BARCELONA, SPAIN - MARCH 07: Lionel Messi (L) of FC Barcelona celebrates scoring his sides second goal with his teammate Pedro Rodriguez during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 second leg match between FC Barcelona and Bayern 04 Leverkusen at the Camp Nou stadium on March 7, 2012 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)

UEFA Champions League: Barcelona Move On To Semifinals With 3-1 Win

A pair of Lionel Messi penalties and a strike from Andres Iniesta propelled Barcelona past Milan. Bayern Munich also booked their semifinal spot.

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Barcelona Vs. AC Milan, 2012 UEFA Champions League: Final Score, Lionel Messi Nets Twice In 3-1 Win

Barcelona are through to yet another UEFA Champions League semifinal after a very solid performance against AC Milan at the Camp Nou. They were given two penalty kicks, but Milan did not look particularly competent going forward, and there's no reason to discredit their performance. Barcelona were the much better side on the night, and go through with a deserved win by a 3-1 margin.

The first spot kick was given for a clear-cut foul inside the box by Luca Antonini on Lionel Messi. The Blaugranas passed up a couple of shooting opportunities and probably should have scored from open play, but were bailed out by Antonini's foul. Messi stepped up to the penalty spot and converted to give his side the lead.

Barcelona attempted to kill off the game and sit on the ball for an extended period of time, but would be forced to become an ambitious side again in the 32nd minute, when Antonio Nocerino struck for Milan to equalize on the night and put Milan ahead on away goals. Javier Mascherano was responsible for the goal, letting Zlatan Ibrahimović beat him badly, then backing up before an Ibrahimović pass to Nocerino to keep the goal-scorer onside.

The second penalty came in the 41st minute, and unlike the first, was a controversial one. Alessandro Nesta grabbed a fistful of Sergio Busquets' jersey just before a corner kick and the Barcelona midfiedler went down. The referee gave a penalty, and Milan were furious. Though Nesta certainly committed a foul, worse contact before free kicks goes uncalled in almost every game, and Carles Puyol certainly pushed Nesta before he pulled down Busquets. The penalty was given nonetheless, and Messi stepped up to convert his competition-leading 14th Champions League goal.

Even with the two penalties conceded, Milan had a good chance to go through going into halftime. Because of the 0-0 draw at the San Siro, Milan would have gone through with any scoring draw. They couldn't manage it, though, and allowed Barcelona to score again in the 53rd minute. After a shot by Messi was blocked, Andrés Iniesta pounced and put in the rebound to make it 3-1.

At that point, the tie was essentially over. Barcelona didn't allow Milan to fire their way back into it at all; the Rossoneri had just three attempts on goal in the entire game. While the refereeing was very questionable independent of the penalties -- Milan was given seven bookings to Barcelona's two and 19 fouls to Barcelona's nine -- Milan had nothing going forward and made silly mistakes at the back.

We'll have live coverage throughout the game in our UEFA Champions League Tuesday StoryStream. For more on the two teams, head over to Barcelona FC blog Barca Blaugranes and The AC Milan Offside.

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Barcelona Vs. AC Milan, 2012 Champions League: Gerard Pique Suffers Hamstring Injury

The news is mostly bad for AC Milan right now. They need two goals to stay in this competition and they have 20 minutes left to get them. Against Barcelona at the Camp Nou. That's unfortunate.

There is, however, a faint glimmer of hope -- Barcelona centre back Gerard Pique has just gone down with what looks like a hamstring injury. It's bad enough that Pep Guardiola was forced to take him off, with Adriano coming in to replace the big defender. Carles Puyol has shifted into the middle to compensate.

Substitute Alexandre Pato nearly made that advantage count straight away after racing onto a long through pass, but his first touch escaped him, allowing Victor Valdés to gather. There's not a whole lot of time for Milan to do anything in this match, and you'd have to imagine that, Pique or no Pique this thing is done.

We'll have live coverage throughout the game in our UEFA Champions League Tuesday StoryStream. For more on the two teams, head over to Barcelona FC blog Barca Blaugranes and The AC Milan Offside.

