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Champions League: Barcelona thrash A.C Milan 4-0 whilst Galatasaray progress after 3-2 win at Schalke

 

It was an enticing proposition to say the least, that Barcelona could overturn their 2-0 deficit from the first leg against A.C Milan and progress to the quarter finals of the Champions League.

No side in the history of the competition had ever come back from two goals after the first leg without an away goal to show for it, but that is exactly what Barcelona did as they ran out 4-0 winners against the Italians.

Barca have been semi-finalists for the last five seasons, winning the competition twice in that time, but never had their progression looked so under threat after their performance in Milan. With 3 defeats in their last 5 matches, people were doubting if this Barcelona side were the same side they used to be.

They answered those critics and then some this evening. It took the emphatic Messi only five minutes to find a way past Milan, with a riving shot into the top corner after some lovely one touch football by the hosts in the build up.

Milan, despite the early goal, opted to sit back and try and defend their lead, and their plan nearly worked with just under 40 minutes played, when M,Baye Niang was sent clear through on goal after Milan hit the hosts on the counter, but the young striker could only slide his effort onto the post.

No sooner had the ball hit Barca's post, it hit the back of Milan's net for the second time, again courtesy of Messi. Milan lost the ball in midfield and within seconds Messi had struck a left footed effort past Abbiati to draw the hosts level in the tie, with another 45 minutes to play.

David Villa got the all important third after 55 minutes, making the most of Kevin Constant's mistake to curl a superb effort into the net.

Milan then decided to go on the offensive, knowing one away goal would still send them through, but even with the introduction of Robinho, they could not find a way through, and Barca put the result beyond any doubt in stoppage time when left back Jordi Alba raced through to score Barca's fourth.

The other match in the Champions League may not have seemed as 'glamorous' as the one at the Nou Camp, but it was just as enthralling to watch, as Galatasaray booked their place in the quarter finals for the first time since 2001.

With the tie 1-1 after the first leg, this evening's match was a open affair, with Galatasaray putting the hosts under pressure early on. But it was Schalke who took the lead after 17 minutes, with Roman Neustadter giving them the lead.

But the Turkish side were not deterred, and drew level twenty minutes later when Hamit Altintop came back to haunt his former club by getting the equaliser. Only five minutes later the away side took the lead, with Burka Yilmaz giving them the lead, and keeping himself joint top of the goalscorers in the CHampions League.

The second half was a dramatic one to say the least, with the home side piling on the pressure, which payed off just after the hour mark when Michel Bastos grabbed an equaliser. This would still not be enough for the Germans however, as with the tie level Gala would progress by virtue of having scored more away goals.

Schalke pressed forward for the remainder of the match but could not find the all important winner, and their night was over when substitute Bulut broke away to give the Turks a 3-2 win on the night, and send them into Friday's draw for the last eight.
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