21st of February 2013 Author: Johnny Karp
Kevin-Prince Boateng and Sulley Muntari scored in the second half to give AC Milan victory over Barcelona and a great chance of advancing to the Champions League quarter finals. The Rossoneri defended in numbers, denying Barcelona clear chances to score, and when they got their own chances they struck twice in the second half. Boateng turned and fired home following a free-kick and then Muntari displayed a nice close-range volley nine minutes from time to make it 2-0. Andres Iniesta had a good shot that fizzed just off target as Champions League favourites Barca had a terrible night. Barcelona captain Carles Puyol also had a chance on a corner kick but he headed wide following Muntari's first Champions League goal.
Barcelona lacked their usual creativity with Lionel Messi not producing the kind of display his fans are used to seeing. Milan's pair of central midfielders, Riccardo Montolivo and Massimo Ambrosini, had an excellent match as they closed all the gaps in front of their defence. Messi did manage to create some space at the edge of the box at a certain point in the first half but his shot was blocked while Xavi tried his luck from long range but his shot was saved by the goalkeeper. Milan had the better chances in the first half, Stephan El Shaarawy wasted one as he was blocked by Puyol inside the penalty area while Boateng fired wide following a corner kick.
Barcelona continued to dominate possession after the interval but it was Milan who struck. El Shaarawy was brought down 30 yards out and the resulting free kick brought the ball to Boateng who swiveled and fired home from just inside the penalty area. The goal gave the home side even more confidence and they came close again through Giampaolo Pazzini before Muntari scored the final goal on a fine assist from El Shaarawy.
The result makes AC Milan slight favourites to qualify, here are the qualification odds at Bet365:
AC Milan to qualify - 5/6
Barcelona to qualify - 1/1
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