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Barcelona Vs. AC Milan, 2012 Champions League: Iniesta Makes It 3-1

Alright, that's this game done. Barcelona lead 3-1 after a rather lucky goal from Andres Iniesta. The hosts broke up the length of the pitch and Lionel Messi attempts a long-range effort that probably wasn't going anywhere, only for Phillippe Mexes to inadvertently deflect the ball into Iniesta's path, leaving the midfielder free on goal.

Lionel Messi had missed wide from a similar position with the score at 0-0, but Iniesta wasn't about to make the same mistake, lifting the ball coolly over an onrushing Christian Abbiati to give Barcelona a two-goal cushion. Milan need to score twice in the final 35 minutes in order to advance, which seems not very likely at all. So that's Barcelona to the semifinals, in all probability, where they will face one of Benfica and Chelsea.

We'll have live coverage throughout the game in our UEFA Champions League Tuesday StoryStream. For more on the two teams, head over to Barcelona FC blog Barca Blaugranes and The AC Milan Offside.

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Barcelona Vs. AC Milan, 2012 UEFA Champions League: Halftime Score, Blaugranas Lead On Two Penalties

Update: Barcelona 3-1 AC Milan, Final Score

FC Barcelona lead AC Milan 2-1 on the night and on aggregate at halftime, but they haven't scored once from open play. Referee Bjorn Kuipers has given them two penalty kicks, both of them converted by Lionel Messi. He has 14 Champions League goals this year -- tied for the best tally in one Champions League competition -- but No. 14 was a controversial one.

The first goal of the game and first Barcelona penalty kick was an obvious one, with the referee having no choice but to point to the spot. In the 11th minute an odd scramble ensued that featured Xavi looking very confused and unsure of what to do with the ball in the box. He eventually passed to Messi, who was hauled down by Luca Antonini.

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Messi stepped up to convert the penalty for his 13th goal of the competition and the 50th Champions League goal of his career. At that point, Barcelona slowed the game down and looked more interested in keeping the ball than creating chances. They were still able to create a couple of chances over the next 20 minutes, but it wasn't their chief concern.

Incredibly, they failed in this endeavor. Thanks to some sloppy defending by Javier Mascherano, who had an absolute nightmare of a first half, AC Milan were able to equalize. In the 32nd minute, Ibrahimovic beat Mascherano easily, then played a pass towards Antonio Nocerino. Mascherano made his second error in five seconds, stepping back just before Ibrahimovic played the pass while his teammates were stepping up, keeping Nocerino easily onside. He finished into the far corner, and at that point, Milan were going through on away goals.

Nine minutes later, controversy struck. Barcelona were granted another penalty in the 41st minute when Alessandro Nesta grabbed the jersey of Sergio Busquets and pulled him down before a free kick.

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This is, without question, a foul on Nesta. The problem here is exactly why he resorted to grabbing Nesta's shirt. There is a very clear push by Carles Puyol on Nesta before the foul by Nesta on Busquets. If the referee is going to make the unconventional decision to call fouls for contact in the box before a free kick, he probably should have called the foul that came before the foul that led to the penalty. Messi stepped up and scored again, restoring Barcelona's lead.

There's still plenty of good news for Milan. Even though they're down, Barcelona's defense (and Mascherano in particular) looks poor. There could easily be another goal in this game for them. Additionally, any draw sees them through to the next round and Barcelona hasn't scored yet from open play. They're underdogs right now, but this isn't over.

We'll have live coverage throughout the game in our UEFA Champions League Tuesday StoryStream. For more on the two teams, head over to Barcelona FC blog Barca Blaugranes and The AC Milan Offside.

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Barcelona Vs. AC Milan, 2012 Champions League: Messi Scores Another Penalty

Barcelona are responding pretty well to being pegged back to one each by that Antonio Nocerino goal a few minutes ago. The hosts have been on the attack more or less continually since - Xavi has seen a shot well-saved by Christian Abbiati, Cesc Fabregas attempted a similar long-range effort and then another Xavi attempt ended up getting deflected behind for a corner.

