Lionel Messi needed two penalty kick to score, one more questionable than the other, but it was enough to give Barcelona a 3-1 win over AC Milan in the second leg of their Champions League Quarter Final, moving them to their fifth consecutive Semi Final in the competition after a 0-0 draw in the first match.
Did Bjorn Kuipers join the long list of referees who treated AC Milan unfairly, when usually they goals go unnoticed thanks to linesmen and referees, in Italy, with bad eye sight? Probably not. Referees don’t usually blow the whistle for pulling in the box, but Kuipers did, giving Barcelona the second penalty.
They should, but Milan were right to feel harshly done by, because there are unwritten rules. The first penalty? It wasn’t in the first penalty? It wasn’t intentional, but a foul is a foul. Antonini’s mistimed slide was a foul.
Milan somehow endured the opening blitz before bowing down to Messi setting a new record for goals in a Champions League season. With his second goal, his 14th of the season and 51st in the competition, he moved up to third on the All-Time list, leaving Thierry Henry, with 50, behind.
Milan shook off the Camp Nou shivers and started playing football. A brilliant pass from Zlatan Ibrahimovic found a huge gaping hole in the Barcelona defense, left by non other than Carles Puyol, leaving Antonio Nocerino to silence the crowd with a goal that hypothetically, if the Milan defense could have seal up their goal, would have put them in the Semi Final.
But the shock at the stadium soon turned into the usual feeling of comfort, as Messi scored his second penalty kick. Andres Iniesta, probably the best player on the pitch, hammered the final nail in the Milan coffin of upset hopes, scoring after avoiding the offside trap and scoring from a similar position to his famous goal in the 2010 World Cup Final.
The rest? Barcelona slowed things down, while Milan, slowly giving up on their chance of scoring again, got frustrated, especially Mexes, Ambrosini and Robinho, leading to 7 players from Rossoneri getting booked through the 90 minutes. Pato? Injury or not, he has shown nothing this season since his lighting quick goal in the first encounter between the sides this season.
Benfica or Chelsea? It doesn’t really matter. Barcelona will be huge favorites once again to reach their third Champions League final in the last four seasons. Chelsea might be the more interesting rival due to the history between the two teams, but this isn’t the previous Chelsea. Benfica? Their chances of doing something at Stamford Bridge are slim. Their chances of denting Barcelona in the next round are even smaller.