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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