Barcelona, Catalonia, March 13 – Propelled by Lionel Messi’s early strike in the 5th minute, Barcelona mercilessly attacked and routed a shell-shocked AC Milan, 4-0, to avenge their 2-0 away loss, and stormed into the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League at Camp Nou early Wednesday morning.
The Catalans were tipped for an early exit from the competition after a 2-0 reverse in Italy, but became the first ever team to recover from that same first-leg score-line for a 4-2 aggregate with a display that showcased the best of their awesome attacking quality. Messi needed only five minutes to open the scoring in sublime fashion, before putting his side level on aggregate with his second goal shortly before the interval.
David Villa sent Barca into a 3-0 lead minutes into the second-half, and Jordi Alba added the clincher in the last minute of +3 injury time. In the quarter-finals Barcelona join Galatasaray who earlier edged hosts Schalke 3-2. The Turks entered the last-four via 4-3 aggregate after handing Schalke their first defeat of the competition.
Hamit Altintop scored a brilliant goal propel Galatasaray to a 3-2 win at Schalke. Roman Neustadter gave Schalke the lead, however, Altintop pulled the Turkish side level in the 37th minute when he collected a free-kick and scored with a shot which swerved away from Timo Hildebrand and went in off the foot of the post. Burak Yilmaz stunned the hosts by putting Galatasaray ahead with a breakaway goal five minutes later, his eighth of the competition. Michel Bastos levelled for Schalke just after the hour but the Germans could not find the winner despite dominating the closing stages, and Umut Bulut snatched a win for Galatasaray in injury time.
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