Aaaaand then Barcelona get a penalty. Off that corner. Alessando Nesta was grabbing Sergio Busquets' shirt, the midfielder fell over, and Bjorn Kuipers points to the spot after issuing a booking to both Nesta and an irate Clarence Seedorf. Lionel Messi steps up to take the spot kick and sends Abbiati the wrong way, bringint he score up to 2-1. Both Barcelona goals have been on penalties, and this game has the feel of one that will be talked about for a while. Angrily.

We'll have live coverage throughout the game in our UEFA Champions League Tuesday StoryStream. For more on the two teams, head over to Barcelona FC blog Barca Blaugranes and The AC Milan Offside.

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Barcelona Vs. AC Milan, 2012 Champions League: Nocerino Scores, Makes It 1-1

Well hello. It's game back on at the Camp Nou, where Antonio Nocerino has scored his first ever Champions League goal. And if you're following closely, you know what that means: 1-1 between Barcelona and AC Milan, which means that the visitors, not the hosts, are now on-track to advance.

It was a simple enough goal. Javier Mascherano, who's been pretty poor all game, was dragged out of the back line and turned easily, allowing Zlatan Ibrahimovic to slip a pass in for Nocerino, who was onside because Mascherano had, hilariously, attempted to make up for his mistake by sprinting back and destroying the Barcelona line. Nocerino was able to wrong foot Victor Valdes and place the ball at the back corner to level the score. Milan now lead on away goals with more than half an hour gone.

We'll have live coverage throughout the game in our UEFA Champions League Tuesday StoryStream. For more on the two teams, head over to Barcelona FC blog Barca Blaugranes and The AC Milan Offside.

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Barcelona Vs. AC Milan, 2012 Champions League: Messi Penalty Gives Hosts 1-0 Lead

That's an awful miss by Barcelona, and it comes from Lionel Messi of all people. Things don't look dangerous as the visitors drop into a organised defensive shell just ahead of the goal, but Messi combines with Cesc Fabregas to rip them open, and after a flick or two the little Argentinian is clear through on Christian Abbiati's goal. Somehow Messi ends up putting the ball just wide of the far post from four yards out. That really ought to have been 1-0, and demonstrates just how dangerous this team is.

Having been let off the hook, Milan then go up the pitch, come fairly close to doing something special, and then get completely destroyed by Messi's pace. He burns Phillippe Mexes, passes to Xavi, and although the block comes in the ball ricochets back to the number ten and he's hacked down by Luca Antonini for a penalty. Which he scores. Whoops. It's actually 1-0 now.

We'll have live coverage throughout the game in our UEFA Champions League Tuesday StoryStream. For more on the two teams, head over to Barcelona FC blog Barca Blaugranes and The AC Milan Offside.

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Barcelona Vs. AC Milan, 2012 Champions League: Lineups

Who's ready for this? After a goalless draw in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League quarterfinal, Barcelona host AC Milan in a finely-balanced match. These teams have played at the Camp Nou before, if you'll remember - their group stage clash finished at 2-2 much earlier in the season. That result would see Milan through, and Barcelona out. I wouldn't bet money on a repeat, but the visitors are a strong team, and they gave Barca a tough go of things at the San Siro. This could be very interesting indeed.

Barcelona starting lineup (4-3-3): Victor Valdes, Carles Puyol, Javier Mascherano, Gerard Pique, Dani Alves; Sergio Busquets, Xavi, Andres Iniesta; Cesc Fabregas, Lionel Messi, Isaac Cuenca.

AC Milan starting lineup (4-4-2 diamond): Christian Abbiati; Luca Antonini, Philippe Mexes, Alessandro Nesta, Ignazio Abate; Clarence Seedorf, Antonio Nocerino, Massimo Ambrosini, Kevin-Prince Boateng; Robinho, Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

We'll have live coverage throughout the game in our UEFA Champions League Tuesday StoryStream. For more on the two teams, head over to Barcelona FC blog Barca Blaugranes and The AC Milan Offside.

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