Just like their first meeting in the UEFA Champions League, AC Milan and Barcelona are putting on a show. This match has completely lived up to the billing, as Barcelona leads by a score of 2-1 at halftime in a thriller. Barcelona have been aggressive going forward, but Milan are defending well despite allowing two goals and have looked dangerous on the counter.
Barcelona's first goal was scored in the 13th minute, and there's a bit of contention over whether or not it was an own goal. In any event, it was a well-made goal and hardly embarrassing for Milan. Thiago Alcantara, in for Andres Iniesta, was the man who started the move by winning a race for a loose ball at the corner flag, then dribbled his way out of trouble to start the attack. Lionel Messi put the final ball into the box from the edge of the penalty area, with either Xavi Hernandez or Mark Van Bommel getting the final touch.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic equalized quickly, and it was apparent on the goal that Barcelona is playing players out of position. Carles Puyol, playing right back, failed to stop Clarence Seedorf from getting a cross into the box. Javier Mascherano, a natural defensive midfielder playing in defense, failed to track Ibrahimovic's run and the former Barcelona man scored easily.
Barca would re-take the lead, though not without controversy. They were granted a penalty when Alberto Aquilani took down Xavi in the penalty area, but the referee wrongly yellow carded Alessandro Nesta. Not only did he card the wrong man, but the foul was a denial of a clear goal-scoring opportunity and Aquilani probably should have been shown red. Lionel Messi converted his first attempt at the penalty, but it was called back and he was yellow carded for completely stopping his motion during the kick. Messi converted his second attempt with no hesitation, firing his team back in front.