Its an upset here at the San Siro, with AC Milan beating Barcelona 2-0 in the Champions League Round of 16. Barcelona started the match on top circulating the ball in their own half, but they could not create any good chances, and the first one went to Milan in the fifth minute. But Sulley Muntari’s volley from thirty yards out flew over the bar. Barcelona kept possession of the ball, but they could still not break through the Milan defense and the tempo of the match slowed down. Despite Barca’s dominance, Milan almost went up in the sixteenth minute when Stephan El Shaarawy played the ball on the ground to a Kevin Prince Boateng by the near post off a corner, but his first time shot went inches wide of the far post. Barca still kept the majority of possession, and finally did get their first chance in the twentieth minute and Milan goalkeeper Christian Abbiati was forced to save Xavi’s shot from thirty yards out. Barca still kept the ball, and almost scored when Milan defender Massimo Ambrosini blocked a cross, and his touch went inches wide of his own net, but the first half ended 0-0.
The second half started more energetically, with Barca creating some chances, but amazingly Milan opened the scoring in the fifty-sixth minute off a free kick. The kick was played short to Ambrosini, who tried to hit a long range shot, but his shot was blocked by the Barca defenders, and it fell to Boateng, who hit a superb volley into the bottom right corner of the net. For twenty minutes it looked like Barca would equalize, with an Andres Iniesta shot going just wide, and a Xavi free kick just flying over the bar, but amazingly Milan doubled their lead in the eighty-second minute. The ball fell to Milan substitute M’baye Niang inside the Barca box, and he played the ball to El Shaarawy who did a lovely little dink over Dani Alves to Muntari, who hit a powerful volley past an oncoming Victor Valdes, and into the back of the net. Barca started to panic, and even sent centre-back Gerard Pique into the centre-forward position, but could not get the crucial away goal, and the match ended 2-0, with Barca having a lot to do in the second leg.
Man of the Match: Stephan El Shaarawy