen fingers…|
|Both sides’ fans visibly leaving the stadium now. Are these people real fans?! Do they know the meaning of suffering for your club?! #weak|
|Into #injurytime now can #Barça get that vital away goal?!|
|#Milan have 11 players behind the ball now. Traoré sees yellow for that challenge. #Aintovertillfatladysings|
|5 minutes of added time. #Milan 2 #Barça 0. Away fans screaming for a penalty there.I joined in myself (just to fit in)2-0 Big